Showing posts with label vampire academy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vampire academy. Show all posts

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The 5 Shittiest YA Book-To-Movie Adaptations Of All Time





I'm always over the moon happy when I hear about one of my favorite books being optioned for TV or even a movie. But yeah, as the naturally critical person that I am, I almost always end up absolutely hating what they did to my poor fictional friends. Here are some of the worst book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen. 


 
vampire-academy-posterVampire Academy: Blood Sisters [2014]
(based on VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead)
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky

I do love the idea behind all this and on it's own it's a great and entertaining film - BUT HAVE YOU READ THE BOOKS? The movie is a teen comedy whereas the novels are dramatic, full of angst, and indeed sometimes hilarious. 
I wish they hadn't focused on the hilarity part. The movie is a try-hard slapstick comedy that's really okay, but nothing like the book. They did follow the plot sort-of-closely, but the outcome is just nothing but a teen flick. It's not a bad film, but it's a godawful book-to-movie adaptation. 

The main couple, Rose and Dimitri, Romitri - they have maybe 2 scenes together before they confess their undying love to each other. Why, just why? At least the casting was alright.

City_of_bones_poster
City of Bones [2013]
(based on CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare)
Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Lena Headey

For fans of the book, this adaptation was like a slap in the face. Starting with terrible casting and two lead actors who have the chemistry of two wet noodles, it just wasn't meant to be. 

The book is insanely complicated and trying to cram this into a decent length novel was just bound to end in failure. Even more so, because whoever wrote this catastrophic script decided to spoil story lines from the sequels along the way. Simply because they could. Ugh. 


The-Host-Movie-Poster-LargeThe Host [2013]
(based on THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer) 
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Krüger

I absolutely loved the book but I hated the movie. There was so much unintentional situational comedy in this that I couldn't help but cringe the entire time. The book has a special atmosphere to it and is really a unique read, but in the movie everything was just a mess. 

No chemistry, catastrophical casting and more of a love story than a sci-fi book exploring the unique bond between an alien and a human, forced to share a body. 

Hollywood was like: "HEY there's a love triangle let's just cast two hot hunks and the script will write itself!!"


6a00e55007a31488340105368f2b56970bInkheart [2008]
(based on INKHEART by Cornelia Funke)
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Bennett, Paul Bettany

I think we can all just universally agree that this is the most epic fail of book-to-movie adaptations within the last few years. INKHEART was one of my favorites growing up and I don't even want to get started listing all the things that is wrong with this because it's just too painful to remember. 
But hey, at least they got Brendan Fraser to play Mo, Funke actually wrote the part for him, so that's nice. Thank god there won't be any movie sequels in the near future of this atrocity. 



large_cskYMkrtf7F8IpceWicxQdBkTT5The Princess Diaries [2001]
(based on THE PRINCESS DIARIES by Meg Cabot)
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Mandy Moore

The biggest and most awful epic fail in terms of book-to-movie adaptation to me. Hear me out - THE PRINCESS DIARIES is my favorite book forever and always. If you've actually read it, you do know that pretty girl Anna Hathaway has absolutely nothing in common with Mia Thermopolis. 

Of course the movie on its own is entertaining and even good, but if you know the insanely good book, the hilarity of Mia, the wonderful creepiness of her Grandmère and the brilliance of her father's terrible awkwardness, you would think the same way. With the movie I got cheated out of almost all the things I loved about the book. 

With the movie, we got a mediocre easily forgettable hollywood romcom that could have been so much more. The book is not about romance, it's so not just the journey of an ugly duckling becoming a swan. I'm just insanely frustrated with this.  


What do you think is the worst book-to-movie adaptation of all time?

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book Characters That Everyone Loves But I Don't "Get" | Top 10 Tuesday






I am so sorry for half of my answers here. Unfortunately liking book characters is just as subjective as liking books!

