Friday, October 31, 2014

Vampire Academy Gala: The Favorites Game

Like I've done with Rachel on previous events we collaborated on, we're sharing our favorites - what we loved best about the Vampire Academy series. We both did our best to keep these things spoiler-free, except perhaps for the part where we share our favorite scenes and quotes.

Book: I think I'm going to have to go with Last Sacrifice. I feel like every book prior to this one was a successive step that built up everything until we got to this book. The stakes are so high, and the relationships are so strong, and the characters are like familiar friends - and it was a treat (and a little nerve-wracking to see how it'd all unfold. Plus, Rose is majorly kick-ass in this book (even though she really is in all of them).

Main Character: It's a given that this is Rose Hathaway. Seriously. The girl is just amazing. She's sassy, smart and sharp; she's loyal and full of love for the people she really cares about. She happens to be the main reason that I enjoyed the books so much, because she amused and awed me at equal terms.

Secondary Character: It'll be no surprise that I loved Dimitri, right? Because there's nothing hotter than a dhampir guardian who teaches you to kick butt, and genuinely cares about your welfare and that of your friends. I seriously could not get enough of Dimitri Belikov! (I also really loved Christian Oreza. There's just such a huge soft spot for him in my heart.)



In Blood Promise, there's one particular scene that Rose recalls where she and Dimitri are up in the mountains, just talking about the possibility of having a cabin there. They make snow angels, and it's deliciously simple, but so poignant.

Romantic Relationship: Dimitri & Rose, obviously. Those two are facing so many obstacles, and go through so much just for each other. But you can tell that there's a strong foundation of friendship and mutual regard, and I loved that they were both dedicated to being the best individuals they could be. Seriously, the levels of swoon were absolute perfection.

Non-romantic Relationship: From the very start, I just enjoyed Rose & Christian's friendship. It starts out rocky, especially in Vampire Academy. But there certainly comes a point where they bond, mostly because of their love for Lissa. I liked seeing them occasionally banter, but also learn to work together and trust each other in order to get things done. Plus, when they teased each other, I loved that too!

Here are the previous posts you might have missed:
Welcome + Giveway || Hello, Chelly
Mini-Reviews of Books 1-3 || Alexa Loves Books
Mini-Reviews of Books 1-3 || Hello, Chelly
Mini-Reviews of Books 4-6 || Alexa Loves Books
Mini-Reviews of Books 4-6 || Hello, Chelly
Movie Rant || Alexa Loves Books
Movie Rant || Hello, Chelly

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vampire Academy Gala: A Movie Rant

We've been focused on talking about the six books of the Vampire Academy series for the past few days, so Rachel & I thought it was high time we move to a different medium for the series today. We're chatting - well, more like ranting about the Vampire Academy movie that came out last year. Honestly, I've tried really hard to be objective about the film but... it wasn't a favorite book-to-movie adaptation at all.

First, here are some main points about the movie that I liked/disliked:

+ Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway

I seriously think Zoey was the one who most fit my idea of the character in the book. Rose Hathaway is a complex, interesting character, equal parts strong and vulnerable. Zoey managed to do justice to Rose as a character, which is definitely a bit of a relief if you ask me.

+ Comedy
Okay, I like being entertained when watching movies. I like laughing when I watch movies. And while Vampire Academy isn’t necessarily supposed to be funny (though there are funny moments), the movie was just hilarious a lot of the time – and that was actually one reason to like it.

+ Adapting the Book

While certain changes were made to make the screenplay more effective, it actually appears that the film mirrors most of the important events in the book. I can always appreciate that in an adaptation, so I’ll give Vampire Academy bonus points.

- Overall Tone

I know, I know, I said I enjoyed the hilarity. And I did! But the thing is Vampire Academy has a lot more substance than the movie made it seem. It makes me sad that the way these characters + their story is portrayed is a lot less serious than the way it is in the novel.

