{BOOK CLUB} Vampire Academy

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, make 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 deep in the 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 on them forever...
The Modern Vampire World
I enjoyed this book although I did find that it drew some parallels with the House of Night series, particularly the setting of a school full of vampires all being trained for their future as vampire leaders with one special princess playing the main role within the story.

The highlight for me was the character Dimitri and watching his relationship with Rose grow as she grew. Watching Rose evolve and earn his respect, just as she learnt to respect him. 

I loved the way that Rose and Lissa's characters were basically Ying and Yang, it created interest, and after all aren't many of the best relationships in life just like that? Rose's approach to her love for her friend is powerful, it is not everyday that a friend would put their life and needs behind those of their friends and I found that to be very admirable. It was also fascinating watching them uncover the mystery behind Lissa's oddity. And I enjoyed watching Rose research and do out of character behaviours for the benefit of Lissa.

Watching Lissa and Christian's relationship unravel was also very fascinating, they definitely seemed better suited then Lissa and Aaron. Watching her realise that a relationship with someone who respects the person you are, for who you are not what you are would set her on the path to true love was fascinating, and inspiring.

I found the Mia character interesting, despite being a constant source of nastiness and rumours, especially the rumour about Rose and the two boys (Jesse and Ralf) and basically labelling her a blood whore. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her once the story came out as to why she had behaved the way she had.

So would I recommend this book... HELL YES!! In fact I'd recommend the rest of the series. The character of Dimitri is entirely dreaming and the most important reason for coming back for more! I will leave you with one of my favourite edits from the book...
Young Love
"All of a sudden, it occurred to me that he was still holding me down. The skin on his fingers was warm as he clutched my wrists. His face hovered inches from my own, and his legs and torso were actually pressing against mine. Some of his long brown hair hung around his face, and he appeared to be noticing me too, almost like he had that night in the lounge. And oh God, did he smell good. Breathing became difficult for me, and it had nothing to do with the workout or my lungs being crushed.
I would have given anything to be able to read his mind right then. Ever since that night in the lounge, I'd noticed him watching me with this same, studious expression. He never actually did it during the trainings themselves- those were business. But before and after, he would sometimes lighten up just a little, and I'd see him look at me in a way that was almost admiring. And sometimes, if I was really, really lucky, he'd smile at me. A real smile, too - not the dry one that accomponied the sarcasm we tossed around so often. I didn't want to admit it to anyone - not to Lissa, not even to myself - but some days, I lived for those smiles. They lit up his face "Gorgeous" no longer adequately described him.
Hoping to appear calm, I tried to think of something professional and guardian-related to say. Instead, I said, "So um... you got any other moves to show me?"
His lips twitched, and for a moment, I thought I was going to get one of those smiles. My heart leapt. Then, with visible effort, he pushed the smile back and once more became my tough-love mentor. He shifted off me, leaned back on his heels, and rose. "Come on. We should go."
I scrambled to my own feet and followed him out of the gym. He didn't look back as he walked, and I mentally kicked myself on the way back to my room.
I was crushing on my mentor. Crushing on my older mentor. I had to be out of my mind. He was seven years older than me. Old enough to be my... well, okay, nothing. But still older than me. Seven years was a lot. He'd been learning to write when I was born. When I'd been learning to write and throw books at my teachers, he'd probably been kissing girls. Probably lots of girls, considering how he looked. 
I so did not need this complication in my life right now."

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