Vampire Academy #1 by Richelle Mead | Book Review

Vampire Academy booksBook Title/Author: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
: Razorbill 2007
Genre: Paranormal YA
Series: Yes
Other Books From Author: the rest of the VA series, Bloodlines series, Georgina Kincaid series, Dark Swan series

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I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!




Rose is a Dhampir — half human and half vampire — and she and Lissa, the vampire princess she’s been trained to protect, left St. Vladimir’s Academy boarding school and have been on the run to keep away from the danger looming there. They have finally been caught and find themselves back at St. Vladimir’s Academy where they try to get back into the swing of training and magic classes and social life but there are quite a few obstacles — rumors, romances they know they shouldn’t be involved in and something dark that puts Lissa in danger.

*This isn’t really going to be a thorough review because everyone and there mom has read this*

So, yes, I’ve finally read Vampire Academy! I will wait for your applause, those of you who have been waiting for me to read this! It’s a HUGE series and I’ve been putting it off because of a) hype and b) if you read this blog you know I don’t read a ton of paranormal. Especially NOT vampires. But here we are…I’ve read book 1 of the series!

Vampire Academy started out VERY slow for me. I just wanted to not read it anymore but I kept going because people said the series got better after book 1. If I didn’t have that knowledge? I would have probably put it down. I just wasn’t feeling it and the pacing was sloooow. I just felt like some of the worldbuilding was dumped on me and I was waiting for a discernible plot.

Rose made me giggle a bit because of her sassy attitude but there were things that really irritated me about her and also I felt like she was a bit one dimensional in the beginning. While she isn’t altogether LIKEABLE, I appreciate a flawed character and she grew on me more and I’m certain there is more to her. The development for some of the other characters was a little bland — especially for Lissa. She was seriously a SNORE.

Despite the shaky start, it become a really addictive read. Even when I was unsure about this one, there was this draw (besides all of the praise) made me stick with it…to see it through. I definitely think I was rewarded a little more than midway through and I couldn’t put this down AT ALL. The plot surges forward and twists abound and I became thoroughly engaged in it all. I loved watching Rose’s skills get better to protect Lissa and learning more about the vampire society. I’m chomping at the bit to head over to the library and get book 2. Especially because I hear the series just gets better and better..which is a relief because I’d say I was a little disappointed not to LOVE this book like everyone else.

OH HEY. I betcha you’ve been waiting for me to talk about Dimitri. I DIDN’T FORGET. I wanted to save the panty throwing for last. So Dimitri, yah? Let’s talk about how Richelle gets a gold star for the best romantic/sexual tension ever. Like seriously. Panty melting! In the beginning I just wasn’t getting the appeal of Dimitri because all we really knew about him was that he had a ponytail, was a powerful guardian and was Russian..oh and wears a duster lol. It seemed obvious that Rose, flirt extraordinaire, was going to totally go for her older “teacher” and I was nervous there would be NO believeable connection between them. But then suddenly Richelle started writing Dimitri in a way where I was like HEYYYY. I actually really grew to love Dimitri and am excited to see what happens between the two of them. Also, I had to fan myself during a certain scene. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. Compulsion. That.Is.All.

I wish the whole book could have been as good as the last half or so. I will still definitely be continuing on with the series because it really took a hold of me by the end and I heard the series only gets better. If I didn’t know this, I’m not sure if I would be continuing on because I’m super picky about my paranormal.


Vampire Academy

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Was I the only one that thought this one wasn’t amazing? Are you excited for the movie? Thoughts on casting? I have specifically NOT looked at any pictures/trailers because I want to read for a while with my own image of Dimitri.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Have no fear because I haven’t read this book/series either! It’s always been on my TBR but there were so many books it became overwhelming to even figure out where to start. Based off of your review I think I will hold off kn reading the book/series for now. I would rather spend my time reading something that I know will be awesome right from the start.

  2. I’m so excited you’re reading this! I’m sorry you weren’t super blown away by the first one though. πŸ™ It’s one of my favorite series out there – partly because I just think Richelle Mead is a really good writer.

