Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jenn's Review: Eighth Grade Bites

Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1)Summary: Vlad has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school.

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in . . . fast!

Review: This is a series that I've wanted to read for a while, but just hadn't gotten around to, and I'm sorry that it took me so long.  There is much to love in this witty, original vampiric creation from author Heather Brewer.

The character of Vlad is empathetic to the core. Not only does he have to deal with all the struggles of being an adolescent in eighth grade, but Vlad also has to deal with being an adolescent vampire.  Forbidden child of a vampire and a human, he's one of a kind. His hunger is growing, and so are his questions and though his secret is shared with his best friend and guardian, they can only help him so much. In search for answers, he digs into his father's journal, but the answers may not come soon enough to save his friends, or himself.

I adored the characters and the writing. A good YA read for guys as well as girls, Brewer approaches middle school with a sense of humor (which is really the only way you can approach it, isn't it?!?). Her mythology is her own, which is refreshing and a bit of an accomplishment in a vampire book. It has all the dark humor of Whedon and the thrill of Stine or Pike. My only complaint is that it was over way too quickly. It felt like things were just getting rolling, not that the story wasn't sufficiently resolved, but it certainly left me wanting more.

I am looking forward to the rest of the series and watching the books mature with the characters. Ninth grade, here I come! --Did I really just say that? Pretty big compliment because I wouldn't return to freshman year of high school for anything but Ninth Grade Slays.

Final Take: 4.0/5.0



Casey (The Bookish Type) January 15, 2011 at 12:17 AM  

This sounds like such a fun read! I like that vampire books are getting sassy and funny instead of all broody and serious. Great review!

Julie January 15, 2011 at 12:42 PM  

Sounds like a unique YA book. Glad you enjoyed.

Cozy in Texas January 16, 2011 at 7:03 PM  

I stopped by your blog today.

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