The Chronicles of Vlad Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
To say Vlad Tod is different would be an understatement. For one thing he’s half human, half vampire. And for another Vlad doesn’t face the same kind of problems his fellow eighth grade peers face.
Sure he can barely form words when he’s in close proximity to girl-of-his-dreams Meredith. Sure he gets picked on, shoved around, and bullied … relentlessly. Sure he doesn’t quite fit in, but let’s be honest, what eight grader does?
No, those superficial “human” problems pale in comparison. His list of problems includes, but is not limited to, dealing with new-found vampire discoveries (he thought he could only read best friend Henry’s mind since he bit him when they were eight years old, but as it turns out, he can read other minds as well), coping and accepting the untimely death of both his parents, making sure his razor-sharp fangs don’t protrude at the wrong time, and wondering what exactly happened to Mr. Craig, his friend and teacher who has been missing for several days.
As if Vlad’s list couldn’t get longer or more complicated Mr. Otis Otis (no, I didn’t stutter) suddenly appears in front of Mr. Craig’s classroom. And he knows more than just English, he knows Vlad, and know what he is. He’s out to get Vlad, but why?
Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vlad Tod: Eighth Grade Bites, hasn’t only written a witty mystery, but she has written a refreshing vampire story. In a world where everyone lusts after the vampire bite, Brewer has created Vlad – a relatively well-adjusted, traditional vampire. Even though he doesn’t sparkle in the sun there is still something alluring about Vlad. It’s not his charm, but his wit and his honesty.
Brewer’s writing is strong and solid, making it easy for readers to get a clear mental picture of the events that unfold within the pages. But what really drives Eighth Grade Bites are Brewer’s well crafted characters. Each feed off (figuratively speaking) one another, and each fit into each others lives like puzzle pieces.
Take Henry, Vlad’s best friend. Where Vlad is serious, Henry lightens the moon with his perfect comedic timing. And even though Vlad’s a vampire, he’s not the bloodsucking fiend people may expect (though he does like the notion of being a fiend) him to be. He’s emotional, he’s deep thinking, and honest.
Eighth Grade Bites was a great read. It was original, well realized, and fun. And readers will be happy to know that this is just the start of The Chronicles of Vlad Tod. There are four more titles in the series (the fourth being released September 21st) to satisfy readers thirst.