Why should you read Vampire Academy/Bloodlines?
- These aren’t the books you think they are. Yes, they’re set in a world with vampires, but these aren’t the Twilight-clone, badly written books that the title can lead you to assume. You know how you can read a hundred ~~urban fantasy~~~ YA books and eventually, finally find one that is the perfect combination of the tropes you love, storylines you can get invested in and great characters? THIS IS THAT SERIES, YOU NEED LOOK NO MORE.
- Excellent characters and character development - there are no bland characters to project yourself onto here - all the protagonists have three-dimensional, fleshed out personalities from the second they’re introduced. You won’t always agree with their actions; you won’t always like them. Which is good! It makes the situations and the character relationships more nuanced and realistic.
- Focus on friendships! The main relationship of Vampire Academy, the first series, is the friendship between the two main female characters (the upcoming film is subtitled Blood Sisters I mean C O M E O N), and it’s given just as much (if not more!) focus than either their romantic lives.
- Good worldbuilding/an awesome society with Russian roots. The books are set in the US but in their own ~vampire society~, royals and strata and ITS OWN BRANCH OF RELIGION and all, which is fascinating to read about in and of itself. As the books go on you’re introduced to different groups in the society and the politics of the world become a fairly important subplot. You can tell that the author has put effort into creating this world and thinking about her characters’ places in it and it pays off in pretty much every book in the series.
- Deals with issues that are often faced by teenage girls, including eating disorders/body issues, slut shaming/rape culture, self harm, mental illness, and a whole range of others. These books aren’t focused on issues, but they’re a part of the character’s lives, much like in real life, and they have to deal with them as well as all the supernatural hijinks they get themselves into. When I started reading these books in my mid-teen I was stunned at the way they addressed self harm and mental illness head-on, because I hadn’t ever read a YA book that had done that before. The books are also really good at using the supernatural world to mirror societal pressures on young people/women in a clever, Buffyesque way. The society created in the novels deals a whole heap of fucked up shit to most of the characters in regards to their social position, the way they’re raised etc. and the effect it has on them is shown really well.
- Much more than romance going on - both in each individual book and in the entire series there’s ~mystery plots and political maneuvering and high school silliness and kick ass fight scenes and SO MUCH GOOD STUFF
- A wide range of female characters - none of whom are judged by the text, regardless of whether they choose to be fighters or academics or socialities, i just THIS SERIES IS SO GREAT OKAY
As a side note: the male characters are also great!!! And the main relationships (especially when you get to Bloodlines) are wonderfully written and fun and good makeouts and all that gr8 YA stuff. So in summary YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY READ THESE BOOKS AND LOVE THEM IT’S WORTH IT I PROMISE