Hello there, friends! My name is Lefty and I am the mystical unicorn gallivanting about over at The Left-Handed Book Lover! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to talk to all you Book Nerds about a book series that holds a very special place in my heart. Just a warning--this post gets a bit personal.
THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY SERIES BY RICHELLE MEAD
This series came to me at a very pivotal time in my life, and I can't help but think it was fate for me to happen upon it.
Let me set the scene for you: I was in eighth grade (six-ish years ago), and the vampire phenomenon was at its peak. My family had fallen on hard times and my dad, brother, and I were moving several hours away from the town I was born and raised in to go live with my other brother. The sun was setting, we had the U-Haul stuffed with all our worldly possessions, snacks for the road wedged between my brother and me, and our emotions clogging our throats. We were just about ready to begin this new adventure in our lives, but my dad wanted to make one more stop before we got going: Publix.
I cannot for the life of me remember what my dad went into buy, but I know that I, in my Superman pajama pants, followed him in. As he waited in line to check out, I saw a little magazine/bestsellers display, and among the different titles I spotted Vampire Academy. Thus, the love was born. I saw the word "vampire" in the title and I begged my dad to buy it for me without a clue as to what it was even about (thank goodness it didn't end up being, like, vampire erotica or anything).
My dad probably shouldn't have bought it for me. We weren't exactly in an ideal financial position, but my dad has always been the type of parent to supply me with book after book with only minimal complaint. So, he purchased it. And then we were off to our new home. I cracked the book open the minute we got back to the U-Haul and delved into the world accompanied by the light of a flashlight. At one point, my brother wanted to sleep and complained about the flashlight, so I hid under a little blanket tent to continue reading.
While my brothers and my dad unloaded boxes from the U-Haul when we arrived at our new house, I kept devouring Mead's world. I finished the book the next day. I wanted to stay up until the last page, but my brother and I were sharing a room and he made me put it down and go to sleep.
And then I was a goner. Somehow I convinced my oldest brother to buy me Frostbite, the second book in the series, and all the books after that.
I found friends and familiarity in the pages, both of which I'd lost in real life. I got to read about a fierce and brave woman as she struggled with isolation and her identity, the same way I was. I slipped into a world full of snarky vampires and a Russian god. Somehow, what I was going through didn't feel as heavy because I had the comfort of this book series. Somewhere along the way, I began to understand this fictional world more than I understood the world I was living in.
The Vampire Academy books saved my sanity. I had to move towns several times after that, and each time my life got pushed off its rails, I'd turn back to Richelle Mead's words for stability. This series made me realize that books were the one thing I could count on in at a time in which everything else around me felt so ephemeral. I could count on the characters to be there for me, and I could count on the world to sweep me away.
Books henceforth became my #1 source of happiness, and to this day, they're a vice that I still cling to to.
Additionally, I felt so connected to the Vampire Academy series that I began writing fanfiction about it, which led me to work on original writing and discover my passion. Now, my entire life revolves around books in some way. Currently, as an English and creative writing double major, I'm dedicating thousands upon thousands of dollars to, essentially, study the art of books. And in the future I hope to make a career out of books--reading AND writing them.
Aww! Thank you so much for sharing this, Lefty! What about you guys? What is a book or a book series that holds a special place in your heart?