Sorry everyone, but I'm going to be calling this one in a little as I combine my reviews for books 1 & 2.
So I should perhaps preface this with saying that I am not really into the whole vampire genre. This was just another one of those books that has a movie adaptation coming out and I thought it might be some mindless fun. And it was, but not much more than that.
It started off strong by throwing you right into the action. Rose and her vampire best friend Lissa have been on the run for two years and the book picks up with them finally getting caught and being returned to St Vladimir's school. The world building was interesting (for a vampire story) and I love that Rose is so kick ass. She is strong and snarky. Quite reckless, but crazy loyal and selfless for those she cares about, which is mostly just Lissa. What I didn't love about her was her apparent promiscuity. I get that that may be the norm for teenagers these days, but it is not a standard that we should be promoting. When the story starts Rose is seventeen and has been on the run for two years, meaning she was fifteen when she ran away. And before she ran away she had developed this particular reputation at the school. At fifteen. A reputation she makes sure to uphold when she gets back.
Despite that, I still liked Rose. But it was probably mostly the ass kicking stuff.
Anyway, the book was well paced and interesting as we learn more about magic along with Rose and Lissa and the mystery of why they ran away from the Academy slowly became unraveled. For me though I do love my romance to take precedence in the story and here it took a bit of a backseat. I think if I had gotten some more of Dimitri I would have liked this even better.
Now, where the first book was actually like a 3.75, the second book was more like a 3.25, which is why I've just rated them both 3.5. I thought the second book dragged a bit and Rose became decidedly less likable. I did not really understand why anyone wanted anything to do with her in this one as she acted like a jealous teenager toward Dimitri, played hot and cold with Mason and was antagonistic toward her mother. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book where she finally had a moment of sanity and made me like her again. It actually was an evidence of growth from her that was nice to see.
The ending was appropriately action-packed and exciting and tragic. But again this proved to be another serious life lesson for Rose on her path of growth.
Now unfortunately, this is going to be the end of the road for me with this series. I read the synopsis for the next book, which led me to read the synopses for the rest of the series, which followed with some spoiler-ridden reviews - all of which made clear to me I would not be a happy camper continuing on. Too many things I don't like (like a love triangle - argh) and lots and lots of angst. So as much as I would like a little more out of the Rose/Dimitri romance, I don't think it will be worth it for me to continue. So this is where I say goodbye to the Vampire Academy. It's been fun.