Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Title:  Eighth Grade Bites
Author:  Heather Brewer
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Penguin Group
Publication Date:  2nd August 2010 (Australia)
ISBN:  978-0-14-320514-2
Stand alone or series:  Series (The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd
Pages:  192
Book Received from:  Penguin Group (Publisher)
First Lines:  A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face, scraping his skin,  but he kept on running and ignored the stabbing of pine needles on his bare feet. 

Synopsis (From the Penguin Group)


Vladimir Tod
Normal eighth-grade student?
Or powerful vampire?
If you thought eighth grade was tough, try it with fangs and a fear of garlic.
Junior high really stinks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. 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 and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with blood cravings and enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. And then he realises he's being hunted by a vampire killer, and suddenly hunger, girls and bullies seem not quite such a problem after all.
My Thoughts
These days there is a lot of vampire fiction popping up in the Young Adult section.  There has been many that I've enjoyed and a few that haven't made my favourites list.  But I must admit Eighth Grade Bites was completely awesome.

Vladimir Tod is just like every other teen trying to get through school.  With the minor fact that he was born a vampire, his diet consists mostly of baggies of blood, and the convenient trick of telepathy, he's quite normal.  

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Vladimir.  His struggle to fit in with school is a subject that most can relate to.  It doesn't help the fact that he has a very big secret to hide from everyone with the exception of his good friend Henry and his 'Aunt" Nelly.  When the substitute teacher Mr Otis makes his appearance I think the story is as good as sold for me. It takes a darker turn when Vladimir begins to learn about his father's history and the very real threat of someone out to get him.

While this story is shorter than some of the books I've read, I was absorbed from start to finish.  Including the puns that are dropped throughout the story this was an amusing and entertaining read.

I look forward to starting Ninth Grade Slays.

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