10. Akiva 
from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor
I would even go as far as to say that I don't only dislike this guy or "don't get" him, I'll even say that he ruined the book for me. If he wouldn't exist, I would have loved it. BOOM

9. Richard Campbell "Gansey" III. 
from THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
Honestly? I don't know what's so interesting about him. I found him annoying and pretentious (which is exactly what he's known for and why people like him??? I don't know)

8. Annabeth Chase 
from PERCY JACKSON by Rick Riordan
I am SORRY but she's so... non-existent to me. Was she even in the books? Literally zero personality. I am SO SORRY

7. Étienne St. Clair 
from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
When I think of Étienne, I feel nothing. First time ever that a romance novel that literally doesn't have any other plot than the romance had me shrugging at the love interest. Étienne who?

6. Adrian Ivashkov 
from VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead
He's so annoying, so pushy, such a bad side character to set off a love triangle. It's a shame, really.

5. Augustus Waters 
from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
I am NOT a John Green person. Jesus, this kid was annoying.

4. Severus Snape 
from HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling
The good old debate. Either you love him or you hate him.

3. Isabelle Lightwood 
from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Yeah, she fights in heels, we get it. I don't really get why she's universally acknowledged as the Feminist Hero™ of YA at all.

2. Kaz Brekker 
from SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
Gosh, such a conceited, annoying wanna-be bad boy. I can't. He gets half his lines from fortune cookies I bet.




 1. Aaron Warner 
from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

Well. I am not a fan of problematic bad boys with a tragic backstory that reveals they had a heart of gold after all. Abuse is abuse. Sorry, Warner.





Which characters that everyone loves don't you like?


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

[Short Story Review] Homecoming (VA #6.5) - Richelle Mead (from: Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)

What?! There's a seventh book in the series?! Yes, exactly my thought. Sadly, it isn't a full book, just a short story to be found in "Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction", which is basically an anthology including works of pretty much all popular YA Paranormal Romance writers there are right now.

In HOMECOMING, Rose and Dimitri travel back to Russia to go see his family and deliver the news that Dimitri is alive after all.

I loved meeting Olena, Victoria, Sonya and Karolina again, because I feared that they were only a plot device in BLOOD PROMISE. While I do understand how this couldn't make it into the official series, I'm kind of sad that Mead didn't decide to release a stand-alone novel. 

Back to Russia!

The Belikov family's reaction to Dimitri coming home wasn't as dramatic as I had expected. Even though Mead made them all tear up and hug him, there was just the certain spark missing. No emotion in her words. It all seemed just like she hastily wrote it down to get it over with. Mead is an excellent writer, but she's not so great with big emotions, which are essential to this plot line. Making Dimitri's grandmother Yeva an all-knowing super-witch was really unnecessary and frankly, it annoyed me a bit. It's very easy for authors to insert omniscient characters, but making them believable is a completely different thing. It doesn't make any sense why she would withhold the knowledge that's needed for her to get her grandson back as fast as possible. Yes, you might argue that she knew Rose could do it on her own, but still...?! No. I'm disappointed at how little "on-screen" time the Belikov family got in the first place.

The title suggests that this is about the Belikovs. I was looking forward to cure childhood flashbacks, lots of dialogue and maybe even a chastising for Victoria from her big brother for her Moroi shenanigans. I didn't get either of it, it's all just way to fast-paced. The characters don't have time to breathe, and what's even worse is that Mead tried to cram as many people into the story, only to have them mentioned at least once, even if their appearance didn't mean anything.

Halfheartedly Written Plot

The plot around the Blood King is flat out ridiculous. Starting with the cryptic prophecies that Dimitri's grandmother Yeva makes and ending with an Alchemist looking for help to kill a single Strigoi. Because Mead wrapped up the supposed-to-be tearful and emotional reunion in about five pages, there's nothing more to tell and she had to make up a new plot line.

