Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
If you haven't read this series yet, don't worry, because I'm not going to talk about anything spoilery in this post.
One of the most interesting things about this series is the unique take on vampire mythology. In the Vampire Academy universe, there are two types of vampires: Moroi and Strigoi. Moroi are the good guys, and Strigoi are the bad guys. There are also dhampirs, who are basically half-human and half-vampire. Many dhampirs become guardians to Moroi, and their job is to protect the Moroi from the Strigoi. I think it's really cool that there are different kinds of vampires representing good and bad, so the series doesn't have to rely on other creatures (like werewolves) to be the bad guys, like a lot of other vampire series do. That means that this series focuses purely on vampires, with no distractions from various other creatures. ALL VAMPIRES, ALL THE TIME. It's true that I'm generally a big fan of vampire stories, so I guess I'm a bit biased, but I really enjoyed this unique take on vampires. In a culture saturated with vampire stories, Vampire Academy definitely stands out.
Another thing I love about this series is that it centers on the friendship between Rose and Lissa. I'd been craving a really good friendship story, so this series was perfect for me. I love stories about best friends, and for some reason I haven't found that many of them, so I always appreciate them when I do find them.
Also, this will probably come as no surprise to you guys, but I also love the romance. HOLY CRAP ROMITRI I CAN'T EVEN. At first I was like "who the hell is this Russian guy? why do all the VA fans love him so much?" but after reading like fifty pages of the first book I was like "I GET IT NOW OMG I LOVE HIM SO MUCH" so yes Dimitri is awesome and I love him. I thought my list of book boyfriends was pretty top-notch, and I never expected someone new to just waltz in and take over one of my top spots, but Dimitri totally surprised me. He's giving my favorite book boyfriends some serious competition. Also, you know, he's not just a swoony love interest. He also happens to be a really interesting and complex character. But that just makes him even more sexy GAHHHH I CAN'T HANDLE MY DIMITRI FEEEEELS.
When I first started reading this series, I expected it to be super fun in an almost guilty pleasure way. I thought I would fly through the books and enjoy them, but not get really emotionally attached. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED. Here is what happened:
The first book took me a while to get into and I found the vampire world a little confusing, but I ended up really enjoying the book.
The second book was awesome, and I flew through it in a day because it was just SO MUCH FUN to read. (Until that ending, man. WOAH.)
The third book was when things got interesting. This (my favorite of the series) made me fall in love with the series, and it's also when all the FEELS started taking over my life. It was at this point that the series became much more than a fun and addicting story. It became an obsession that started to take over my life, and I found that I had accidentally become totally and completely emotionally invested in the story and the characters. (THAT. ENDING.)
The fourth book was thrown at the wall a few times in frustration and I was really mad at myself for getting so emotionally invested in this series but OOPS NO TURNING BACK NOW. So there was some hair-pulling. And tears. But in a good way? Kind of? ALL THE FEELS.
The fifth book was simply amazing. It was way less frustrating than book four, so I could breathe normally and stuff while I was reading it, which was nice.
The sixth book was the best conclusion ever. It's my second favorite of the series, and everything about it was so perfect and wonderful. GAHHHH IT MADE ME SO HAPPY! :D
So, in conclusion, I LOVE THIS SERIES. It managed to take over my life, and I haven't been this obsessed with a series in a long time. I'm talking The Mortal Instruments level obsession, which, if you know me at all, you know is saying A LOT. After finishing this series, I suffered from withdrawal, and I found myself scouring the internet for really bad fanfiction. I KNOW, I KNOW. I HAVE A PROBLEM. (But at least I admit it! That has to count for something...right?)
Also, in case you don't know, the Vampire Academy movie is scheduled to be released on Valentine's Day, less than a month away! I already have a date (...with my eleven-year-old sister) to go see it on opening night. Based on the trailers I've seen, I think this movie adaptation is going to be awesome. It seems like it's going to focus on the comedic part of the series, instead of the serious stuff, which sounds really promising to me. With all the popular vampire stories lately, I don't think there's any room for another dark and serious vampire series. I think it's an awesome idea to treat it as more of a comedy/parody, and this movie has the potential to be the book-to-movie adaptation that finally gives me faith in book-to-movie adaptations again, after the City of Bones/Sea of Monsters disaster this summer. :P (Although, Catching Fire gave me a lot of faith because PERFECTION.) So I'm crossing my fingers for a good movie!
What about you guys? Have any of you read the Vampire Academy series? What did you think of it? Are you excited for the movie? Am I asking too many questions? Do you feel like you're being interrogated? Let me know in the comments below! (None of my IRL friends have read the books yet, so I have no one to fangirl with and I'm desperate for a good VA discussion.)