Jacki's Reviews > Eighth Grade Bites

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
306690
's review
Mar 18, 12

bookshelves: young-adult-fiction
Read in March, 2009

I'm sure Heather Brewer thought she was pretty damn clever when she named her main vampire character Vladimir (as in "The Impaler"); or when she named another (pretty much non-existent) character Edgar Poe; or when she named the big, scary, dressed-all-in-black, bad guy D'Ablo. And then, of course, she just had to throw in that the street that the vampire family lived on was Lugosi Trail (the only street name, or spacial reference in the whole book).
The plot and build of the story was rather threadbare and lacking. Specifically in the time line area. Brewer skips forward in time by hours, weeks, and months without any acknowledgment to the reader. It starts at a Halloween; skips to the winter Snow Ball dance; then to Valentine's day, and the end of the school year. Arched across all of that is a plot line that should have taken place within 3 weeks tops. It's inconceivable that it would take a whole year to get to where it was going.
Another terrible characteristic of Brewer's writing is that she constantly makes her protagonist dumber than her audience. It drives me completely nuts. For the majority of the book, I felt like I was dragging the protagonist forward with every page turn instead of being led into a puzzling wonder. It's not like it's that hard to figure out that the cliche, scary, shadow man named D'Ablo is probably evil and the playful, eccentric guy named Otis Otis is probably not.
And why were they having such problems tracking Vladimir down? Brewer drew attention to her own plot holes and flaws with questions like, "Why didn't they just pick up the phone book?" Yes, Brewer, why didn't they? Are they just the stereotypical bad guys that always remain a step behind the good guy until the very end when they're magically a step ahead for the final confrontation? Oh wait, they are! You said that yourself when you called D'Ablo a cliche. Oh wonderful. Problem solved.
The book is dumb.

edited:
You know, the more I think about this book, the more I wonder if maybe the author wrote it as a joke. I mean, the plot formula was pulled straight out of Harry Potter; the names she used for characters and places sound like a bad joke; and she literally calls her antagonist a cliche in the book. Maybe she got drunk one night and thought to herself, "Hey! If J.K. Rowling could do it, so can I."
Maybe it's satire. But even as satire, it's still a bad joke.
40 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Eighth Grade Bites.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-50 of 78) (78 new)


Dustin Peterson i 110% dissagree with you. it was 1 of the best books ive ever read. so stop bein a hata and get a life, that has nothing to do with insulting really good books!



Skye Heather could name her characters however she wants too. Stop complaining about that.
I have to say that this wasn't the best book in the series, but the series is pretty good. I started reading the series from the 3rd book, and I really liked that book.


Dani agreed


Killer Queen And yet I want to keep reading...*sigh*


Jacki Skye wrote: "Heather could name her characters however she wants too. Stop complaining about that.
I have to say that this wasn't the best book in the series, but the series is pretty good. I started reading th..."


Do you realize what these names mean? It's like she was trying to show her shallow knowledge of Vampire pop culture. Except for the Edgar Allen Poe reference which I can't figure out at all. She either just likes Edgar Allen Poe and wanted to throw his name in there for a few blaring chapters or else she knows nothing about Poe and just thought he should be in the mix because he wrote dark stories.
The funny thing is that Poe never had anything to do with Vampires. He wrote about zombies and mummies and ghosts and orangutans that beat the crap out of people, but he never wrote about vampires.
Why the hell she put his name in the middle of a bunch of vampire references, I'll never guess.


James The names are just supposed to be silly little tidbits... they have nothing to do with the story. I understand you don't like it and I'll accept that but this is personally one of my favorite book series.


Jacki James wrote: "they have nothing to do with the story. "

Which is why I have three more paragraphs to explain why the story is dumb. ;)


Sami I love this author and i know im not the only one. I'm sorry that this wasn't your cup of tea, but please be nice about it.


Stephaney Umana you dont have to LIKE the book but you have to at least care about the people who do LOVE or LIKE the book because you are being a bitch to everybody and you should at least be nice. yes the names dont have anything to do with the story so just respect others feelings about the damn book. and btw i LOVE the book


message 10: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Stephaney wrote: "you dont have to LIKE the book but you have to at least care about the people who do LOVE or LIKE the book because you are being a bitch to everybody and you should at least be nice. yes the names ..."

