Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) - Review

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
Publication date: 16 August 16 2007 by Razorbill
ISBN 10/13: 0316015849 | 9780316015844

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Keywords: Vampires, Boarding School, Best Friends, Fighting
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

From goodreads:

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Kimberly's review:

Lissa Dragomir is a vampire princess and must be protected from another kind of vampire race, the Strigoi, who are fierce and dangerous vampires. Rose Hathaway, a half human-half vampire, is her classmate, her best friend and her partner in crime.

After two years of freedom, the BFFs are captured and dragged back to their exclusive boarding school where they have to train to become, respectively, a political figure and a fighter/bodyguard. But they soon realize that inside their school, it's just as dangerous as outside its gates.

Rose is a strong, fun and cocky character. She is quick-witted and throws herself into dangerous situations--my kind of girl! Her narration is very clear; you learn a lot about her character.

Lissa is seen through Rose's eyes and while Rose is the physically stronger and more aggressive of the two, Lissa is not a whimp. She has some special powers (not going to tell you!) and a few problems of her own. She is the last Dragomir princess alive. Um, that's a lot of pressure.

This is a great female relationship. They're totally loyal to each other. It's easy to see how they are best friends. It's refreshing to see a functioning, healthy friendship where the two characters genuinely care about each other, instead of other dramatic relationships where there is a lot of jealousy and backstabbing.
And oh, the boys! Dimitri, stoic, hot and Rose's instructor, is sexy and a lean mean fighting machine. The chemistry between them is ... whew. Sorry. Got hot in here. Lissa finds her match in an unlikely hero.

I want to stress that the story is about way more than boys, even cute vampire boys. It's about friendship, about growing up and finding oneself. Lissa and Rose may have been dragged back to St. Vladimir's unwillingly, but that doesn't mean they stop fighting for what they want, what they believe in. They continue to grow as characters, not just through the book, but throughout the series. Their relationships with each other grows and evolves, the best parts of each of them coming out to protect the other. Showing their courage and strength right when they need it most.

I enjoyed Vampire Academy so much, I devoured the rest of the series and then made my way onto another Richelle Mead's series (which is not at all YA)!

It's fun, awesome and one of the rare book series that actually get better as the books go on. I know I'm only reviewing Vampire Academy, but the continuing adventures of Rose, Lissa and their friends are fantastic fun.

Richelle Mead's spin off series, Bloodlines, came out at the end of August.

Pick up Vampire Academy and the rest of the books before venturing into Bloodlines. You'll be so happy you did! And yes, thank me later. 

Visit the author online at and follow @richellemead on Twitter