    I was really excited about the movie… until I saw the trailer. Now I’m annoyed. But I’ll still give it a chance.

  3. Totally skipped this review because I am the ONLY person left on earth that hasn’t read this series. I’m LAME. I FAIL. Gotta get it read before that movie comes out, right?

  4. I really need to read this series! I’m beginning to feel like I’m missing out on something as it seems as though every blogger out there has read at least one book at this point. Like you, I don’t tend to read many paranormal novels, particularly not ones that feature vampires, but I’m sure my curiosity will get the better of me at some point. There are just so many other books on my TBR list that I already own that skipping ahead to this one seems a little silly.

    I will say that I often find the first novel in a long-running series can be a little slow as the reader tends to get bogged down in exposition and world-building, so I can’t say I was surprised to hear you had a similar experience with Vampire Academy. If I’m being honest, I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve found myself reading an increasing number of standalone novels recently. Investing time and energy into a series can be a lot of effort!

  5. Really, Dhampires are a thing? Because I laughed my ass off at the thought of them when I *tried* to read that god-awful Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire book.

  6. The first book is slow going.. and I don’t recall being wowed by the first one either. Just having a distinct need to keep going. I loved Dimitri.

  7. These were pretty much my exact feelings when I read the first VA book. I remember thinking Lissa was boring, Rose always wanted attention, and the book was slow. But then there’s Dimitri. Yep. *sigh* I almost didn’t think it was worth it to finish the series, but my friend (a DIE hard VA fan) promised me I wouldn’t regret it. Trust me, I didn’t. I loved every single other book. Loved this review!!

  8. I still haven’t read this one, so you’ve got me beat! I hear nothing but good things though and with the movie coming out I know I’ll need to read it soon!

  9. I haven’t read this one, either! I just checked it out from the library last week, because everyone says it’s awesome. It’s just – vampires! they freak me out with the whole drinking blood business.

    But I’m glad that you did evenutally like this one. I’ll have to remind myself that about halfway through you started liking it.

  10. I liked Vampire Academy a lot, but it wasn’t the best series opener I’ve ever read. I think I gave it 3 stars? By book 3, though, I was absolutely hooked! Book 4’s a little slow, too, but I still loved the series as a whole.

  11. HI HI HI.

    Okay, I did love the first, but I also read the second already and REALLY enjoyed it. So I will agree with the fact that it gets better! Book three is supposedly going to shatter the best parts of our souls, butttt… bring it. NOW finish book two and read book three with me!! <3

  12. Well, the circle of people who haven’t read Vampire Academy just got smaller.

    I, like you, am not a big fan of paranormal and vampires, ESPECIALLY NOT. I think I had enough of that from Twilight. But I’m glad you ended up liking this! Even though it wasn’t as great as you expected but hey, there are a few other books right? πŸ™‚

    And now, I guess it’s off to the library to get this book?

  13. Yeah, I know everyone talks about this series…but not to me. Maybe because they know I’m just as picky as you are about my para stuff? Anyway, thank you for the really honest review, because I’ve been wondering about this one, and now I’m thinking…no, not really for me. I’m sure I’ll get just as addicted as you got, but I’m also sure that I will be annoyed the entire time, like I was at Twilight.

    Still looking forward to seeing if you like the second book better because maybe I can start there instead…

  14. I still haven’t read this book, but I made myself a promise that I’m going to read it this year. So, I have a couple more months to find a place for the first book. I like the sound of the romance/tension!

  15. I wasn’t a fan of where the series headed eventually, but I did really like the first books! I’m sad that you didn’t like them more — but we can’t all like the same things, right? Yay for giving it a try!

  16. I’m actually binge-reading the series right now and I have to say, I’m mildly disappointed. It wasn’t as great as I kept hearing. Honestly, Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout was more addicting than this, and even that series gets better w/each book (despite the claims of similarity, which I kind of talk about in the GR mini review of VA). Trust me, Dimitri can’t hold a candle to Aiden in my book. Anyways, I’m on Book 3 right now and I do admit, it’s getting more interesting, especially with Adrian there, but I don’t feel the “pull” yet.

