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Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) Paperback – March 13, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—Vladimir Tod's is a vampire-or at least sort of; he's not quite sure. His father was a vampire, but his mother was human, and they died three years ago in a mysterious accident. Now Vlad has only his friend Henry and his "Aunt" Nelly, his mother's best friend who is raising him, to confide in. He has a hunger for blood, although he's been trained since babyhood to be "normal" and not to act on it. He gets by because Nelly, who's a nurse, brings home bags of blood from the hospital where she works, and he hides one or two in his backpack for when he gets hungry. But Vlad realizes that his father had a history he didn't know about when his English teacher vanishes mysteriously, to be replaced by a tall, thin substitute teacher in a purple top hat who seems to know a little too much about him. This story comes with all the usual eighth-grade angst, and none of the characters is particularly gripping. While some vampire fans will enjoy it, others will find the way that Brewer plays fast and loose with the standard vampire lore hard to swallow. Eighth Grade Bites reads like the novelization of an unexceptional made-for-TV movie.—Walter Minkel, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Heather Brewer was not your typical teen growing up. She wore black, danced under full moons, and devoured every book in sight. She hasn't changed much. Today, Heather can be found writing in her funky, black Happy Bunny jammie pants, dancing under a full moon, devouring every book in sight, and attending renaissance faire in full costume (and in character).
When Heather's not writing, dressing up, dancing and reading, she's answering email, which she loves to get over at her website.
Top customer reviews
Other reviewers mentioned that the plot and characters are not relatable but it is ok because the book was written for a younger audience. I respectfully disagree. Harry Potter, City of Bones and even Twilight were written for younger audience and you can relate to the characters. The main problem here is that Vlad is a boy who talks and thinks like a girl.(stop here if you do not want spoilers)
I cannot possibly imagine a 14 year old boy begging his uncle to stay. Or crying a lot. In front of people... His relationship with his aunt is so perfect it seems unrealistic. Not to mention that upwards the end all his vampire enemies will stay away because he as one device that can produce a light beam that can kill them. It would be like saying that Vokdermort would stay away because Harry got a gun.
However, it is always refreshing to see authors come up with solutions for the vampire morphology such as sun block.
I am giving 3 starts because I want to see how she develops Vlad universe and if the writing gets better as he gets older.
I am currently rereading this whole series while on vacation from school. It's the perfect book to start your children's book collection.
The only reason why I am giving it a 4/5 starts is because I am a hardcover book lover and this particular book does not come in hardcover.
To summerise my review: this book is a must read, right up there next to Harry Potter.
the story follows the adventures of a teenage vampire semi-humorously exploring the problems that a real life vampire would experience trying to live in a human world while also adding the stresses of the vampire world and orphan living with aunt life to give the story a sort of "Harry Potter" feel. This was a good (if typical) balance and I would have been happy enough to enjoy seeing the world through a vampires eyes, if it wasn't for everything else.
The villain (whom you assume is the main villain but --spoiler-- isn't) is flat. actually, all the villains are flat. there is no method to their madness beyond "we want power". Why do you want power? what are your thoughts on living forever? does material wealth bring happiness? I've seen power ranger side-villains with more depth. Also, in the last book (major spoilers here but you shouldn't bother with this book anyway so here goes) all but one of the good guys turns evil. just completely randomly. I LOVE plot twists, but only when I can look back and see why this twist would happen. this twist DESTROYS all character development of LOADS of side characters.
then there's his hunter-friend. this highly trained shut-in who is trained to hunt creatures who hide among humans, blending in perfectly with the host society. why did he decide to be best friends with the kid who is obviously a vampire? aren't there tests that you perform to see who is or isn't a vampire BEFORE you tell them your deepest secrets? also, vlad goes on and on about how deeply indoctrinated his friend is; by this evil vampire killing organization. Did you forget that most vampires KILL PEOPLE FOR FOOD!?! in one book, vlad takes pity on his uncle and says "Go eat a hobo. you've been holding back for a long time." and his uncle gratefully "Takes care of the city's homeless problem." that is the most evil thing I have ever heard! vlad is supposed to be a good guy. if vlad's a good guy, we need more "brainwashed" teenagers sticking stakes in "good people".
the romantic build up gets flushed (seemingly on a whim) so that vlad can get with a subservient star-eyed goth and the whole mood swings up and down from "why is everyone so mean? why can't we all get along?" to "Be a dear Kill some of those lesser beings, would you?" and back again.
this series bites
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