Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites, by Heather Brewer
(hb; 2007: first book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)
From the inside flap:
"Junior high really sucks for thirteen year old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vladimir has a secret: his mother was human but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he realizes he has a much bigger problem: he's being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in. . . fast!"
Eighth Grade Bites is a fun, waste-no-words take on vampirism and high school with plenty of humorous and respectful nods at other fang-themed works and legends (e.g., Buffy the Vampire Slayer), while maintaining its own distinctive elements.
Adult or well-read readers will no doubt spot the twists long before they happen, but, bearing in mind that this is a tween book, these twists are effective foreshadowings of what is likely to happen in future Vladimir Tod books.
Worth reading, this.
Followed by The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays.