I'll start by saying that even before I saw the film I wasn't happy with the casting choices they made. And I'll tell you why.
Rose Hathaway is meant to be this bad ass curvy, voluptuous girl with dark tanned skin (from her Turkish father, remember?) and dead straight, long, almost jet black hair. What they made her was this skinny, pale, curly haired stick with no curves, no tan and no straight hair. Not to mention you could tell they had to purposely make the actors boobs look bigger by putting her in push up bras. I also don't think Zoey Deutch did a good enough job playing Rose. Don't get me wrong, she's a good actor and as her own character she was great - but not as Rose Hathaway. She wasn't nearly as Sassy enough, not the slightest bit seductive/flirtatious enough and her whole character was built on snarky comments (and yes, I realise that Rose is that kind of character - but that is not all she is. She has substance. And Rose Hathaway in the film, did not).
And their decision for Dimitri? COME ON! He was no Dimitri Belikov. Danila Kozlovski did an alright job with the script he was given, he had Dimitri's sneaky smirk down to a T! But he is not a 'god' like Dimitri is so often described as in the books. His fight scenes were all so obviously fake and they weren't convincing.
I said it before and I'll say it again.. Worst book to movie adaptation ever. Who ever wrote the script for the film clearly loves their soap operas because this is exactly what the film felt like to me. It actually felt like they were mocking the book. They made it all about cheap jokes and cheesy one liners and the book is WAY more than that. They focused solely on the comedic side that the rest of it literally looked like a satire. Not to mention they added so much crap in that wasn't in the book and they left out so much from the book that really needed to be in the film. For instance, the development of feelings between Rose and Dimitri - BARELY touched on in the film. Rose & Dimitri don't just fall in love at first sight.. They have weeks of training sessions, of getting to know each other before they realise they love each other. In the film, however, they have a few suggestive comments, a couple of training sessions and at the end of the film they are confessing their love for one another. I was kind of like 'um.. when did that happen?'
Another crucial focus in the book is Lissa's Spirit driving her insane.. Which they kind of touched on but not really and definitely not enough. They also decided to add a random scene where Rose tells Headmistress Kirova and other faculty members about Lissa's Spirit.. As far as I remember, in the book, Rose does everything to prevent them from finding out...
They also made a HUGE mistake when they decided to add a Strigoi attack at the very beginning of the film just outside the gate at St Vlad's.. hmm, last I checked the wards surrounding the Academy stretched much farther out then the gate line. But who am I to say, I could be mistaken.. I've only read the book say at least 5 times! (not even an over exaggeration). Another scene they decided to ruin was the lust charm scene, which lasted all of 15 seconds. In the book, Dimitri sees the 'decision' in Rose's eyes and removes her necklace as it's the last item of 'clothing' she's wearing, then and only then do they realise what the necklace was.. In the film, however, Dimitri somehow knows exactly what the necklace is and rips it from her neck violently. Also, Christian doesn't get shredded to pieces by the PSI hounds.. He gets shot. By Victor Dashkov. Yep. That actually happened. Or, didn't happen.
One final point I will make, is that I know how difficult it is to make a good movie adaptation from a book.. There is way too much in a book that just can't fit in to a movie. But I feel like there could have been much better decisions made regarding Vampire Academy to make it a much better film. I even thought that as a movie on it's own, it was terrible. There was no real point to it - people watching it who haven't read the books would probably walk away going 'was that a mockery of all things Vampire?' Not to mention the film raced through the storyline as if there was no tomorrow.
I have read some other reviews by other fans of the books and I have to say, I'm extremely disappointed in the fact that they thought it was a fantastic movie.. In my opinion, it most certainly was not. I would be shocked to my core if I heard Richelle Mead say she was proud of the movie and happy with the direction the director/writers/producers etc. took. This movie was not Vampire Academy. This movie was rubbish.