Because this is a short story, I definitely have to make a note about whether you're able to understand this without having read the Vampire Academy Series. If you've read my reviews to any of the books in the series, you know that I got quite annoyed at Mead always taking up at least a chapter for summarizing what happened so far. When you're reading the entire series in a month, it may be annoying, but if some time has actually passed, this is a great idea. Mead does this again in "Homecoming" and paraphrases everything from Moroi magic to the three vampire types and their dangers.
Still, I don't think this story would appeal to anyone who has no idea what Vampire Academy is. The story is about Rose and Dimitri and filled with little nods to their relationship throughout the course of the novels. For passionate fans, it's just... d'aww. For people who have no idea who these two idiots are and why they're so grossly in love- why would you care? It's understandable in terms of plot lines, but the Romitri relationship is probably not portrayed in a way that could make someone fall in love with them who has no idea who they are. As a short story, it definitely failed.



Rating:

☆☆

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I don't really understand what "Homecoming" has to do with the topic of the anthology. Absolutely nothing, I guess. It just seems like a way to get her established audience to buy the anthology. If you look at reviews of it on Goodreads for example, every second review says I just bought this for Homecoming. And for that, it  isn't that much of a great story.

If you're a super fan like me, you obviously won't care, but looking at it realistically, this is just a remnant from the first draft of LAST SACRIFICE. To me, it is not a must-read.


Have you read HOMECOMING?


Continue Reading...

Monday, March 2, 2015

[Review] Spirit Bound (VA #5) - Richelle Mead


In SPIRIT BOUND, Rose is back at St.Vladimir's Academy after her quest in Russia. Having failed to kill her newly turned Strigoi lover Dimitri, she just wants to graduate now and focus on her own life.
I must say that this is definitely my last chance for Mead to turn it all around. I wasn't a fan of  BLOOD PROMISE, the fourth novel, especially because she decided to flip the setting. I'm happy that we're back at St. Vladimir's now and getting back to all the familiar characters instead of those annoying filler people in Russia. 

You don't have to read the fourth to understand the fifth. All the characters that were introduced don't really matter and it didn't do anything for Rose's character. What Rose did in Russia is merely just briefly mentioned and nobody actually cares.

Just another filler story...

As a fan of Dimitri and Rose as a couple it pains me to say this, but at this point I just wish Mead had killed Dimitri off for good in the last novel. I'm sick of that storyline, I just want Rose to focus on herself and becoming a guardian and just let it go. Though Mead made the whole hesitation thing believable and all, it's hard to believe that she actually staked the man and he still survived. Somebody's attached to her characters, eh?

I'm not going to sugarcoat it- I really skimmed a lot of it. Since SHADOW KISS (#3) the series has really started to drag. Things that are said to be impossible suddenly work and are used for another super innovative storyline, and seriously, I can't even tell you in a few sentences what happened in the last novel anymore because everything just seems so irrelevant.You can just tell that Mead is trying to fill pages and beat around the bush up until she's reached that typical point about 80% in where she finally tells the story she meant to tell in the first place.


Really lazy writing and too little stakes

As terrible as the non-existant plot is, the character development in SPIRIT BOUND is just amazing. I loved that Dimitri got a chance to grow as a person and I also loved how Rose dealt with adult life and realized that it isn't all fun and games just like she had imagined back when she was still at St. Vladimir. A major major major thing that bothered me insanely though is Adrian's and Rose's relationship. Seriously. Rose made it clear from FROSTBITE (#2) on that she doesn't and never will like Adrian romantically. Starting the novel off with them together just seems like a lazy way of starting a weird love triangle off.

Talk about things that were dealt with poorly: if you're going to have a lot of casualties and risky battles in your novel, make them matter and don't exclusively kill people you just introduced. The world of the Vampire Academy Series is dangerous, we all get it. There's lot of battles, many occasions where guardians have their life at stake (get it)- but the way Mead deals with it, it's not really believable. Her characters, even main characters are sent into battle all the time, but in the end the only casualties we have are people that remain nameless. At least give the main characters some injuries! It's just bad writing to me to only kill off unimportant people. The battles lose meaning.

Rating:

★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

No. After BLOOD PROMISE another very weak novel. I only hang on because I'm desperately hooked on the characters. At this point I'm only here for Dimitri, Tasha and Adrian. Just stop at FROSTBITE and get somebody to tell you what happens. It's not worth the time and frustration.