Sweetheart, it's a book review. I don't care if you like the book or not. You can like whatever you want. My qualm is not with you. It's with the book. You guys are the ones that are criticizing me for not liking it. And I'm defending my opinion--as hard and disgusted as it is.


message 11: by inconflict (new) - added it

inconflict Seriously? I've not read the book yet, which is maybe a good thing, because I was about to spend money for it. Reading this review makes me think that maybe I should just borrow the damn thing at some library.. Your points make sense, I've read some books that are actually like what you say they are, a plot that just drags on, and villains looking like morons incapable of using logic (it was humorous to see your point of "why didn't they use the phone directory?") LOL. Okay, I've changed my mind. I'm not going to travel all the way to the library to read a book that sounds stupid. ..It's quite far.


Kilee Wiegel it was the first book for gods sake.. the series gets way better. just cause she put corky names in the book doesnt make it any less amazing. i mean my god. if you hate it so much why even read it?


message 13: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Kilee wrote: "it was the first book for gods sake.. the series gets way better. just cause she put corky names in the book doesnt make it any less amazing. i mean my god. if you hate it so much why even read it?"

Good question. I usually try to keep up with the fads of teens, since I spend a lot of time with them.

Being the first book in a series makes it even more crucial to be well written. Otherwise, what possible reason would I have to want to read more?


Katia I read the WHOLE entire series And I LOVED it !!!!! I don't know yy u don't , I mean , yea so the names are a little fucked up , but if u wanted to go day by mother fucking day the book will b seriously long considering she does a whole school year ! I did get confused though , from holloween to winter , confusing , but yhu' get catched on , and this book wasn't the best , but I have read some books tht literly made me fall asleep .-. And drunk ? R u forreal ?? Get a life and stop hatin >.< !


Katia Ps , I thought teachrszz were supposed to be POSOTIVE not haterz .----.


Katia And the first series is always the less excited one , they do get WAY better


message 17: by Jill (new) - rated it 1 star

Jill Jacki, I agree with your review completely. I don't understand the hype at all. The references were indeed overly cliche. They've got to be satirical. But, like you said, it's not really funny.

And these ignorant comments you're getting are awful. Your review is perfectly reasonable.


Katia Awful being negetive about ANY book dumbass .-.


Katia And ignorant ?! Bitch please , she has her oppion , and can express it in an awful way , and so can we , so don't say awful comments , becuse for some people , her review was awful.


message 20: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki I love that this thread doesn't end. It constantly keeps me entertained.


message 21: by Jill (new) - rated it 1 star

Jill Reviews can be negative. We all have the right to our opinions, as you said. It's not a personal attack. So there's no need to curse the reviewer. THAT is what I think is ignorant. To me, THAT is awful.

Katia wrote: "And ignorant ?! Bitch please , she has her oppion , and can express it in an awful way , and so can we , so don't say awful comments , becuse for some people , her review was awful."


Katia Agreed , but


Katia Cursing are just other words tht express


message 24: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki So for clarity's sake, what exactly are you agreeing to, here?


Katia .-.


Magic Seriously guys, this is a review. It is all about opinions. I personally agree with the review. The book had a lot of flaws that Jacki pointed out.


message 27: by emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

emma zanfardino What is wrong with u!!??? Just cuz u don't like a book or the way an author writes a book does NOT mean u call the author stupid!!!!!
This was one of my favorite books!!!
If u don't like this book then just say:
I didn't like this book. I would have liked to see more... blah blah blah...


Magic emma wrote: "What is wrong with u!!??? Just cuz u don't like a book or the way an author writes a book does NOT mean u call the author stupid!!!!!
This was one of my favorite books!!!
If u don't like this book ..."



Nobody is calling the author stupid. This is all about opinions. Their is no need to go complain about another persons opinion. You can't go off telling people how to write there reviews.


message 29: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Man, if you guys think my review is harsh, you should read Mark Twain's review of a book he didn't like:
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns...

