I picked up this book a few weeks ago and only got around to reading it today. It took me a little while to get into it and get used to some new vampire terms--Moroi (living vampires that could procreate) and Strigoi (an undead vampire). But once I got settled into the Vampire Academy and this particular world of vampires, I have to say I really enjoyed this book!I don't claim to be a vampire expert, but I have read a variety of vampire fiction and I am always impressed when an author writes something that I find to be very creative and original. Richelle Mead has done that with Vampire Academy. She does an excellent job not only developing the storyline, but the characters, as well. Rose is fantastic--full of sarcasm and attitude outwardly, but with an inward emotional strength that few really see. Initially, I found Lissa to be a bit insipid but she grew on me as the book unfolded and we learned more about her and her specialty. (All vampires specialize in some kind of elemental magic in this world.) There is a strong supporting cast, as well, full of your typical range of teenagers--well, apart from the fact that they are all vampires, of course.There is, of course, a bit of romance between various characters in the book, but it is not really the main theme of the story, which I have to say is rather refreshing. References to sex are pretty prevalent, but overall I didn't find the sexual tones to be that much of a detraction to the story--just something to note depending on the age of the reader. Vampire Academy is a nice, easy read and I thought Mead did a great job bringing the characters and the story to life. And on my way home today, I bought Frostbite and Shadow Kiss.