Rating: 3.5 peaches
Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever... (goodreads description)
Honestly, I did not go into this book with very high expectations. When I go to the bookstore, I feel like I am drowning in young adult paranormal books. I have read some real stinkers over the past year (which will go unnamed for the moment) so I don't get my hopes up. That being said, this book actually held some surprises for me and kept my interest throughout. It was a fun, easy read but there was enough kick in it to keep it from being trite.
What set this book apart was the relationship between Rose and Lissa. It wasn't just in the background or pulled out when convenient, it was the focus. In a high school setting, there is a fair share of back-stabbing, gossip and power plays but through it all, Rose and Lissa listen to and support each other. Do they fight and disagree? Of course because no friendship is perfect, if it was, there would be no room for growth. I liked the hints of Lissa's inner darkness and Rose's inner strength and responsibility. In all, they were good foils for one another and their friendship was believable.
NO LOVE TRIANGLE!! At least not yet, I am hopeful that this series will stay away but I guess I will see. Lots of love "interests" but i'm feeling iffy on the whole Dmitri/teacher/mentor romance. Maybe that's just because I am a teacher and I wouldn't want any of my high schoolers in that kind of relationship.
Anywho, I enjoyed it and I'll give book 2 a try but I'm still keeping my expectations low.