Now he knew how to be harsh as well as funny. I agree with pretty much everything he says even though most of what he hated was just the style of writing. Mark Twain hated romanticism as much as I do.

Another great review that tore apart the book is this one:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1LPA5YO...

Which makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.


Kaitlyn Freeman So, this is purely my opinion, but I was really into the books. I was only in middle school when I read them, though, so I'm not sure what I'd think of them now. You do have some very valid points, however.

And you shouldn't be receiving all this hate from your review. Me, being a fan of the books, totally respect your opinion.

(ahem, some of the commenters need a little grammar help, I've noticed..)


message 31: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki All of this is opinion. We're talking about fad-fiction here. There are very few facts to be had.


Ashley Tobie Omg you learn all of your questions in the whole book series. You would have noticed that if you'd shut your trap and read the rest of the series before complaining about it like your flipping queen of the world and expect everyone to agree with you and if you think people will respect your opinions you better respect us and our opinions!!!!!!!!!!!thank u very much and have a nice day.


message 33: by Mari (new)

Mari You know, I don't think you are as funny as you think. In the real world, many of us real people feel like a cliche much of the time, so I don't see the problem. You are certainly a good example of a real world cliche. Why do you have a chair on your head in that hideous picture?


message 34: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Mari wrote: "You know, I don't think you are as funny as you think. In the real world, many of us real people feel like a cliche much of the time, so I don't see the problem. You are certainly a good example of..."

1) When was I trying to be funny?
2) What is your point about cliches?
3) It's an inside joke.


message 35: by Jill (new) - rated it 1 star

Jill Now the reviewer's profile pic is being attacked?! I don't know why I'm still surprised by these comments. I can't wait until this comment board receives its next new low. Two thumbs up for entertainment.


message 36: by Katie (new)

Katie Haha gosh Jacki, people attacking a real person in defense of fictional characters, that's what you get for reading young adult fiction ;)


message 37: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Hey, personal taste is a sensitive subject. You call the Ninja Turtles dumb and you better believe I'll call you ugly. It's the best defense I've got for giant mutated turtles that learned English from a talking rat who speaks with a Japanese accent.


message 38: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Simon I think people were getting as upset about the review as they were because when you open up to this book, this is the first review you read. And its harsh. Rudely harsh. I haven't even read this series, and went to see what people had to say. I have to admit that your review annoyed me to no end. It came across much more like trite slanderous comments towards the book and writer than an educated and thoughtful review, which reflects much more upon you than the book. I'd also like to bring up the point that although the writer might not seem to you that she knows what she is doing, it is obvious that she has a better understanding for this genre then you are giving her credit for. It might not make sense to you, but this is a book written for teens, and it seems to me that she had a good understanding of that. I just wish the first review people were reading about this book was one with more class and less unnecessary cruelty.


message 39: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Point considered, but I feel that we disagree on one major issue that affects our take on this. You seem to assume that someone who can publish a successful book (success being defined by sales) must "know what she's doing."

However, it's becoming increasingly clear that crap sells. Hell, some of my favorite movies are crap and some crappy books are just inexplicably fun (The Midnighters series for me).

But being successful does not make you smart, knowledgeable, or intentional. It's the other way around: being smart, knowledgeable and intentional help make you successful...sometimes. But when it comes to capitalism, even intelligence can fail. Smart movies bomb in the box office while Twilight hits records because it's about what people want. And there are many tried and true formulas for what people want--take the Harry Potter/Scooby Doo formula for instance. And it's easy to write these without ever realizing it because it's how our brains work.

You think I assume too little of the author. I think you assume too much. After reading books such as Bel Canto (hot air and xenophobia), Boy in the Stripped Pajamas (the holocaust according so someone who never researched Germany, language, culture, or how aware 10 year old boys are), Ishmael (ethical and anthropological musings by someone who thinks that there are societies who don't have suicide or depression), and even classic writers like Jane Austin (I'm sorry, but she's very formulaic), I can tell you that authors don't have to know what they're doing or what they're talking about to sell their work.

