The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Book 1 by Heather Brewer

vlad1Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) by Heather Brewer
2007
182 Pages
4/5

While thirteen year old Vladimir Tod’s friends drink their fruit juice boxes at school, he has his own bag of red drink….blood. Vladimir is what he thinks is the last of the vampires, the spawn of a human woman and his father, a vampire. He’s the first vampire to ever be conceived this way. And he defies traditional views of vampires. He can go into the sun as long as he has his sunblock on. He doesn’t drink blood from it’s source, but rather from his caregiver, Nelly. Well, not exactly FROM Nelly, but she brings him “blood bags” home from her work at the blood bank. He attends school with all of the other teens, though he’s less than popular and has to make sure to hide his fangs when he becomes angry.

His best friend is Henry, the only person in the world aside from Nelly to know that he is a vampire after he bit him during play when he was 8 years old. Vlad’s mother and father were killed mysteriously when he was younger and since then, Vlad has felt like an outsider. As much as Nelly and Henry try to make him feel normal and treat him as a human, he knows he is something else, a vampire. Things suddenly take a turn for the bizarre though when his english teacher goes missing and is later pronounced dead. Vlad starts to think that he may not be alone. Replacing his lost teacher is a bizarre man named Otis Otis.

Mr. Otis is a fun teacher that everyone seems to like except for Vlad. Otis teaches the class of various mythological and folklore creatures. Witches, zombies, ghosts, werewolves…and vampires. And he always seems to have his eye on Vlad. When he tries to enter into Vlad’s life more than a teacher is welcomed, Vlad grows worried. And he soon notices a mark on his teachers arm that is similar to the one that his father once wore, the same mark that is on a book of vampire secrets that his father left him. Combined with the discovery of his father’s journals, he soon begins to think that he may not be as alone as he once thought he was.

This first book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod was SO MUCH FUN! I really loved it. It’s not great literary writing by any means, but it’s a truly fun, fast paced, and relevant story. Brewer makes a lot of fun puns throughout the novel. Of course there is Vlad’s name…there’s also a kid named Edgar Poe who goes by Eddie. There’s a town nearby called Stokerton. A villian named D’ablo. You get the picture. But the novel isn’t all fun and games. Sure there are the moments that make you snicker, but the majority of the story is a well thought out tale of a kid trying to find himself while in a very strange world. Think of it as a YA coming of age novel with a twist thrown in.

Brewer “gets” teens and I think this bodes well for her books. This is a book that I would feel comfortable giving any kid that said “I hate reading.” (such horrible words). Want to know what I did as soon as I finished Eighth Grade Bites? Ordered Ninth Grade Slays πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to continue with this series! And the third book comes out this month! And one more thing…these books have the best covers! I want Vlad’s hoodie!

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9 Responses

  1. I can’t remember where I saw this for the first time, but I knew I had to have it!! Great review! Definitely one that I need to pick up!

  2. Now, you see, all you have gone and done is make me want to read this book even more! Why’d you go and do that for? πŸ˜‰

    And you are right the covers are fangtastic! (you see what I did there?!)

    Okay, I’m going to take me and my baaaad sense of humour off to work now and leave you alone!

  3. I’m sure that you will be signed on for all of them!!! My son loved this book and I have it upstairs in my book room for this summer!! Loved your review Chris and you might as well order Tenth Grade Bleeds!!!

    I think the cover art is great too…in fact, that is what draws the kids to this book in the first place and then they’re amazed at how great the story is!!!

  4. Crap. One more for the list. So really, in this context, “crap” is actually a positive statement. This really does sound like so much fun!!! How is it that I keep saying I’m not a vampire girl, and you keep making me buy all these vampire books anyway?

  5. Sounds like a good one, Chris. You guys are making my wish list almost as bad as my TBR pile…

    Not that I’m complaining. Not really.

    cjh

  6. So, from now on, when you review a book that is part of a series, I will refuse to read it πŸ˜› Because I know that otherwise you’ll just make me want it. I do love me some vampires, especially the non-sparkly kind πŸ˜›

  7. I’ve read the first two books in this series (I picked them up after reading another review about them – I think it was Ali?) and both were really good YA. I didn’t know the third one was coming out so soon! They are good for reluctant readers; I put them on my bookshelf at school, and they disappeared in less than a week. Hope you like the second one! πŸ™‚

  8. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, aka Eighth Grade Bite(?) sounds fantastic. The plot, the characters, and everything about it, from the synopsis, are incredible.

    The author of this book should definitely keep on writing. Her books are bound to get even better–and better–and better!

  9. I loved this book!! It was just so fun, and one thing I really enjoyed was seeing a YA paranormal with a male lead character. Normally this genre is so over-run with female leads, so this was awesome! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series πŸ™‚

    And I’m with you on wanting Vlad’s hoodie – but I think I’ll have to get one printed at a shirt hut cause I can’t find one the same. And I’m pretty serious about my hoodies πŸ˜›

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