I asked my followers on Instagram for vampire book recommendations and Vampire Academy was my only suggestion. I came into this series not knowing much about it and I was not prepared for the world I entered.
Alright I’m just going to say it. I think Vampire Academy would have flourished if set in college. Are these fighting words or do other readers agree?
Rose Hathaway and her best friend Lissa Dragomir dropped out of their academy, which specializes in educating vampires (Moira) and half vampires (Dhampirs) in favor of living a human life. But just as they’re beginning their senior year, the pair are caught by vampire guardians and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy.
But Rose and Lissa aren’t welcomed back at the Academy with open arms. Students begin rumors about Rose and Lissa, which are further exasperated when dead animals turn up in Lissa’s room. This takes a toll on Lissa’s mental health, and she finds solace in Christian, the school’s loner.
Meanwhile, Rose divides her time with protecting Lissa’s secrets and training to become her guardian once they graduate. But the more Rose trains, the more she becomes closer to her mentor Demetri and develops a crush.
But when Lissa gets kidnapped, it’s up to Rose and their special connection to track her down.
Truthfully, This novel was entertaining despite the teen angst and the desire for social acceptance. I did initially read Rosemary as bisexual simply because she was on her hot girl shit. Rose knew she was attractive with her tan skin and curves, and she used that to make out with as many hot guys as she wanted. She gets slut shamed for it but overall doesn’t care.
But when we first meet Rose, Lissa is sucking her blood, and Rose describes the sensation as euphoric, and it just came off as very sensual. But the novel firmly sets Rose as straight and Lissa as her bestie.
I also felt like this novel would have also worked great in a college setting.
For example, the students at the academy are learning subjects such as defense and Slavic history. Which could easily work in a college setting. Dhampirs like Rose will graduate and become guardians for other Moria vampires, and they also get to practice defending their peers before graduation. Which sounds very much like an internship to me.
Additionally, a college setting would make Demetri and Rose’s relationship slightly less gross. Rose is 17 and Demetri 24, he’s her mentor, and Rose develops a crush on him. Later on in the novel, they act on their feelings to each other which would be fine if Rose was a consenting adult.
Some high schoolers may think they’re hot for dating someone older than them, and I know it happens, but to continue this narrative in a novel meant for teens is dangerous. Let’s not romanticize that. Yes, this novel was published in 2007 but I’m not going to let the underage dating slide.
If the author had set this novel in college, Rose and Demetri’s romance would be weird because of their age gap and student teacher dynamic, but it wouldn’t be as alarming if they were both adults. Additionally, I don’t think the author needed to add their age gap as a forbidden element to their relationship when simply being together would have compromised their jobs as Lissa’s guardian.
Content warnings : self harm, depression, slut shaming, and student teacher relationship, and dubious consent
Overall, this book has problematic elements but it was an entertaining read so I’m going to continue the series.
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until next time I’ll be reading vampire books,
PS: When I first wrote this post I was very much into this series however I want to be truthful and confess after reading half of the fourth book I had to DNF (did not finish) the series. I will still post my reviews of the first three books but lets look at these posts as an escalation to my growing frustration with this series.
i read this many years ago when i was in high school, but i think VA set in college would’ve been great.
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I’ve actually never read this series, but I think you’re right that a college setting would have improved things. It feels really weird for the sort of antics I’ve seen in blurbs to be happening in a high school setting.
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Yes!! Even some of the high school pettiness and drama I think could easily been transplanted to a college setting
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