Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Eighth Grade Bites
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #1
Author: Heather Brewer
Pages: 182 Hardcover
Reading Level: YA/MG
Published: August 16th 2007
Review Source: Library
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Borders

Summary: (from goodreads) Junior high really sucks 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, 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.

I gave this book 3 trees because it didn't grab my attention from the beginning like many of the other books I've read lately. I thought I'd give it a chance, though, since my niece highly recommended this series and it was refreshing to read a book told from the perspective of a teenage boy/vampire.

The introduction to this series was entertaining once I got into the characters and the story a bit. I love the author's sense of humor and how it comes across through Vlad in this book. The friendship between Henry and Vlad was fun and fresh. They had some of the best interactions and had me laughing out loud many times. It was nice to read a book from the male character's point of view since most of the books I read are from a female's point of view. And as I said before, I love the sense of humor in this book.

Some other interesting characters in the book include: Aunt Nelly, Vlad's guardian, who was left to care for him when his parents perished in a fire three years prior; Meredith, who is Vlad's crush, a pretty girl in his class who always wears pink; an evil vampire named D'Ablo who is trying to find answers and wants Vladimir Tod to pay for his father's crimes (leaving Elysia for a human) which could result in his death; a mysterious substitute teacher (Mr. Otis) who turns out to be more than meets the eye; and Eddie Poe who seems to think there is something wrong with Vlad and sets out to prove it and tell the world.

There are also some bullies in this book who torment Vladimir throughout the book (and the series, actually). Bill and Tom are your typical mean bullies who pick on Vlad and try to get him alone so they can beat him up or ridicule him any chance they can.

Some of the things I noticed in this book, that show up in each book in the series (that I will talk more about later) are that there's mention of or a chapter on each of these things in every book: Halloween, the Snow Ball and Freedom Fest. Which make me wonder if Halloween is Heather's favorite holiday and if she liked Winter and Summer festivals/dances.

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