Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Copyright Date: 2007
Rose Hathaway and her best friend Lissa Dragomir are on the run from an unknown threat. When Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, they must face the disdain of their peers and avoid a mysterious enemy who makes thinly veiled threats towards Lissa. Lissa is a Moroi, a living vampire, and is part of a royal vampire family. Rose is her protector in training. Rose is a dhampir, half vampire and half human, which gives her a unique set of abilities. She is bonded with Lissa in a way that they do not understand, and she is very sensitive to Lissa’s needs and emotions. Both Rose and Lissa find themselves drawn into romantic entanglements as they struggle to make sense of the threats made against Lissa. It soon becomes clear that it is dangerous to stay at the academy, but it may be even more dangerous to live outside of it. Bloodthirsty undead vampires called Strigoi live just outside the safety of the walls, waiting to drain the blood from their living counterparts.
Although certainly not the best book I have read in the paranormal genre, it would definitely fall in the category of guilty pleasure reads. The character of Rose has a great deal of spunk and her flawed nature is endearing. Lissa’s character is more reserved and delicate, but she is also very likeable.
The romance between Rose and her trainer seems a bit inappropriate as he is notably older than her. Rose is still in high school and he is well into adulthood. The only comfort is his character seems aware of the taboo of their relationship and attempts to keep the relationship somewhat professional. I imagine that later in the series, likely when the character of Rose turns eighteen, they will eventually act upon their mutual attraction. In the meantime, the forbidden nature of their relationship lends it more excitement. Forbidden love is always a popular theme and will most likely appeal to teen readers.
Reader’s Annotation: Lissa has a secret, and Rose is sworn to protect her. Unfortunately, the enemy within their school may greater than the one outside it.
About the Author:
“Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths. She has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, an MA in Comparative Religion, and a Master in Teaching degree for secondary education. In the end, she decided writing was the way for her but believes all of her education prepared her for it.
A life-long reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When not writing, she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. Lots of dresses. She is a self-professed coffee addict, fights a constant (and losing) battle with procrastination, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.”
Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance, adventure
Curriculum Ties: N/A
- Talk about the difference between Moroi and Strigoi vampires.
- Describe Rose’s struggle to get out of Lissa’s thoughts.
Reading Level/Interest Age: Grades 6-8, Ages 13-18
Challenge Issues: strong sensuality, teen sex, teen partying, violence, objectionable language
Chapter 5 of Youth, Pornography, and the Internet (2002)
Justification of Selection: This book is a unique take on paranormal romance, a widely popular genre among teens, especially girls.
Mead, R. (n.d.). About Richelle. Richelle Mead. Retrieved from http://www.richellemead.com/bio/bio.htm