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Vampire Academy

Sexy, mean-girl vampire story has strong language, bullying.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

A bit about Russian folkore and Catholic and Greek Orthodox religions.

Positive messages

Messasges about the importance of friendship and how strong bonds can be, forgiving people when they've done wrong, finding the strength in yourself to admit when you're wrong, sticking up for others, and not bullying people or calling them names.

Positive role models

Most of the characters in the novel are bitter and egoistical. Though Rose Hathaway's a good friend and will do anything to protect her friend, Lissa, she's extremely nasty to her peers and the adults around her. She's vain, complains constantly, uses her looks and body to get what she wants from the boys at school, and talks back to everyone. For instance she says, "I liked flirting, I liked groups, and I liked making smartass comments in class." Not very positive. Lissa is having a hard time adjusting to her life as a princess and a vampire with magical powers, not to mention high school at St. Vladimir's Academy. She's often a depressing and lonely character. The one thing that's somewhat positive about Rose is that she's a fighter and trains to protect Lissa from the evil characters.


Neck biting, hand-to-hand combat.


Flirting, kissing, caressing, sexual situations, and mentions of sex. Rose talks about her breasts and getting naked with boys.


"Ass," "bitch," "f--k," "dumbass," "pissed," "badass," "slut," "whore," "bastard" -- all littered throughout the book. Also verbal abuse and name calling.


BCBG jeans.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rose and Lissa drink alcohol. Blood drunk from humans and other vampires is considered intoxicating like drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Vampire Academy is the first book in a popular series by Richelle Mead, featuring two girls at St. Vladimir's Academy: Lissa, who discovers she's a vampire princess, and Rose, a vampire guardian committed to protecting her. A movie adaptation hits theaters in February 2014. While the trailer for the movie makes it looks like a comedy, the novel's dark and full of Mean Girls-style high school bullying. The characters bicker from beginning to end, especially Rose. And there's violence (neck biting, hand-to-hand combat), drinking, sex, and lots of strong language, including "a--hole," "dumbass," "badass," "bitch," "f--k," "pissed," "slut," "whore," and "bastard."

What's the story?

Rose and Lissa are on the run for some mysterious reason. Readers soon find out why when Rose, a dhamphir (guardian to the Moroi vampires) and Lissa, a Moroi vampire princess, must return to St. Vladimir's Academy. At school they discover more mysterious and secrets within St. Vladimir's walls. Rose and Lissa encounter something else at the academy, too: forbidden romance.

Is it any good?


VAMPIRE ACADEMY imagines a different kind of vampire, but the story is pretty much Mean Girls meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rose thinks she has a sarcastic wit but it comes off more nasty than funny. She's extremely vain about her looks and thinks about boys 24/7. Her only redeeming quality is that she truly cares for her best friend, Lissa, and wants to protect her at any cost. Yet, her "I'm better than you" attitude's hard to get past. Granted Rose has some kick-butt fighting skills, but there are plenty of terrific heroines in other YA books. Vampire Academy seems more about high school life with vampires and a mystery thrown in the mix -- not much to sink your teeth into.

Families can talk about...

  • Do you plan to see the movie version of Vampire Academy? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to give it a more comedic tone than the novel?   

  • Did you figure out the mystery of the novel -- why Rose and Lissa ran away from St. Vladimir's? What makes a good mystery? 

  • What are your thoughts on Rose's sarcastic attitude toward everyone?

Book details

Author:Richelle Mead
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Sports and martial arts, Arts and dance, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:August 16, 2007
Number of pages:336
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Adult Written byhelsingmusique November 5, 2014

I really loved this book as a teenager

I haven't read it in a few years, but it was a good book, an interesting story. Things were well explained and it was not difficult to get into a book, I think anyone 11 and up can read this book, I mean if I read a lot worse at that age than this. I love reading and this is one of the first book series I really liked, although I do still have to finish the last book of the series. Rose is a very interesting character, it's nice to see that the main focus on the book was not romance which tends to happen with far too many books nowadays and it takes away from the story. There is swearing, but if your child goes to an actual building for school and attends this school with other people, we can assume they've heard worse, usually kids really start picking it up around ten eleven years of age.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymcashd55 February 18, 2014

Vampire Academy: School For All

This book was absolutely great. I truly enjoyed it. It was different than I had thought it was going to be. I cannot wait to see the movie. A fantastic book. A must read for all vampire crazy teens. This book does have some mature topics like someone using a knife to cut themselves with free will. There is some positive message in this book like friends wanting to protect each other and their loyalty to one another. Other than the few mature topics this book has, it is fine and teens will truly love this very unique vampire book. Theme: One should be willing to sacrifice for the person one loves.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byLouis91 January 23, 2015

Its very deep.

Its a good book and its VERY relatable to how I think. I dont know about everyone but i can relate to how rose feels which i think is very important in a book. but its very offensive at some points too.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing