The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

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The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A fun, quick read that will be enjoyed by both boys and girls. A welcome antidote to all the Twilight rip-offs out there!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 182 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Penguin Razor Bill
ISBN: 978-0142411872

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High school is hard enough for most kids, but for half vampire Vlad, it really bites. First there's his blood cravings – how exactly do you sneak a pint of O neg into your lunchbox? Then there's his enlarged fangs, his ever developing powers that Vlad doesn't know the extent of and the fact that his crush seems to have a thing for his best mate.

Add to the mix a strange substitute teacher who makes mythology the focus of their English lessons, forcing Vlad to confront his dark side in a rather public forum, and eighth grade pretty much couldn't get any worse. Then the substitute starts asking some rather prying questions and Vlad starts to worry his cover has been blown.

Could the new substitute have something to do with the disappearance of Vlad's old English teacher? Vlad needs to find some answers and fast – or he might be the next to do a disappearing act.

With so many teen books about Vampires focusing on a rather romanticised view, it's nice to see a book getting back down to the grisly, blood sucking roots. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod promise to be the antidote to every Twilight rip-off out there. Fresh, funny and deliciously dark, Eighth Grade Bites is a fabulous book.

Vlad hides blood capsules in his sandwiches, eats his steaks extra bloody and accidently chewed on his best friend's neck when he was younger. He is a teenage boy in a very realistic way – struggling with bullies, girls and school – and his vampirism doesn't detract from that. He isn't the aloof, controlled archetypal vampire. His fangs pop out in embarrassing situations, and when he discovers he can read minds he uses it to humiliate the school bully. Come on, we all know we wouldn't use these super powers for good.

The story has its weaker elements – the whole 'whose side is the substitute teacher on?' thing got pretty old pretty fast, and I felt Vlad's relationship with Henry, his best friend, was a bit underexplored – how did he take the discovery of Vlad's vampirism, and how does he feel about having a vampire for a best friend? But that's what the rest of the series is for, I suppose. There wouldn't be much left for the subsequent books to explore if all the questions were answered here.

Overall, this was a really fun, quick read, and a welcome change of scenery to the typical teen vampire books that I think will be equally enjoyed by boys and girls.

My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.

Fans of the darkly humorous might enjoy David Gatward's The Dark series.

Buy The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer at Amazon.com.


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