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Friday, May 30, 2014

From Book to Movie: Vampire Academy

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.

Last week, I decided that I was going to watch the Vampire Academy movie. I hadn't read the book, and after seeing the trailer- which did nothing to convince me- I wasn't sure I was ever going to see the movie. But I caved and watched it alone, one rainy afternoon. What is funny is, seeing the movie prompted me to read the book. So here I am, having both read and seen Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy. And I have some thoughts.

The Book:

I did see the movie prior to reading the book so I knew the story. I had also heard that he movie deviated from the book quite a bit (but thinking about it now, I am not sure that is true). Anywho, I knew what to expect and I went into reading Vampire Academy with very low expectations. I was anticipating a completely corny, and in all honesty- not very good book. And frankly, all of this was true. BUT... I still really enjoyed it. There was something completely addicting about this story. I couldn't put it down.

I think almost everyone had read this book/series. But here's the run down. Rose is a half vampire, half human guardian and she is bonded with her full blooded vampire friend Lissa (so basically Rose can feel whatever Lissa is feeling, and sometimes is mentally there with her). Lissa has some crazy magical ability called spirit, which in fact, is driving her crazy. Rose and Lissa ran away from their boarding school and had been on the run for two years- because Lissa's life was in some kind of danger. They are eventually caught by Dimitri, an older guardian, whom Rose falls head over heels for, returned to school, and face a whole bunch of drama/danger there.

So, like I said. This was nothing particularly amazing about Vampire Academy. The plot was predictable and the flow of the story was pretty formulaic. The writing also isn't spectacular- it's not terrible either. I feel like, had I read this book when I was twelve or thirteen I would have absolutely loved it, and been okay with Mead's writing style. But, I am not a pre-teen, and I kind of expect a little more maturity when it comes to how a story is told.

I really liked Rose. In real life she would have got on my nerves- she's annoyingly obnoxious. But I liked her in this book. I liked how loyal she was to Lissa- although I didn't like when she tried to run Lissa's life (well, her love life). I thought Lissa was annoying and whiney. It drove me a little nuts. She needed to grow up and stop being a damsel in distress.

Rose and Dimitri- For some reason this little romance makes me giggle like a school girl and roll my eyes at the same time. I loved their relationship and how connected they are to one another, they're just so darn cute. I also find it a little unrealistic, Dimitri being in his mid twenties, and Rose being a teenager. But what can you do? I am excited to see how their romance plays out in the rest of the series.

Overall, Vampire Academy is not an amazing life changing, awe inspiring novel. But it was so VERY entertaining, and completely addicting. I find myself wanting to just bunker down and read the next five books right away (I have since read Frostbite, and this feeling still exists). In all reality, Vampire Academy was a fun read, that brought me back to my childhood.

The Movie:


I had no intention of seeing this movie. But I was home one afternoon- kind of sleepy and a very bored, so I decided to give it a whirl. I was not expecting much (I actual thought I would fall asleep while it was on). But somehow I got sucked into it. This movie is bad. I mean really bad. But I absolutely loved it. There was just something entertaining about it. 

Where to begin, whoever wrote the screenplay for this movie... what were they thinking? It's not good. There are so many instances where two people would be having a conversation about one thing, and all of a sudden the tone of the scene would be totally different, and they would be talking about something totally different, and then, back to the original topic. The flow just didn't make sense, it was SO jumpy and all over the place. It was so awkward and sometimes really hard to follow- I'm talking worse than Twilight here people! That's one of the big things with this movie. The way things would jump around. It was ALL OVER THE PLACE.

I had absolutely nothing invested when it came to who they cast for this movie, none. But I do have some thoughts on how certain actors did. 

Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway 
She did a bang up job! She was so good. I thought she was funny, and sarcastic- I really liked what she did with Rose. Now, having read the book, I like her even more. She was great for the role. She really did a terrific job with what she was given. 

Lucy Fry as Lissa Dragomir 
I did not like her. She was awkward and weird- it was like she had never acted before. That hair flip scene, Oh man- I was so embarrassed for her. Not my favourite. 

Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov
Now, I have heard a lot of people weren't to keen on this guy. A friend said to me, that he wasn't attractive enough. this guy is really attractive, but...

I don't know what producers were thinking because, for some reason, they made him look ridiculous in the movie. I don't know if it was the hair or something else, but it just wasn't working. I couldn't tell if he was wearing a wig or not, I am inclined to say he was, because the hair didn't move. It was so stiff and it looked funny. Other than that, I liked him as Dimitri. He is actually Russian (no fake Russian accent here). He also did a good job of portraying Dimitri's wholesomeness. 

For the most part, I think the film stayed pretty true to the story. They changed some things that made me wonder why they chose to do that, they also changed the series of events, which wasn't necessary, and again, had me questioning their decision making. The whole movie was just a little awkward.

Overall, the movie was pretty terrible. But, if you watch it with low expectations and just to have a good time, I am sure you'll enjoy it. It's super corny, and it has it's cringe worthy moments. But, it does what movies are meant to do: It entertains. 

I am actually pretty curious about your thoughts, have you seen the movie? Did you enjoy it, or did it make you made? What did you think of the cast? Let me know. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!  


  1. The VA series is one of my favourite series so I was really excited when I heard that there would be a movie based on it. Unfortunately, after watching the trailer, I lost pretty much all interest because I felt like its tone wasn't very true to the books. Then, Wendy on The Midnight Garden reviewed the movie and it wasn't very favourable. I did end up watching, like, the first few minutes later on, but found it too cheesy and gave up.

  2. I saw the movie first and then decided to read the book too! You're not alone! I will say that I ended up binge reading the entire series after I watched the movie, and the series is damn good (especially the 3rd and 6th book). But I agree that the writing isn't awe inspiring, not life changing, but it's entertaining nonetheless.

    As for the movie, you're right. It was down right terrible in most areas (though I wouldn't say it was worse than Twilight). I thought the actress who played Rose was fantastic, and she really did a great job. I also liked the actor who played Dimitri, but I agree that he looked kinda funky in the roll. I don't think it was his hair (though he is way more dreamy with short hair in my opinion), but I also thought he was waaaayyyy too buff and built. It made him look stocky and not in a good way. Anyways, I thought the movie was entertaining and hilarious most of the time, while also being laughably terrible.

    I hope you read the rest of the series. It really is pretty good and takes more twists than you might originally expect. :)

  3. I actually just watched the movie last week without having read the books and while i found it highly amusing and enjoyable it was hard to follow with all the jumping around. I think I'm going to go ahead and read the first book I'm hoping its at least as fun as the movie was!
    P.s. in the movie what was with that dance scene? Rose punched the girl in the FOREHEAD, the FOREHEAD!

  4. Yep pretty much!! My thoughts exactly on the book. I do think I would have loved it had I read the book in my early teens as well. As an adult, I wasn't blown away, but I was sufficiently entertained! I will keep reading sometime because everyone says the series gets better and better and it was a pretty fun read in the first place. Just need to find the time! As for the movie, haven't watched it yet, but I think I might after reading your thoughts. Everyone has been saying it's bad, but I can see myself being entertained with it like you, just by the sheer cheesiness.

  5. I just watched this the other week, b/c my friend wanted to. It was...o...kaaay. I liked Zoey as well and some of the scenes. For the most part I didn't like the movie...just didn't think it worked, but I think young girls will like it. I didn't read the book and probably won't.


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