All YA Love: Why is the Vampire Academy so amazing?

Filed in Richelle Mead , The Latin Lover Posted on December 8, 2010 @ 1:30 pm 8 comments

 

If you ask anyone who has read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead  if they liked it, I would bet that you will end up with quite an impassioned and enthusiastic presentation on how much they LOVED it, what a fantastic series it is, how exciting and thrilling the story is and that they cannot wait to get the next book finally in their hands.
If you haven’t read this series you might wonder what all the fuss is about. It’s just another YA series about vampires and high school romance, right? Well no. The Vampire Academy series is so much more than that. And you want to know what sets it apart from the other YA vampire books and makes it so outstanding and exceptional? Well read on, I’m about to tell you.
1) For me it is the emotional depth and intensity that makes this series truly outstanding. Richelle Mead is not afraid to take her characters and readers down dark and scary roads and make them experience pain, loss, heartbreak and sorrow. And due to this, the joy and relief gets more enhanced. I love that while reading this series I’m taken on a completely overwhelming emotional rollercoaster and that after finishing the book I feel like my insides have been jumbled up the story shook me that much. Maybe you’ll say I’m a masochist, but I like my books to make me feel things, and these certainly do that!
2) The snarky humour! Not only is the heroine a very refreshing, sarcastic and snarky narrator, but there are a bunch of supporting characters (Christian, Adrian) who also ensure that the stories are infused with just the right amount of lightness and humour to alleviate all the gloominess.
3) The passion. Maybe this is included in reason 1), but I wanted to stress this one. Passion is all around these novels: Rose is passionate about protecting Lissa and for this becoming the best guardian, the love they share with Dimitri is the definition of passionate (even if or especially because they have to repress it for so long), Moroi and Dhampirs are passionate about protecting their world at all costs against the Strigoi and I could go on. Passion plays a crucial role in all interactions and facets of these stories, and that’s what makes this series and universe such a vibrant and live one.
4) Amazing, step-off-the-page characters. I have to first mention the truly fantastic heroine/narrator: Rose: she is interesting and original. She has the required spunk and snarkiness making her an independent and entertaining character. Then of course there are the heroes: Dimitri and Adrian. You couldn’t find two more different men: Dimitri is all responisble, quietly intense and serious while Adrian is casual and laid-back, his devil-may-care attitude is in sharp contrast with Dimitri’s responsible attitude but his funny pursuit of Rose and his selflessness when iot comes to her makes him an ideal hero too. And all the other characters, even the minor supporting ones are well developed and not just shells or sterotypes. Each one them is special and unique, and has their own quirks and character traits (Mason and Christian are my favourite, Christian’s snarky and dry humour sets him apart and makes him one of the fabourite supporting characters).
5) Mature voice of the YA narrator. I’m not a big fan of YA novels because of bad past experience: as a 26 year old reader I don’t enjoy reading about immature, whining, drama queen teenagers who make hissy fits about life unfairness and the excessive teenage angst. So I was very pleasantly surprised when reading the Vampire Academy series, because not only is Rose a more mature heroine than her 17 years would make you believe, but Richelle Mead’s writing is complex, at times lyrical but always of great quality, and you don’t feel that just because it is a YA novel and written for teenagers the writing has been toned done and simplified.
These are just a few reasons that set the Vampire Academy series apart from the other YA vampire novels for me. And you dear readers, those who have read the VA series, in your opinion why is it an exceptional series? For you what sets it apart?

 

About Stella


Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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8 Comments

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  • Avery December 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    This is a great post and it does sum up every reason why I love this series…
    I think that it will help sway a lot of people who are on the fence about reading the series to actually go out and grab a copy.
    I'd love to hear your opinions on "The Last Sacrifice"!

    Avery

  • Jackie December 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I haven't read ANY of the VA series but after seeing all the great feedback on Twitter ot Goodreads, I know I need to! And soon…

    Great post 🙂

  • Kristie Cook December 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Okay, you've convinced me to give it a try. I read a few pages of the first book a couple years ago and thought, "Twilight meets Harry Potter." Meh. I have heard a lot about it, but still thought it "just another YA fad." Thank you for sharing some real (and good) reasons for loving it. Now I feel like it would be worth the time. I hear they're all addicting and quick to get through, so I'll get all caught up over Christmas break. 🙂

  • Blodeuedd December 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    For me it was just ok, mostly cos I was so irritated by Rose in book 1 and 2, I think it got better by book 3. But she was just such a immature idiotic kid

  • Mariya December 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    There is no way to perfectly describe the VAmpire Academy series. It is just so amazing. I love the romance, action, friendsship, drama, suspense…and the list can go and on.

    I love how Mead is able to create characters that you love and are crazy about and how is makes me conflicted between the two lover interests, Adrian and Dimitri. It is so hard to choose between those two. But I feel like Dimitri and Rose should end up together, b/c the belong with each other.

    But with every book she has the best endings and things happen in these books that just surprise you, Mead just keeps you on the edge of your seat. =D

  • Sullivan McPig December 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I read the first book and wasn't impressed. I didn't like the impossible love angle between Rose and Dimitri and the story wasn't all that captivating either.
    Now that I read there's a love triangle in later books I'm more than glad I dropped out. I'm kind of fed up with all those (YA) love triangles I must confess.

  • Stella (Ex Libris) December 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    @Avery: can't wait to get my hands on last Sacrifice and read it! 😀

    @Kristie: Just a warning start reading this series when you have time and the next book is available, or else you'll suffer 😉 I confess that I found book 1 ok, book 2 a bit disappointing (due to some character faults), but from book 3 this series certainly sprang up both in quality and originality. So bear with it, weather the first 2 books, and you'll be in for a treat (and that's just my opinion, some people really loved book 2, so who knows maybe you'll enjoy the series even earlier than I did ;-p)

    @blodeudd: I agree with you, I especially didn't like book 2, found it frustrating and irritating (again not because of the writing or due to the plot but due to some character faults), but from book 3 the series became a whole different level! From book 3 it became original and mkore mature, they had bigger problems and issues than high school day to day life. So if you decide to pick up the series again, tell yourself the "hard part" is already behind you, from there it will only get better 🙂

    @Sully: I agree, the first 2 books are not really what sets this series apart (and I especially disliked quite a few things in Frostbite), but from book 3 the story becomes so much more intense and exciting!

    And though people do tend to refer at the Dimitri/Rose/Adrian pairings as a love triangle, me I wouldn't categorize it like that. Those two relationships are both worthy of supporta nd have their own right to exist, and what I find the most surprising is that people are not that divided: even if they are Dimitri supporter they still like Adrian, and vice versa.

  • Vampire Book Club December 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Stella — I love that you caved to read VA. (Hey, I promised you'd love it.) And you list above covers the reasons I so often tell other adult readers to pick up this YA series.

    You have genuine characters, deep conflicts, emotional intensity and above all it feels real.

    Richelle Mead's other series have similar attributes, but what's nice is she doesn't allow the fact that VA is a YA series inhibit her writing. She's vivid and edgy and the woman knows how to write a "throw the book" scene.

    – Chelsea / Vampire Book Club

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