Release Date: February 7, 2014
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I have to start out by saying that I am a hardcore Vampire Academy fan. And really just a hardcore Richelle Mead fan in general. I fangirl for her and everything she writes. This series is especially dear to me and close to my heart. So as you can imagine I went into the theater today equal parts excited and terrified. We all know that books don't always translate well into movies. Especially young adult books. Especially lately. I have watched so many books I've really loved be butchered by Hollywood and I really didn't want that to happen with this one. The last few Richelle Mead signings I attended she was very adamant about the fact that this movie would do the book justice and not to worry. Of course I still worried, but it was all for naught. I couldn't have been more pleased with this movie.
There were definitely things omitted and one or two things added that weren't in the book, but overall the movie contained everything important to the book. As much as I wish they could have movies contain everything in the books I know it isn't possible unless they're making a six hour long movie. So the movie writers have to make decisions about what is key to the story. I feel like they did an incredible job of that. They also didn't make any crazy plot changes or go completely off course (like with 'The Mortal Instruments'). There was a perfect balance of making lovers of the books happy, while also allowing those who haven't read the books to enjoy and understand it. I went with my sister and husband, neither of whom have read the books, and they both really enjoyed it.
The writing also perfectly fit with Richelle's style too. It was witty and made me laugh out loud more than once. I think the combination of the specific director and writer really worked well with the book. I feel like they really brought the book to life and managed to convey the atmosphere and feel of the book to the big screen. It was incredible to see a story I love so much and know so well come to life.
I also need to say that Zoey Deutch WAS Rose Hathaway. I couldn't believe what an amazing job she did of bringing Rose to life. She was the real standout for me. I don't think I've ever experienced such an amazing casting choice in a book to movie adaptation. It was wonderful to see my beloved Rose done justice in such a wonderful way. I have seen Zoey in small roles before, but this role solidified her as an actress with amazing talent. I can almost guarantee she will so on to do great things.
All I can say is you HAVE to see this movie. I went into it with a critical eye and was really pleased with it. It's so amazing to see St. Vladamir's come to life and to see all of the characters as living, breathing (well, mostly breathing) people. They also set up the next movie to come at the very end of the movie and I'm hoping that bodes well for us getting a sequel made. Please go and see this movie. You won't be disappointed and I want to see that sequel made. Lol. And if you haven't read the books I think you will enjoy it too. It's a fun movie with action, romance, and the great wit and humor of both Richelle herself and that of 'Mean Girls' (same director).