School Ghouls : Richelle Mead – “Vampire Academy”

ABOVE: “Oh NO! A giant smirking head is trying to escape the grounds of the Academy!”

Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy” delivers in its half-hearted promise: it has vampires, and it has an academy. It details the adventures of Dhampir Rose Hathaway and her neck-sucking, quasi-Sapphic bonded friend, the Moroi Vasilissa Dragonmir. Rose is a petulant teenager whose snappy cruelty and lame one-liners pass for “character”; Lissa would hope to be half as charismatic as that. They deal with a startling variety of hot guys.  Beyond that, it tries to be “Twilight” goes “Hogwarts”, minus the charm that would imply, plus the amped up sex that alternates between PG-13 and NC-17 without ever hitting the rated R that would suggest maturity. When did YA turn this coyly pornographic? At least “Vampire Academy” reads easy: every line is a familiar cliche so you need never slow down to digest any new and obtrusive turns of phrase. “VA”‘s only attempt at distinction is the sporadic use of Russian hagiography. This stuff has a teenage audience, (they know who they are). As for me: Class dismissed!

ABOVE: Class dismissed!

RATING : SHRUG for me, GOOD ENOUGH for high schoolers.

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