Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Series Review)

GoodReads Summary:
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Review:
I loved Vampire Academy just as much as I did the first time I read it. I love everything about it. I love the vampire lore, the characters, literally everything. I know this isn’t a perfect book. But it’s nostalgic and it’s perfect.
I love Rose. She’s kickass, loyal as hell, and doesn’t take anyone’s shit. I love how much she loves Lissa. I also really enjoyed the fact that she learned she was wrong, accepted it, and tried to make amends for it. Rose is just one of my favorite fierce females.
Lissa was more complex. She’s got some serious issues, and Rose is the only reason she gets through them. I don’t know why I’d completely forgotten about the self-harming aspect of this story, but it’s there and it really showed the severity of Lissa’s issues.
Then there’s my favorite, Dimitri. My favorite book boyfriend. I love him. He’s strong and powerful, plus really hot. I love that he looked out for and mentors Rose.
Overall, this is still one of my favorite books. I’m interested to see how well the rest of the series holds up. I loved this first book, and I’m excited to continue on with the next.

But wait! There’s more! — So, I managed to finish the rest of the series on audiobook while I was on vacation and didn’t really have time to give a review for each book. So, I’m going to do a series review for the rest of the book. There are potential spoilers for all the books after the first one. So, if you’ve only read the first and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP HERE.

I love everything about this series. The second and third books, Frostbite and Shadowkiss, are my favorite and I honestly believe they could have ended Rose and Lissa’s story right there. Rose had so much incredible character development. She really grew into herself. But then book four comes around and her life goes to shit and she regresses. I understand that parts of that were Rose taking spirit’s effect from Lissa, but it just made me mad. I also absolutely HATED the fact that they made Dimitri a Strigoi. I understand the reasoning behind everything in books four, five, and six. But I just don’t know that it was needed. I think Richelle Mead could have made VA a trilogy and then had another trilogy with other characters. That’s complicated and probably over convoluted though. If that was the case, I’d probably be complaining that I hadn’t gotten enough of Rose and Lissa and the gang.
The gang was definitely my favorite part of this series. I loved Mason and he deserved better. I loved Eddie (and I’m still loving him in Bloodlines). I even adored Christian. I hated it when he and Lissa weren’t together. I adored Adrian as well. I love the bond they all form and how they become their own little family.
I really really didn’t like Rose and Adrian together. I felt like this was added just to have a love triangle. It wasn’t fair to Adrian for Rose to do him dirty the way she did. I really feel for the guy because everyone in the world (not really, like at all) knew that Rose and Dimitri were endgame. I just feel bad for him.
Overall, this is still an all-time favorite series of mine and I’m really glad it’s held up so well over the years.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Longest Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – longest books I’ve ever read.
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 Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

880 pages

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

870 pages

The Witness by Nora Roberts

757 pages

Night World # 3 by L.J. Smith

732 pages

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

720 pages

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

693 pages

Eona by Allison Goodman

637 pages

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

626 pages

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

598 pages

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

594 pages

What are the longest books you’ve ever read?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Authors to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – authors I’d love to meet.
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1. John Green – I’ve seen him on tour but didn’t actually get the chance to meet him face to face. I’m basically obsessed with him. I’ve seen all his youtube videos and own all his books, several copies of a few of them too.
2. Sarah J. Maas – ACOTAR is one of my favorite series and I definitely loved the Throne of Glass series too. I would love to meet the incredible writer that brought these amazing books into the world.
3. Leigh Bardugo – Again, I totally love all of the books she’s written. I have the special edition of Six of Crows preordered along with King of Scars. I’d love to meet her and fangirl a little.
4. Nora Roberts – Nora has been such a staple in my reading life that she totally deserves a place on this list.
5. Janet Evanovich – I would like to meet her even though I haven’t heard the best things about her interacting with her readers.
6. Cinda Williams Chima – I would love an autograph from her. Her stories are incredible and she’s totally tweeted at me before (yes I squealed.)
7. Cassandra Clare – I feel like I have to meet her just for all of the time I spent agonizing over TMI and waiting for each book to come out.
8. Richelle Mead – All I have to say is thank you for the Vampire Academy.
9. Stephanie Meyer – The fifteen-year-old in me is making me put this on the list.
10. Ellen Hopkins – The things I would do to see inside her creative mind. She’s such an incredible writer. I’d kill for even a quarter of her talent.

