Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies…
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…
This is the first post in a new series that I am going to do on my blog! As you might know if you have been around here for before, I love rereading books. I will reread books all of the time. Whether it is because I am feeling down or if it is to get out of a reading slump, rereading an old favourite is what I turn to. One thing I have noticed though, is that I never do reviews for the books that I have reread.
I try to get reviews out for the newer books I have read (though I need to get much better at that), but the books I reread will just be mentioned in wrap ups or in book tags. I don’t want to review my old favourites, something about that feels biased, but I did still want a post dedicated to these reads. So I got thinking. Earlier on this year, I had a mini series (that I never actually finished, woops…) for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. It was a way for me to talk about my spoiler filled reading experience when I was rereading the first few books, and then reading the last few for the first time, of a series that I had initially disliked. I thought I would adopt a similar concept for this new series. So, I bring you: The Reread Diaries.
And for the first entry into my reread diary, I present, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.
I first read this book in July-August 2014. I have been talking a lot in the last three or four months about wanting to reread this whole series. I have been seeing so many people reread it, and I kept thinking about it. And then, I just became very curious about whether or not I would still enjoy this novel, all these years later. Spoiler: I did, however I think because I have so much nostalgia attached to this book, I was able to look over some of the issues and enjoy the story. However, if I were to read this book for the first time today – I don’t think I would feel the same way. There were a lot more issues than I had originally thought or not noticed before, but I will get more on that later.
If you haven’t yet read this series and don’t want any spoilers, then stop reading here, and I will catch you in another post!
I was surprised at how much I had forgotten about this book!
One of the things that I had forgotten was the age difference between Rose and Dimitri. Rose is 17 and Dimitri is 24. My first time reading this book, I was 16 about to turn 17 and the age difference did not register in me at the time. I thought it was such a cute romance and really loved the dynamic between the two. However, reading it for a second time as a 24 year old woman, I do have different feelings towards this relationship. There is such a differing power dynamic due to Dimitri being one of the tutors at the academy, and then the age difference on top of that just gave me a bit of an ick. Side node there was a comment from Rose to Dimitri about him being 24 and she called him an old man – I really felt that.
I don’t know why, but I really struggled to connect with Lissa’s character this time around. I found her really annoying and whiny, but felt deeply sorry for her too. Whilst I remembered that the two of them had a bond, I had completely forgotten about the fact that sometimes Lissa’s emotions pull Rose into her head. I have no idea how I had forgotten that because it is a huge aspect of the novel. I did enjoy those scenes. They felt like the only scenes where I really got to know Lissa. Plus there were more interactions with Christian in those scenes and I love his character so much.
I feel like I remembered the main plot, but had forgotten most, if not all, of the subplots did not remember that there was a self-harm subplot in this novel, which really jolted me when it first came about. I also had forgotten about the amount of slut-shaming which made me uncomfortable in places.
One thing about the writing style is that I had never realised it was written in first person present tense, which isn’t a big deal of course but recently I have been struggling getting used to some fantasy novels that are written in first person present tense. So it shocked me that one of my favourite book series is written this way. I think I always associate third person past tense with fantasy novels, but it is obviously not always the case.
Overall, I really enjoyed the novel, but I do think that it was more of my nostalgia attached to it and out of anticipation for the novels later on in the series. I am so excited to continue my reread. I’ve been making myself hold off picking up the second book until I finished this post, and I have been itching to pick it up again. Despite the issues within the book, there is something so captivating about it and its such a fun, easy read that it is impossible not to have fun with it.
Have you read Vampire Academy before? Let me know in the comments what you thought of it, and while you are there, let me know if you want The Reread Diaries to be a continuous feature on my blog!