The way we define success in books today (and perhaps ever, I don't know) has very little to do with skill and a lot to do with marketability. This series hit the peak of the vampire fad. And that's all it is. There's nothing in this that appeals to anything other than the fad--a flash in the pan, if you will.


message 40: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Simon I think the main point in all of this isn't whether or not the writer understood how to use the current market to her advantage. Kids today often read crap, and many writers are very smart in picking up on the trends and making good use of what teens want to read. Everything you wrote about her book could be completely true. That isn't the point. It really just comes down to the fact that you don't have tact when expressing your opinion. It is very hard to take anyone seriously, whether or not they are right or wrong, when they handle themselves such as you did.


message 41: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki You're entitled to your opinion.


Allison Porter Completely disagree this book was good. It did skip around but at least it didn't drag on and on. She can name her characters whatever she wants and the plot was fine.


Allison Porter Ohh and the only thing that could make this book better, in my opinion, is to make this book WAY bigger. Lie almost 300 to 500 pages.


Rachel Wendel I honestly loved the named. It was a slight level of almost pun that she added in. Also, I thought the jumping around in time was perfect. This is written from the perspective of a teenage boy. Vlad has more important things to worry about than to explain that it took four hours for him to watch the movies before he went upstairs and to bed. Not specifying time further expressed the character and made him more real.


message 45: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Rachel wrote: "I honestly loved the named. It was a slight level of almost pun that she added in. Also, I thought the jumping around in time was perfect. This is written from the perspective of a teenage boy. Vla..."

I disagree. I'm not saying she should have included detailed accounts of what the boy was doing each day. I certainly didn't want to hear any more of that. What I'm saying is that the plot line--if you only take the events that actually moved the story at all--could have happened within a month--not a school year. There is absolutely no way it took a year for the bad guy to find the good guy and confront him. Or vice versa. The only reason the author stretched it out to a full school year was because it's traditional in these types of teen novels to relate to teenagers by throwing in school related events like seasonal dances.

J.K. Rowling did this very successfully in Harry Potter for a couple of reasons. Her school related events added to the mysticism of the magical world because it fell in line with our idea of school events, but was enchanting and engaging to read about. So it added to the setting. But she also never let it fall empty. At every event, something happened that thickened the plot and drove the story forward.

Brewer did none of this. Her school events were empty, mundane, and didn't further anything. They didn't even help flesh out the girl that Vlad had a crush on. Brewer might as well have written, "Hey, readers, Vlad is a kid just like you, see? He does... teen stuff. Let's move on." And then continued with her thin plot line that should have ended somewhere in November after it started on Halloween.

It just seems very obvious to me that she tried to take the skeleton of a Harry Potter type book and stretch her own plot over it. But her plot is not thick enough to fit the time line successfully. So in the end, it just looks like a rabbit hide pulled over a horse's bones.


Alexis Should I read the book or just read a different one. I need to know if this book is good.


message 47: by Jacki (new) - rated it 1 star

Jacki Alexis wrote: "Should I read the book or just read a different one. I need to know if this book is good."

Well, you've got a herd of opinions here to listen to or not. It's up to you. I say, there are plenty of other fantastic books to read in it's stead. So do you really want to waste time on an iffy one?


Magic Shrishti wrote: "You CAN just write that you don't like the book OR its author, but font insult her when you know that there might be people that like her books. Alright so I did NOT expect such a harsh review, but..."

Uh, she was giving reasons why she didn't like the book. And the author played a major part.


Grace I read this entire series, and I am a teen. The conversations in this book I hear far too much for my liking in real life. Vlad had no redeeming qualities or anything interesting about him besides that he's a vampire (and making vampire jokes and puns 24/7). How is it suddenly a good book if Vlad is your average teenager? Don't most people read books to induce imagination or relate to the characters? I couldn't do any of that with this book. Brewer tried aiming this at a teen audience, but I think it's just sorta childish........I wish I knew if this book was a joke or not.


Alexis I can agree with you a little but something tells me I shouldn't agree with you. (Anyone can use a character that has been used in the past.)


« previous 1
back to top