Additional Info

Published: May 18th 2010
Pages: 479
Genre: YA/  Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires

Synopsis:
"Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever."

Have you read the series or are planning to?

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Monday, February 23, 2015

[Review] Blood Promise (VA #4) - Richelle Mead

In BLOOD PROMISE, Rose Hathaway has dropped out of St. Vladimir's Academy to find Dimitri and hunt him down. After the events of SHADOW KISS, he has turned into an evil Strigoi. Just like she promised him before the battle, she is now off to kill him, because he told her that he wouldn't want to continue life as a Strigoi and would rather be dead. In order to fulfill his dying wish and find him, Rose has to go to Siberia, his home country. 

What intrigued me: I read the first three books. I'm trapped. 
 Interesting Change of Scenery

To me, this novel is definitely entirely different from the previous Vampire Academy novels. Due to it not taking place at St.Vladimir's anymore, the vibe is slightly darker. There's no high school drama as in FROSTBITE and instead of focusing on rivalries 24/7, everyone seems to be preparing for upcoming, possible battles. Because Rose has separated from the familiar scenes, the side characters get very little screen time and are replaced by new Russian acquaintances that she meets on her travels. While I do not really like that Mead decided to simply replace everyone, I understand that with this setting it's hardly possible to keep track of the old characters. For the first time in the series though the bond between Lissa and Rose is now finally useful (at least for the author) to give us at least a bit of information on what's happening back in the US. Clever move, also including the dreamwalking thing that fellow spirit user Adrian does, I have to give that to Mead. 

However, BLOOD PROMISE is solely about Dimitri and Rose. If Rose hasn't been your favorite character before, she certainly won't rise to becoming that now. If you're interested in the two as a couple and Dimitri's family history, you're certainly going to LOVE this. If you've been a fan of other characters in the series, you're most likely going to hate this one. I think it's sad that Mead decided to make such a harsh cut and basically throw in twenty new characters at once that are hardly able to catch the reader's attention as much as those that you've read about since book one. Sydney, who's an alchemist, whose only purpose is to get rid of the dead Strigoi bodies Dhampirs leave around in human territory, is a textbook filler character. I couldn't really sympathize with her, neither was I particularly interested in Dimitri's 34278937 sisters and family members. 

...Wait There Is a Point in This?

Rose's tendency to waste time and go into the whole situation without a plan causes to BLOOD PROMISE to drag extremely. 
When she finally meets Dimitri I was overwhelmed by how out-of-character they both acted. Given that Dimitri is undead now, I was okay with that, not exactly thrilled, but okay. But Rose instantly became such an annoying, whiny, weak and just imbecile character within ONE chapter break that I was actually shocked. I fully understand that Mead wants to put emphasis on the Strigoi being NOT human/moroi/dhampir anymore, but the way she chose to portray Strigoi Dimitri can only be summarized with one word: terrible. It might have as well been any other character, I saw nothing of him in his "awakened" new self and I actually got reminded of Franklin from the TV show True Blood. The situation was almost exactly the same and just as painfully frustrating to watch/read. I lost almost all motivation to continue the novel during Rose's stay at Galina's estate because it was so dull to read and doing nothing for the progression of the storyline. Also, the fact that she lets him take blood knowing what it had done to her previously with Lissa in VAMPIRE ACADEMY... I don't recall Rose ever being that naive. Maybe I was wrong. 

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?


The weakeast novel so far! I said that before about SHADOW KISS, but this is actually worse. Mainly because you can tell that Mead introduced new characters so that she has something to fill her thin plot with and then completely lost herself in giving all those characters a purpose and backstory.


Official Synopsis:
"Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters ... Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?"
 
Continue Reading...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

[Review] Shadow Kiss (VA #3) - Richelle Mead

In "Shadow Kiss", the third novel in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, everything is pain and everything hurts. This novel will lure you into thinking that everything's going to be alright, when it isn't and never will be. Everyone's issues are revealed and you're not going to want to finish this novel, fearing that it will get worse in terms of emotions. 

