Author: Heather Brewer
Series: Chronicles of Vladmir Todd
Pages: 192 pages
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal
Published: (UK) 6th January 2011 - Razorbill
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 Vlad has a secret: his mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: he's being hunted by a vampire killer.
Eighth Grade Bites follows the story of Vladmir Tod who is being raised by his "Aunt" Nelly after his parents died in a fire. As well as coping with the grief of loosing his parents, Vlad is also has to deal with being half-vampire, something which is much harder now he doesn't have his father around to explain things.Fortunately Nelly and Vlad's best friend, Henry, know of his 'condition' and do what they can to help. As if all this wasn't enough, Vlad's English teacher goes missing and is replaced by a strange substitute teacher.
The book is well written with believable enough characters. It's a relatively short book that was quick and easy to read. I found myself a little disappointed with the story itself though. The 'twists' where on the predictable side and I felt that there was lots of parts that could have been expanded on more. Still, this is a book that is aimed at a younger teen audience ( twelve and thirteen-year-olds) and I guess the characters and plot reflect that. It's also the first of a series and I'd imagine more character and story-world development will come in the later books.
A reasonable start to a series of which I'll be picking up the next book sometime, although I probably won't be rushing out to by it straight away.