Film vs Novel – Vampire Academy

A sassy romp through high school –Mean Girls with bite!

Vampire Academy Review by Casey Carlisle

Usually I have read the book before viewing the movie, but in this case it was the other way round; and I wonder if that spoiled some of the experience when reading, because I already knew what was going to happen. Now, don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed the written version by Richelle Mead, but there were some parts where I felt the story dragged… and found myself thinking ‘get to the good stuff already!

Both the style of the movie and the book were funny and skipped along at a reasonable pace, although the film adaptation, in my opinion was that much more sassy – reminding me of the witty banter in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’  From watching the movie, a lot of the history into the Strigoi (bad vampires), and Elemental Magic was rushed, and the viewer was lead to accept that that is how it was. Alternatively, in the novel you got to learn much more about these aspects to the story line, and they were slowly built on throughout the entire book to a big reveal and climactic finish. With that said, if I had read the book first, the ending would have packed much more of a punch.

Rose (Zoey Deutch), Lissa (Lucy Fry), and Natalie (Sarah Hyland) styling up the Formal Dance in Vampire Academy.

Rose (Zoey Deutch), Lissa (Lucy Fry), and Natalie (Sarah Hyland) styling up the Formal Dance in Vampire Academy.

The two main characters, Rose Hathaway (a Dhampir) and Lissa, (Moroi Vampire Princess) have great chemistry on and off screen. Even though the story is told from Rose’s perspective, we get glimpses for Lissa’s school experience through their shared psychic link.  I connected with Zoey Deutch’s portrayal of Rose in the film much more than I did the character in the book – only because she came across as a more everyday girl with attitude (knowing she was way over her head but doing the best she could); where in the book I got a more of a stuck up vibe under all that bravado, like she was certain she was good looking, and could do whatever she wanted; which didn’t work well with the loyalty she had for Lissa and being her bodyguard.

I’d have to say the opposite for the character of Lissa though, Lucy Fry did a commendable job, but didn’t quite sell the image I conjured up from the book. I want to say Lucy lacked the presence that Lissa exuded, but then again – that kind of thing is what you feel from first person contact and is hard to replicate on a screen.

The one casting decision I wasn’t happy with, was that of Dimitri, played by Danila. I wanted him to look a bit younger and hotter! But that’s just my girlie hormones kicking in for my ideal dream guy. Danila’s acting was perfect for the movie, but I didn’t get the sex appeal from him I did from Dimitri in the novel.

I can’t say that the movie was predictable, I didn’t guess what was going to happen, and delighted at every twist and turn. Roses’ one-liners have to be my favorite. I was hoping to read my favorite line from the movie, but unfortunately it wasn’t there – so I must commend the script writer there, you made my day!

Vampire Academy Film vs Novel by Casey Carlisle

I’d say the movie is well worth the viewing, if you love ‘Buffy’ type films, you’ll get a kick out of this one. As for the book, yes I liked it, but I wouldn’t rave about it. Being the first in a series, it’s quite possible that the best is yet to come. I’ll read the next in the collection and let you know how it measures up without a movie spoiler! With the movie doing poorly at the box office, and second installment, ‘Frostbite’ now turning to crowd funding, it may mean an end to the series on the big screen L

So in the end, the movie wins out, breaking the trend … and here’s hoping the fans do get behind the second movie because, although it wasn’t a classic, I still thought it was pretty awesome.

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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