With Mason dying in "Frostbite", the tragedy only just started- seriously. Starting with his death Rose's connection to Lissa as a shadow-kissed is finally proving to be useful, and I actually think that Mead did a great job at incorporating it smoothely into the storyline. "Shadow Kiss" is basically centered around the guardians and fighting off Strigoi. Rose and the other novices are doing the so-called field experience now, which simulates the life they're going to have when they graduate and are assigned to their moroi. The older guardians are pretendending to be attackers and they have to fight them off. Well, unlucky for the novices the real life experience comes right after that.
Initially I got pretty annoyed with the storyline being centered around strigoi again. I vividly remember that time Dimitri put his hair up for the first time and Rose got SO impressed by him having five molnija marks for having killed five strigoi. Funny, how he's considered such a respectable character in the guardian world, yet has only killed five. It's hard to believe that little novice Rose Hathaway killed two Strigoi in "Frostbite" and a bunch of others in "Shadow Kiss" then. While I do love her as a character, I think she really is a Mary Sue. She can do everything, she can fight everyone and when she can't, it's due to her shadow-kiss situation, but not because Rose Hathaway can't manage to do something once. I don't know, it's not like she's becoming a more unlikeable character throughout the series, but I think that the credit she gets and the fights she is involved in, are solved way to easily on her side. She never has sacrifices to make and is almost never really hurt in battle, while experienced guardians die like flies.

I would have wished the novel to dive a little bit deeper into exploring spirit magic and have less action scenes. Mead crammed all the interesting stuff (the big battle) into the end, causing the novel to drag extremely. I found myself putting it aside for days at a time, because I was so bored with everything. The characters didn't really get to me either, because I felt like Mead rushed their relationships. Starting with Dimitri and Rose, I was actually shocked when he said I love you for the first time to her and it wasn't even addressed in the novel. Casual saturday, the dude you've been loving for ages tells you he loves you and you're like "ha, lol, same." Dimitri and Rose are probably the only couple in literature that manage to seem instant-love-y after three books, still. Not that I don't love them together, but, seriously? They went from 0.5 to 100 within fifty pages of "Shadow Kiss" and I didn't even know whether to shake my head or just start lauging.
Mead is truly the master of dragging storylines around and feeding youw ith unimportant, boring stuff as filler material for the middle and then hitting you like a train with a massive cliffhanger ending that leaves you HAVING to continue. I have to give her credit for that.

Overall: Do I Recommend?

As a standalone, it would be a very weak novel. The middle drags extremely, but the resolutions of previous storylines are both smart and logical. It made me want to smack my head on something for not thinking about them myself. I hope that it will remain the only weak novel of the series. So yes, I recommend.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Official Synopsis:
" It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most."




Continue Reading...

Friday, January 23, 2015

[Review] Frostbite (VA #2) - Richelle Mead


In FROSTBITE, Rose and Lissa are forced to go on a mandatory skiing trip when Strigoi attacks are happening all over the state and close to St. Vladimir. 

Pleasant Surprise!

I was very excited for this novel mainly because I fell in love with every single character in the first novel. Since it's common knowledge that the second book in a series is always not so great, I was prepared for the worst, and therefore pleasantly surprised when I finished this. FROSTBITE is a little off with the pacing and the middle is quite slow, but it's overall not that bad and makes me want to continue the series still, which is a major achievement because I have serious series-commitment issues.

I loved that the book is centered around the Strigoi, the "bad" kind of vampires that just wants to feed and kill. I really like that the series went for the dark path while still keeping the charm and flirty aspects that I loved about VAMPIRE ACADEMY. FROSTBITE has a very strong focus on character relations, which is probably the reason why the plot suffers so much during certain parts. This novel is the novel of new romance, everyone's falling in or out of love and every character goes through major development.

