A - Angst (and/or Adrian Ivashkov)
I'm going to go ahead and get this out of the way early: there's a love triangle. But fear not. It's not at all a bad one. In fact, it's quite delightful. But also angst. I tell you no lies, not many series have practically choked the life out of my tear ducts like Vampire Academy.
(Oh, and Adrian? He's sarcastic, wry, and generally wily and I like to picture him as Hayden Christensen.)
B - Bad, Bad Vamps
In order for there to be good, there must be evil. And the bad vamps (better known as Strigoi) are hardcore. No shame in their game, just ripping out tracheas as they see fit.
C - Character Development
THE BEST OF THE BEST, PEOPLE. Growth occurs, people change.
D - Dimitri Motherf**king Belikov
I don't know why, but this trench coat wearing, Strigoi-slaying, western novel reading, 6'7" Russian LEGAL love interest (he's 24! YAY for those of us that feel all dirty about our YA obsession!) is bad ass enough that I'll bet money that "motherf**king" is his actual middle name. (Can you confirm this, Richelle?)
PS. He will make you feel ALL the emotions.
E - EEEEEEK! Sacrifices!
We all know that happy endings don't come without big time sacrifices, at least in those GOOD stories. Because the ending wouldn't be worth it if you didn't have to face down Satan himself (well, pretty much) to earn it. No lack of metaphorical Lucifer encounters here. Plus, the final book is called LAST SACRIFICE, so you know it's going down.
F - Friendship. The GOOD Kind.
G - Good God, WHY?
Richelle Mead is mean. She likes to bully your heart. And she will. You just wait.
H - History
No half-assed backstory here. These are detailed, well thought out character histories and mysteries.
I - I Can't Believe You Haven't Read This Series Yet
J - Jugular
No one's is safe. Guard yo neck.
K - Kissing
Okay, let's stop acting like this isn't one of the most important parts. It IS. And Richelle delivers. But you will be waiting a little bit for it. No cheap, unmeaningful romance without foundation, here. This is quality spit-swapping. (Is that gross? TOO BAD.)
L -Like a Boss
I don't know if you guys do this, but I try and immediately cast actors in my head to play book characters. Ben Barnes is a favorite for Dimitri, but he's a bit too prim & proper for me. Nay, Dimitri is a man's man, and who better to play him than SUPER Man? Plus, he can do stoic, pensive, quietly ominous, and deadly. That's hot. Plus, he can pull of the shoulder-length hair like a boss.
M - Mind Games
Theorizing "what will happen next?" is pointless, because you'll probably be wrong. These books are so twisty and engrossing that your innards will be in a constant state of upheaval. Just when you think "no way, Richelle would never do that to me," SHE DOES.
N - No Waiting
Guys, when I read these, it was 6+ months in between each book. THE TORTURE. Good news, though: those of you who haven't read them yet? You can have all the joy and pain at the ready.
O - "Oh Crap, I Already Read ALL THE BOOKS?"
Beginning with Blood Promise, these books are rather considerable in size. But don't let that worry you. You will blast through these things like your life depends on it, because there's no possible way that you can survive without knowing what happens next. Honestly, I don't know how I did.
P - Perfect Reviews
Like this stick figure review, by my good friend Anna.
Q - Quake
Your undergarments may.
R - "Roza."
When you see it, you'll need the smelling salts and your emergency contact person.
S - Spinoff
Sure, you'll fly through the books. But WAIT, THERE'S MORE. There's a spinoff that is equally awesome. Only the first book, Bloodlines, is out now, but Richelle has established that she hasn't lost her mojo with probably the most evil cliffhanger since the end of Shadow Kiss. This is not from Rose's POV, but from a character that you will know and love.
By the way, SQUEE time. Because Richelle quoted my review of Bloodlines on her site. I died a little bit.
T - The Bridge Scene
The most heartbreaking moment in all of Vampire Academy history.
U - Uh, the Movie, Please?
According to the wise Wikipedia, we just may get a movie out of this. Unfortunately, the last update I could find was in July 2010, but I still hold onto my hopes that I will get to see
V - Vampire Boarding School
Most importantly, BOARDING SCHOOL. And don't let the "vampire" bit throw you off. Vampires may be "out," but this shiz is so fresh that it redefines what you think you know. There are no vegetarians here. And did I mention special powers?
W - Wicked Tattoos
For every Strigoi you kill, you get a molnija mark. I'm surprised you can still see Rose's skin. And this fanbase is so amazing that people have actually went out and tatted their very own molnija marks. Though I'm convinced they need to earn them. Time for Strigoi hunting.
X - Xyphoid Process
I can imagine several of these may have been shattered with all of the fighting and well-written Rose vs. Nameless Strigoi scenes. This chick is tough. It's like I could see the fight scenes play out like a movie in my head, with the way Richelle writes. She keeps it exciting.
Y - YAY, Sarcasm!
There's nothing more slow clap-worthy than when a wenchy character gets verbally burned. Bonus points because Rose's retort pistol is constantly locked and loaded for maximum effect. KA-BLAM.
Z - Zeal
Yes, I have ZEAL in telling you that if you haven't read this series (so basically, what, five people?) you are sorely missing out, my friend. Don't make me spend money to skywrite it over your house. I've got a great job, but I typed up this post for free and I'd really not like to resort to money and/or anonymous threats to make you read it. This is for YOUR BENEFIT.
So what did I miss? Is there some quality of the Vampire Academy series that you loved? Pick a letter, any letter, and tell me about it. Try and keep it spoiler-free, for those who haven't read it yet <3