  17. helll yeahhh VA! you know how i feel about these books and richelle mead in general. thrilled that you finally took the plunge doyke!! ponytails and dusters is where it’s at. PANTY MELTING indeed! do you think harry potter will make us toss our panties??? πŸ˜‰

  18. I haven’t read this series either. I will eventually.

  19. Hi, new subscriber here! I had the same feelings as you, slow until the second half and then I couldn’t put it down! I had hesitations on reading this series as well, and I only began this series a couple of months ago and have read the first 4 books. Everyone is right, the series gets better and better, and so does Rose as a character. Book 3 is my favorite so far but I keep hearing 5 and 6 are the shining stars of the series.

  20. *clap clap clap*

    JAIME! I’m so glad you finally read these. Rose is going to continue to challenge you, but hang in there–she has one of the best character development arcs in YA! Because she is so strong-willed (and yes, totally makes mistakes), a lot of people don’t like her, but she’s one of my favorite YA heroines ever. I hope you like the next few just as much. Just…try to pretend the last one doesn’t exist.

  21. PS–Lissa just gets more annoying, so just strap yourself in.

  22. JAMIE FINALLY CAVED! *does happy dance* We all said you’d like it! And yes the series gets way better and heart wrenching as it progresses! And yes I remember starting this book and being all “just watch this thing with Rose and the teacher is going to be so awkward and boring and creepy and there won’t be anything there and it’ll just be creepy” but then…uhm…I sort of fell for him and as the series progressed and I eventually fell in love with him. So basically…uhm….Where can I find Dimitri? Can I buy him from somewhere? Can I be mrs Belikov? LOL i’m glad you caved and liked this book! Hopefully you continue with the series and fall in love with all the characters too! The series does get better with each book!
    Lily @Lilysbookblog

  23. I’m really glad you liked this one! Even though I ended up hating the series books 1-3 are pretty fun. I hope you enjoy reading them! Great review. I also had to fan myself at that… Ahem… Scene.

  24. I can totally agree with that! I liked book one, but book two really took off for me! I read VA before I started blogging which I think also helps because I had zero hype (minus comparisons to Twilight) and I could keep going in the series without being…. “distracted” by other books haha!
    Oh, Dimitri. It’s the sexual tension that makes these books great. Not gonna lie haha. I just love how you can FEEL IT.
    Happy you enjoyed it and hopefully the series gets even better for you!

  25. I actually really liked the first one; it got me hooked on the series. I think Shadow Kiss, though, is probably my favorite. You’ll see why. I mean, if you liked the compulsion scene… πŸ˜‰ ALSO, you definitely need to go check out the trailer now because there’s about a 1 second flash of That Scene. (!!!!!!) Keep going with the series because you NEED Adrian in your life, trust me, and Bloodlines is just as fantastic.

  26. I got stuck on this one. I just couldn’t get through it. I ended up listening to the audiobook and enjoyed it so much that I went through the entire series (and the next!) that way. The funny thing is, I never got on board with Rose/Dimitri.

  27. YAY! You finally read it!! πŸ˜€ I did really like this first book and I LOVED Dimitri! I mean, hello, he’s totally hot and I KNOW WHAT SCENE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! *dies*
    I’ve only read the first three, I’m scared to move onto the fourth because the third one broke my heart so bad and I still haven’t fully recovered…

  28. I haven’t read this, because I’m getting a bit tired of all these paranormal/YA novels and I’m definitely not going to like another Twilight-like-vampirebook. Still don’t know if I should pick this one up..

  29. Bahaha at Lissa. She’s totally a snore, though I did ship her with her boy and I resolutely do not ship Rose/Dimitri, which is why I stalled out on this series. But maybe Dimitri and his ponytail and his being her TEACHER (and in a position of power over her) works for you.

    Sighs. Sorry, I’m letting my biases show. I get his appeal, but it just made me uncomfortable. ALSO, ADRIAN. But you don’t know about him yet.


  1. […] have all FORCED me to read it. Thanks guys! Can’t wait to continue on with the series. 3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: If you know me, you know I’m not a vampire type gal. I read Twilight and that was it. But […]