Note, if you follow the Vladimir Tod series, the latest book (Twelfth Grade Kills) will be released this year in September. However, if you’re a beginner like me, you start with this novel; Eighth Grade Bites.
Eighth Grade Bites, is about a young teenage vampire named Vladimir Tod, who had a human mother, and a vampire father. Your typical average teenager except for his appetite for blood. Yet despite that, he still goes through the same agonies and dramas that engulf a normal teenager his age. Bullies won’t leave him alone, he has an enormous crush on a girl but she’s interested in his best friend, and sometimes having to hide his vampire features can get difficult, especially when he’s hungry. Despite these, his teacher suddenly disappears without a word and the substitute teacher beings to question Vladimir – questions of a personal nature. Vladimir fears his cover may be blown…
It’s a quick read, less than 200 pages. It’s certainly an enjoyable read, and Vladimir Tod is your typical teenage protagonist who is easily likable and fun to read about. He does have a sense of humor despite being different from his peers at school, but on the other hand, he feels alone and has moments of emotion. The plot is very quick and fun to read, there’s plenty of wit and plenty of references towards vampires and vampire culture. (Examples such as: Vlad’s school being called Bathory Junior High, a place that’s called Stokerton, and of course Vladimir is a reference to Vlad the impaler).
The characters surrounding Vlad are likable (except his bullies and enemies), and Henry is a perfect sidekick for him – even though Vlad lives in his shadow at school. (Henry is the direct opposite of Vlad, who has girls admiring him from near and far, is part of the student council, but also happens to know Vlad’s secret). Mr Otis surprised me a couple of times during the novel, at one time I was ready to hate him, yet like him the next. The only criticism I have of this book is, it does tend to get a little overboard with all the references to vampire culture (I think I read there’s a street named after Lugosi – which induced a little bit of eye rolling on my part).
The ending was good, and yet I’m still left with questions that haven’t been answered. I will be definitely be pursuing the rest of the series, as this book was an enjoyable quick read, perfect reading especially after reading big large “heavy” novels. If you’re looking for a light read, and are into vampires but don’t want to get into the “heavy stuff” then take this novel, it’s perfect.
I give it a 9 out of 10.