Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Rose Hathaway is a dhampir in training. Dhampir's go on to become guardians to vampires and Rose's goal is to become the guardian of her best friend Lissa Dragomir, a vampire princess. Rose and Lissa share a special bond in which Rose feels everything Lissa does and at times can also see what Lissa sees. Rose and Lissa had run away from St.Vladimir Academy due to unknown dangers but now they've been brought back. As Rose's punishment, she is banned from all social activity and must train with Dimitri Belikov, Lissa's new guardian, in order to get caught up in her training. Rose and Lissa soon discover that the danger they'd been running from is still presents. Secrets are unveiled. Romance is kindled . And so, one of the best series I've ever started begins.
I've seen Vampire Academy books around many times and not once have I been interested in reading any of them. Well, until now I guess. First of all, the name was a huge turn off. I'm not that into fantasy novels and especially not vampire novels. The only vampire novels I've ever read is the Twilight Series and even that I started reading after a lot of hesitation. Secondly, look at the cover. It's not that appealing to my eyes so I probably skimmed right over it. I know, I know. You're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover and all that but when you're in the bookstore you have to have someway of filtering the hundreds of book on the shelf in front of you, right? Who has the time to read the back/inside cover of each and every one? I sure don't. My filter is covers. Books that have covers like any of Sarah Dessen novels will get a chance while all the rest are ignored (for the most part).
This book was, of course, ignored, but I realized that there must be some reason that so many people are reading it and liking it. So I went and read the synopsis and realized it was more modern vampire than old school vampire novel. (I guess I was picturing something Dracula-esque or Middle Ages, or something) Also, in the synopsis it said something about "forbidden romance" and that definitely caught my attention. So I had to give it a try.
I'm rambling. I know. I'm getting to the point now.
I LOVED it! Seriously, it's one of the best books I've ever read. The narration was amazing. There was an easy flow to it and the story was relatively fast paced. There was always something going on and it was always entertaining. There was romance, as guaranteed, but not too much. I guess that's being saved for the rest of the books in the series. There was humor. I'm talking actual laugh out loud moments. There were great quotes, funny and sweet. And the best part of the whole book was Rose. She is the main character and the POV and she was amazing! She might actually be my favorite character ever. She's tough and has an attitude. I love her attitude. She has witty comebacks for everything and she knows how to tell someone off. I loved Rose.
This book could have easily been a stand alone. Generally, in the first book of a series there's a lot of introducing of characters, setting up plot and basically, laying the foundation onto which the rest of the series can build on. This book has all of that but it executes it in a way that you don't realize that that is what's happening. Generally first books of a series are slow(er) but this one wasn't. With first books, there's almost always a dull beginning(compared to the rest) where a ton of explaining is going on and the story doesn't really even start till half way through. That is not the case with Vampire Academy. If this was the dull beginning then I can't even imagine how great the rest of the books are going to be.
I can't wait to read the next one and the one after and the one after, etc. I can't wait to find out what's going to happen next and to see what's up with that forbidden romance. I didn't even want to read the synopsis for the second book, Frostbite, cause I wanted the whole thing to be a surprise. (Though I did read the first line D: )
P.S. Can you believe that the girl on the cover is a drawing and not a photograph!?