Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites – Heather Brewer
Vladimir is an orphan and half-vampire, he can sort of fly, uses sunscreen to deal with the sun, and is “allergic” to garlic. His guardian is a nurse who steals bags of blood from the hospital just before they expire. His father went against vampire society, Elysia, to marry his mother and went into hiding to protect the family. But both parents were killed in a suspicious fire when Vlad was 10. Vlad knows almost nothing about being a vampire and didn’t expect there to even be others of his kind. But now strange people are showing up in his town, a teacher is missing, and he’s beginning to learn a little about his father through his diary.
I was not captivated by this book, so that’s as much of a plot summary as I can manage. The plot’s forward movement depends too much on Vlad’s lack of curiosity and misconstrual of events. No one’s actions make sense. And I’m not interested enough in either the character of Vladimir or where the plot (there is an ancient prophecy about Vlad, probably something about being “the one”) is going. Are his parents really dead? Does Meredith like Vlad? I can’t say I care. The cover art is the best thing about this book, and the next in the series, Ninth Grade Slays, looks good, too. The problem is that despite his “super powers,” Vlad is just another boring 13-year-old. Despite the interesting cover, this book hasn’t had much success at my library, I even had trouble giving a copy away. But the reviews of it are generally strong, and I’ll keep it in mind when I have boys who ask for vampire books.