Book Review: Ninth Grade Slays

Ninth Grade Slays 
The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod #2
Author: Heather Brewer
Pages: 278 Hardcover
Reading Level: YA/MG
Published: April 17th 2008
Review Source: Library
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound

Summary: (from goodreads) High school totally bites when you’re half human, half vampire.

Freshman year sucks for Vlad Tod. Bullies still harass him. The photographer from the school newspaper is tailing him. And failing his studies could be deadly. A trip to Siberia gives “study abroad” a whole new meaning as Vlad connects with other vampires and advances his mind-control abilities, but will he return home with the skills to recognize a vampire slayer when he sees one? In this thrilling sequel to Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past and battle forces that once again threaten his life. Find out why author D. J. MacHale calls The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod “Gruesome, heartwarming, spellbinding.

Vlad begins to embrace being a vampire and needs to practice various skills such as telepathy. Otis has agreed to help teach him the ways of living and the Elysian code, but has gone into hiding for a while. Starting High School is hard, but when you're a vampire it is even more so. The bullies are back as is a new friend, Joss, Henry's cousin, who turns out to be somewhat of a problem for Vlad.

My favorite parts of this book included Vlad finally starting to stick up for himself a little bit more. The Halloween party at Matthew's house was the start of this and having Joss as a friend helped give Vlad confidence, too. A surprising twist happens at the Snow Ball and Vlad experiences a "first" that he won't soon forget.

Vlad spends much of this book in Siberia, training with his uncle, Otis and a friend of Otis and Vlad's father, Vikas. One of the things Vlad learns is how to read minds and starts to figure out if he is the Pravus or not.

One thing I noticed as the series moves forward is that there is more blood and some of the scenes get violent, especially ones with D'Ablo. Vlad still is holding fast to drinking blood from the blood bank, but the temptation to drink from the source is growing.

And towards the end of the book, Joss leaves after revealing a shocking secret to Vlad that compromises their friendship...forever.

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