Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:
Book: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | Movie: Vampire Academy (2014)
Which did I read/see first? The BOOK
Book Cover | Movie Poster
Series: Vampire Academy
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire, Romance, Action
Point of View: First Person
There aren’t enough good things that I can say about this series. It is one of my favourite, if not THE favourite Young Adult series I have ever read and it all starts with this book.
Vampire Academy is definitely the weakest in the series. Compared to the rest of the series, the plot in this one isn’t as intricate as the later books can be and it is a little slower. However, this book easily sucked me in (no pun intended) and in the end, its a great opening to a series.
The characters are great, complex and lots of fun. The plot is always twisting and building as I said in my full series review, this isn’t Twilight. This series features killing, blood-sucking vampires and has a maturity about it that Twilight severely lacks. Definitely the best vampire series I have ever read.
I could go on for days about this book and the series but I’ll just say: it’s awesome. Finally a kick-ass heroine who doesn’t need a man to complete her and has no problem doing what needs to be done!
Series Review: Full series review here!
Similar Reads: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant Series #1) and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines Series #1, a spin-off of Vampire Academy).
I’ve been waiting for this movie ever since I finished the book. At the time, it didn’t sound like anything was going to come to fruition but over time it did and I’ve been counting down the days since.
At first, I was worried about the movie after seeing the commercials. It looked very high school and cheesy (and not necessarily the good kind) and that scared me. But after reading a blog post by Richelle Mead (who was present during filming) she reassured fans that the trailers were tailored for those who haven’t read the series to get interest in the film and that put my worries to rest.
Mind you, I did go in with lower expectations but in the end, I really enjoyed it.
First I’ll tacklet the casting. Everyone looks exactly like I pictured and Zoey Deutch as Rose was great. She was the perfect blend of tough and spunky and that made it easy to watch and see the book unfold. Danila Kozlovsky as Dmitri was everything I wanted in the infamous guardian and I absolutely loved Cameron Monaghan as Mason and Dominic Sherwood as Christian. For me there are two weak spots in the casting and those are Olga Kurylenko as the Headmistress and Lucy Fry as Lissa. For me, the Headmistress was nothing that I imagined. To be fair, it’s been a super long time since I read the books so I could be totally off, but she was just a little too over the top for me at times and it threw me off. Lucy as Lissa started off really awkward but she really did get better as the movie progressed.
Part of the reason I think Lucy was so awkward was the script and the screenplay. Sometimes the dialogue was a little cheesy and it just felt forced. The actors all manage well though and the acting definitely improved as the movie went on.
As for the adaptation to the big screen: the movie isn’t identical to the book and that is ok. To be fair, it has been a solid few years since I read the book so I can’t remember everything but I would say that the changes they made probably needed to be done to keep the movie more faster paced. They manage to capture the essence of the book and the major key plot moments are still in the movie.
I just want to say that for fans who have read the entire series, don’t be worried about the “high school” approach this movie appears to be taking. It’s definitely for the 17+ crowd and you have to remember that the first book DOES take place in high school. It really isn’t until book 3, Shadow Kiss, that the maturity level increases in this book. I’m guilty of it too and it’s easy to forget that the Rose we get in Last Sacrifice was a high school student at one time; but the truth is that she was and we all loved her when she was!
Overall, the movie will please fans. There were a few humorous moments, both new additions as well as character moments from the book; and it was awesome to see some of my favourite scenes from the book come to life.
So, which is better: the book or the movie?
In this case, the winner is the BOOK. While I truly did enjoy the movie, it has nothing on the book. But, fans of the book will enjoy the movie so definitely go see it! I really want a sequel movie (TBH I just want to see who they cast as Adrian and Eddie).
Do you agree? Leave a comment below!
Synopsis for Vampire Academy (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.