Published in 2007
I AM SO GLAD that I picked up this book! It's amazing.
Summary from Goodreads:
St. 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.
What I really liked about this book was that it was incredibly engaging. The mix of fantasy and reality really made it something that I wanted to read. Other good points:
1. The story is told from the POV of Rose, who is kind of Lissa's sidekick. Although Lissa appears to be the most important person/vampire in the book, it's pretty clear that she can't live without her BFFL Rose. I was initially disappointed in the POV choice, but by the end I was very happy. There is also a convenient plot device that allows us to see what Lissa is feeling and what happens when Rose is not around.
2. Dimitri, Rose's new mentor, has to be the most delicious man candy that I've found in a book for awhile. I'm excited to see what happens to him in the next book.
3. This book was the first that I have ever read to really deal with depression and self-injury without being graphic and without making it the main point of the book.
This is important because cutting is a super common problem, and it's very different from other disorders. I actually put a book cover up to the left (Cut by Patricia McCormick) but removed it because it could be a trigger for people with the problem. Seriously. Been there, done that. If you are a cutter, get help. It's very possible to stop!
Anyways, this book is sensitive and not ridiculous about the issue. This book did not give me any kind of trigger vibes, so bravo!
4. There is a surprising double ending, and it's just got an excellent plot and premise.
One negative thing- this might have just been me, but I got confused several times during the book. There are a lot of minor characters and it is hard to keep them straight.
Sooooo... 5 STARS! I recommend this book out to everyone. It's fast, fun, and sexy. Give it a read.