- Sarah Hyland as Natalie Dashkov, Danila Koslovsky as Dimitri Belikov

I’m not overly fond of most of the casting done in the film. While I can tolerate the actor and actress cast as Christian and Lissa, I just felt like the casting for Natalie and Dimitri were not quite what I pictured when I read Vampire Academy. I’m particularly not happy about Dimitri’s casting.

- The Locket Scene

If you want to know which scene made me laugh the most in the Vampire Academy movie, it would be this one. In the book, it has a different feel. In the movie, it’s just plain ridiculous, which makes it so freaking funny. I could not stop laughing.

Overall Opinion: Honestly, if the main purpose of the Vampire Academy is to entertain viewers, it succeeded there. I laughed a ton while I watched the film, which is always a welcome surprise. But really, because I had enjoyed Vampire Academy (the novel), I expected more from the film. I wanted to fall in love with all of these characters, and to feel the tremendous stakes in their story - and I didn't get that at all. Instead, what was produced was pretty average, and I am, sadly, not much of a fan of the film at all.

Here are the posts you might have missed in the past few days:
Welcome + Giveaway || Hello, Chelly
Mini-Reviews of Books 1-3 || Alexa Loves Books
Mini-Reviews of Books 1-3 || Hello, Chelly
Mini-Reviews of Books 4-6 || Alexa Loves Books
Mini-Reviews of Books 4-6 || Hello, Chelly

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vampire Academy Gala: Blood Promise, Spirit Bound & Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead

And we're back today with our reviews of books four to six in the Vampire Academy series! Honestly, if you've not read the books, I can promise that there are really no spoilers here. I just tell you my general thoughts - and they're all really good. Honestly, these three books were fast reads for me because I just couldn't wait to find out what would happen next! Stakes are high, characters grow so much and it's just so jam-packed with goodness.

Blood Promise

After the surprising turn of events in its predecessor, Blood Promise gives readers one of the darkest reading experiences yet. Rose, stricken with grief and anger, yet determined to do the right thing, has left the academy and ventured to Russia to complete a mission with personal stakes. Along the way, she uncovers new knowledge, meets new people and has to fight some of the greatest battles she's ever been faced with. It's not an easy read, as Rose goes through a lot. But her bravery and goodness, combined with talent and wits, will have readers rooting for her. Mead skillfully balances tension and plot, even managing to squeeze in a secondary plot happening back with Lissa at the academy too.

Spirit Bound is an emotional roller coaster. Mead heightens the stakes yet again, as Rose and her friends are forced to make questionable choices in pursuit of their true desires. Jam-packed with action and intrigue, the reader will be stunned by how Mead cleverly reconfigures these characters into new relationships, and puts them in new situations that will have readers gasping in fear or anger. You'll be turning the pages anxiously, wondering just what is in store for Rose, her friends and all of the Moroi and dhampir at court. And the underlying current of unease that remains all throughout? That's only the beginning of what is an incredibly emotional journey.

Last Sacrifice

The allure of this series is the tension that's been building since the start, and Last Sacrifice is where it all finally peaks. There's the unraveling of secrets and battles to the death; there's the strength of romance and the purity of healing; there's the joys of friendship and the bravery of being honest. Mead combines all these things into one powerful tale to finish off her well-loved series, and it works. But honestly, the entire story would have been in vain if readers didn't care so much about Rose Hathaway, whose exploits and cleverness are nothing to scoff out. She's the one who ties all these novels together; she's also the one who makes the entire series as appealing as it is. To love Vampire Academy is to love Rose - and that truth becomes clear in this final installment of her story.

It's fairly obvious that I really liked books four to six of Vampire Academy: Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice. There's just something about already being familiar with such great characters, and loving them with your whole heart that makes witnessing all that happens to them even more meaningful than it already is! I really think that these books are what cemented my regard for the series so very much.

Plus, don't miss my reviews and Rachel's reviews from yesterday!


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