Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eighth Grade Bites Review

Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #1)

Goodreads Description

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.

My Thoughts

I bought these books because I saw that Heather Brewer was doing a signing close to where I live. Since not that many authors tour nearby, I decided to buy the books and go to her signing. I had seen the books around but they had never really interested me because the books start off when the main characters are still in middle school. I had the same hestitaion with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and I ended up enjoying them, (though I enjoyed the later books more) so I decided to give the books a chance.

I started Eighth Grade Bites before the signing but didn't finish it. Before I get into my review of Eighth Grade Bites, I would like to start out by saying what a wonderful person Heather Brewer is. I really enjoyed meeting her and I thought the speech she gave was amazing. She talked about her teenage years and how she was picked on and bullied throughout middle and high school. She also told us how she got into writing and offered great insight about the writing process and getting published. There were a lot of young readers there that asked the same question multiple times (just in a different way) and she always answered kindly and patiently. Bottom line: She is super awesome and if you ever have the opportunity to meet her you definitely should.

Now, for the review.

Eighth Grade Bites has the makings to be a great series. However, the first book just didn't really do it for me. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad book by any means and I'm sure the intended audience would LOVE it but for me as an older reader I just couldn't really get into it.

The story and suspense of the novel was good. My problems had more to do with the age and immaturity of the characters. I was disinterested in the whole Vlad/Meredith/Henry situation. However, I do think that the situation would be much more relateable to readers closer to the characters' age.

I did enjoy Brewer's take on vampires. There's still a lot to learn about her world of vampires though and I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

Like I said earlier, the storyline and suspense was good. I can definitely see the storyline and the characters growing and it turning out to be a great series. I have the other four books in the series and I plan to continue it.

Overall, I recommend this book to younger readers or older readers that are willing to overlook the immaturity in the characters.

Grade: C +


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