Friday, August 28, 2009

Eighth Grade Bites

Eighth Grade Bites

Eighth Grade Bites / Heather Brewer
New York : Speak, 2008
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, bk. 1
182 p.

A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face, scraping his skin, but he kept on running and ignored the stabbing of pine needles on his bare feet. He could hear the man's footsteps behind him, echoing his own.

Right, so I got this book that weekend I was locked out of my apartment and read it in one day. It's that kind of book: fun, simple, and entertaining... all I want in a book about a teenage vampire, really.

Basically Vlad is a vampire halfling. "Me dad's a muggle; mum's a witch!" Wait, I mean his dad was a vampire and his mom wasn't. So basically he eats blood and undercooked meat, but ages like a person. His parents died in a mysterious fire when he was young, so he's raised by his human aunt. He attends a normal junior high where he deals with typical losery teen boy problems.

There's nothing terribly innovative about the basic backdrop of the story, but the direction Brewer takes it keeps it interesting. Vlad's English teacher disappears and is replaced by an off-center man who seems to know something about Vlad. The boy himself discovers old family secrets and gets involved with other vampires he never knew existed. It's a compelling, if throwaway story told with a good amount of intrigue and light humor and the requisite teen angst. I really did enjoy it.

This novel is especially appealing because it stands in contrast with the overwrought, neo-gothic romantic vampire stuff that's been flooding the market lately. (Thanks, Twilight!) This one is fun. It's boyish. Nobody falls in love, nobody cries, nobody SPARKLES. It has more in common with Christopher Moore's vampires than Stephenie Meyers' or Charlaine Harris'. I look forward to reading the next ones.

Eighth Grade Bites

2 comments:

  1. The next one is just as much fun as this one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. :-) Sweet. I'm totally on board.

    ReplyDelete

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