What authors would you like to meet the most?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Books on My Fall 2018 TBR.
top 10 tuesday
1. The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin – I’ve heard so many good things about these books. I bought them recently and I really want to get around to reading them.
2. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead – The third and final book in The Glittering Court series I’m excited to pick this one up and see where Tamsin’s story takes us.
3. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – I’m rereading all of Clare’s books before Queen of Air and Darkness comes out in December.
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – With all the bloggers that rant and rave about this book and the rest of the series I’m a little ashamed to say I haven’t read it yet. I have all of them but haven’t managed to pick them up for some reason.
5. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Another book that my fellow bloggers have brought to my attention. It’s sitting on my shelf begging me to pick it up.
6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I’m rereading this series since buying the final book, War Storm. Glass Sword is next up for this series.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m due for a reread of the series. I just had a baby so I think I’m going to read them out loud to my daughter, an attempt to make her a baby Potterhead.
8. The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas – I bought this book of novellas, finally. I’m not ready for the heartbreak it’s going to cause but it’s on the list.
9. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – Another book of novellas that I’m super excited to dive into.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Bookstagram led me to this series. I’ve heard mixed reviews but I really think I’m going to like it.

What books are on you TBR list for the upcoming season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so you and others can blog hop and share the character love.

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This weeks topic is Bam! The Opposite Sex (A character you’d like to read about but the opposite sex of what they identified within the original story!)

Amanda

I have two choices for this weeks topic. I just couldn’t decide between the two, but one option was a female main character and the other choice was a male main character so I thought it worked out well.

The first is from my favorite book, Looking for Alaska by John Green. Our main character, Miles Halter (also known as Pudge) goes off to boarding school where his whole life changes. He makes new friends and does things that he’d never done before, smoking cigarettes, pranking other students, drinking. He falls in love with a girl and learns a lot about himself, about love, and about life. I have always wondered how this story would be different or the same had the main character been a girl instead of Miles. I think I may write this story one day, but I wonder how Miles experience would differ from the boarding school experiences of a female.

The second choice I have for this topic is my favorite series, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. So I’d really love to read this series from Rhysands perspective, but that’s not really the question I’m being asked. I also think it would be so interesting and totally change the whole story had our main character, Feyre, been a male main character. This would be interesting because I think all the other roles would need to be reversed as well. So Rhysand would need to be a female and being a High Lord that might mean that all the other High Lords would be made female as well to have the story make sense. This role reversal would be excellent.

Antonia

Oh, man. All of them? I think gender-swaps are fascinating.

I think Bloodlines by Richelle Mead would be really cool if Adrian and Sydney’s roles were reversed. While they’re very complex, their personalities definitely fit with what you might typically expect as male and female. I’d love to see those stereotypes erased. Have a female vampire who’s kind of a player and a guy who’s a little neurotic and body-conscious.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Back to School

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – back to school/learning freebie. So for this, I’m going to choose my top ten favorite books that take place in or at a school. In no specific order here’s my top ten for this week.
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1. Looking for Alaska by John Green – A book that kickstarted my secret desire to go to a boarding school or live in a dorm of some sort (something I never got to do.) Even though this book 1000% broke my heart into a million pieces, I loved the unique experience these characters had living away from their parents, making friends and the adventures.
2. The Seven Realms & The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – Oden’s Ford, the school in these two series was a really interesting one. It trained everyone from all of the realms, warriors, wizards, and healers alike, regardless of the war going on around them. It’s a place of peace and learning in a tumultuous time.
3. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – Featuring a school that trains girls how to be upper-class ladies so that they may find husbands and work on developing the new world into a proper society.
4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – Another boarding school adventure. But this one is a murder mystery. Everything about this school intrigued me. They give their students the freedom to study what they want, for no cost at all.
5. The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest – This was a fantastic series that featured several different schools. Not always good at teaching their students and some of them were pretty twisted, but it made for a really good story.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – Am I even a real bookworm if I don’t have this book/series on this list?
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Good old St. Vlad’s.
8. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – This heartfelt story follows Laurel through her first year of high school where she’s trying to figure out who she is without her sister and what her place in this seemingly foreign world. I love this book very much.
9. Evernight by Claudia Gray – I’m putting this in here for a throwback. An oldie, but goodie. Evernight Academy was such a creative idea, a place for vampires to figure out how to really blend in with the rest of the world. I still think, years after reading this series, which was a great twist on the vampire craze.
10. First Year by Rachel E. Carter – With a choice of working a trade or attempting to earn an apprenticeship as a soldier, mage or knight Ryiah always dreamed of becoming a mage. This series follows her through her incredible journey during her schooling.

Here’s my top ten for this week’s school-related freebie topic. What books do you think I should have included in my list? Let me know your top ten in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.