"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."-Vampire Academy Website.
I was a little nervous to read this book because it is the first book I decided to read for my "Banned Books Year." So I didn't really know what I was in store for. This seems to be one of the more controversial series that has been banned simply for the fact that books in the series were banned before even being available to the public. Which technically means it was banned in the future...before it was ever read or reviewed. That seems very extreme. Vampire Academy was banned for "sexual content and nudity" by a school district in Stephenville, TX. It was kept PG-13 and it is a YA book, which in my mind is rating it at least PG-13. I'm more surprised that the language was not brought up in the banning reasons. I think if they want to ban books like this because these parents don't want their kids to read it then they should ban movies with this kind of content from theatres or movie stores. They can get the books from somewhere, just like they can sneak into movies. And instead of trying to hide what is in these books, the parents should step up and actually talk about it. Tell your kids why you don't want them reading it, open up the communication, and pay attention to what they are reading in watching if you have that big of a problem with it.
Now, onto the review. First off, I want to state that I don't like the cover. It looks like Angelina Jolie and I don't like her...so I was almost turned off from this read because of that.
I was a little bit 'meh' for the first 5-ish chapters. Richelle Mead kept soooo much stuff secret and it didn't really feel like anything in the story was unfolding. Then finally around chapter 7 or 8 it slowly started to open a little and you were let in more of what was supposed to be going on.
Rose always talks about how the biggest thing in her life is protecting Lissa...but I always got the feeling she liked doing her own thing more. She is a HUGE flirt and likes to mess around with random guys at their school. It's not until her mentor, Dimitri, points out she is being selfish in the way she acts. Then of course she gets a Dimitri crush. But the hopeless romantic in me can't wait to see what happens to Rose and Dimitri and if they ever get together or not. It is a pretty good start to the series though, so I'm looking forward to the next one to see where the story gets taken and to see what made that one get banned.