Extraordinary New Characters

Since the first novel, Rose has a giant crush on her instructor Dimitri, but he thinks that it's pretty inappropriate, given the fact that she's 17 and he's 24. In FROSTBITE we meet Tasha Ozera, Christian's aunt, which is a big, big reason for Rose to get even, because she isn't only stunning, she's ready to get some of Dimitri. That's already where my dislike of her starts. I can imagine that I'm not the only who's frowning at the thought of Tasha, but Mead solves this cleverly by making Tasha such a likeable and smart character that you just feel bad for not liking her. 

The biggest appeal about this series has always been the characters and I'm happy that Mead decided to focus on them a lot and give them space to develop in this. It's just a mystery to me how she makes even side characters so lively and real without a whole lot of description. With Adrian Ivashkov we have another awesome character that I hope we'll see a lot in the future. 

I was also very excited to finally meet Janine, Rose's mother. There's a lot of tension between the two and I think it's just amazing how Mead manages to mirrors Rose's behavior exactly in the way she writes Janine. 




Rating: ★★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you've read the first one, might as well continue. It's really not a bad read and exceptionally good for a second novel. On it's own though, this probably wouldn't have made me want to read a sequel. 


Synopsis:
"It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians--including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to- hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks.... This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price..."

Continue Reading...

Friday, December 12, 2014

[Review] Vampire Academy (#1) - Richelle Mead: I Smell a New OTP

In VAMPIRE ACADEMY, two vampires in training are forced to go back to school after dramatically taking off.

There they aren't as perfectly sheltered as their teachers assure them they will be - mainly because one of them is the last heir of a royal vampire family and also has a lot of special gifts that everyone is eager to use for their own benefits.

What intrigued me: After seeing the movie and falling in love with each and every character, picking up the novel was just the right thing to do. 

My new favorite characters!

However, the book is just as good as the movie, probably even a little better. Starting with the badass protagonist Rose Hathaway, who's just about the coolest main character I've ever read about.
What I love most about Rose is that she's just all the elements of what could be a Mary Sue combined, but yet she is very far from being that. She's beautiful, she knows it and she doesn't waste any time to let everyone know that she knows how to use her god-given gifts.

Lissa on the other hand, her full-blood vampire best friend, just drives me up the walls. I love that Mead put in mental illness in an actually believable context but I just didn't get Lissa as a character. Due to the novel being told mainly from Rose's point of view aside from a few shifts in perspective, it's rather difficult to get to know Lissa. 

Every YA paranormal novel needs a romance subplot. And boy, do we get it. Enter Dmitri, 24-year-old long-haired hot mess vampire guardian, assigned to be Rose's teacher in all things vampire hunting. It's always difficult to write a teacher/pupil-sort-of relationship without making it creepy, inappropriate or just flat out tasteless. There is nothing actually happening between these two but the tension is in-flipping-sane. I can't wait to find out what will happen in the next novel and if these two finally (FINALLY) get together.

Missing action?

We do have plot twists and plot, but I don't feel like the action had any rollercoaster-y tension going on. Weren't the characters so brilliant and the way she combined magic and vampires without overdoing the clichés, I probably would have had difficulties finishing this. Although I have to say that I didn't see the plot twist coming. I had at no point the notion that something great was going to happen, and I didn't anticipate the ending for the plot resolutions. More for the resolution whether Dmitri and Rose would finally hit it off (oops). 

The biggest problem in my opinion is the point of view. Rose is a great and interesting character with an entertaining character voice, but the story demands some passages to be told from another person's perspective. Yes, using the bond between Rose and Lissa to justify shifts may be nice and a smart solution, but still it's quite distracting and I think that the novel would have worked better, had Lissa been the main character. 

Overall: Do I Recommend?


This novel may seem to people that haven't had any contact with it before like another attempt at beating the dead horse, but I think that it's something refreshingly new. It's not Hogwarts meets Twilight. More of a ... Addams Family meets True Blood. With exactly the same amount of blood. 

It's definitely a novel that revolves around sensitive topics (especially mental illness) and that's why I would recommend it. The novel explores it without being too much in-your-face and while still remaining an average YA read. I like it. You should read it.


Rating:

★★★★


Official Synopsis:
"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. "


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