Trigger warning: cutting.
Picture if you will: I'm reading along, enjoying myself immensely when I have a realization. An upsetting realization. This book was not written for me. I'm a good thirty years older than the target age demographic and probably the wrong gender to boot.
A sense of being a creepy voyeur overwhelms me. This book is for someone else, not me. I'm making a joke out of it now, but it was a very visceral, upsetting realization at the time.
In the end I said, fuck that noise. I was a teenager once. I'm not so old that I can't remember that. I love vampire novels. Oh, did I forget to mention that some of the vampires also can use magic? For me, Vampires plus Magic equals SQUEEEEEE!
This book can be for me, right?
I was surprised at the book's pacing; for the most part Vampire Academy takes its time to build to its conclusion. Characters have the time to develop unique personalities. Subplots develop. Vampire Academy also revamps the cliques of high school into a vampire class system that incorporates both different types of vampires as well as a royalty.
The aspect of the book that I was most impressed with was its willingness to tackle mental illness. It includes depression, cutting, and treatment for mental illness. Most importantly, it deals with coming to terms with the way mental illness impacts both the person with the illness as well as those who are close to them. It attempts to remove the stigma from admitting you need help.
I'm definitely looking forward to working my way through the whole series. If you've read Vampire Academy, I'd love to to hear what you thought as well!