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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.

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182 pages, Hardcover

First published August 1, 2007

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About the author

Heather Brewer

29 books2,783 followers
Heather Brewer is the pseudonym of Zac Brewer…but you can call him Z.

Zac is the NYT bestselling author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, as well as The Slayer Chronicles series, Soulbound, The Cemetery Boys, The Blood Between Us, and more short stories than he can recall.

He grew up on a diet of Twilight Zone and books by Stephen King. He chased them down with every drop of horror he could find—in books, movie theaters, on television. The most delicious parts of his banquet, however, he found lurking in the shadowed corners of his dark imagination. When he’s not writing books, he’s skittering down your wall and lurking underneath your bed. Zac doesn’t believe in happy endings…unless they involve blood.

He lives in Missouri with his husband, two children, and four furry overlords that some people refer to as “cats”.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,827 reviews
Profile Image for Jacki.
182 reviews22 followers
March 19, 2012
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.

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.
Profile Image for Sita.
108 reviews58 followers
October 3, 2011
This has got to be the best out of the whole series, I remember buying and reading these at the start of year 8, I loved them then, sped through all the books and bought and read the last one the day it came out. I recently read them and I was a little disappointed. I thought they were amazing in my mind, not so much in real life.

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But in saying that, I still found them slightly entertaining, and after re-reading them all. I again concluded that the first one was the best. This is why:
1)8th Grade, I was in 8th Grade at the time, I felt I could really connect to Vlad.

2)Vlad was a cool person, he was funny, he was awkward, and he had a crush. He was a awesome vampire that I believed was real. It was someone I could imagine going to school with.

3)The plot was not stretched out, it was short and sweet. It was a good plot.

4)The Cover, only reason I picked up the book in the first place.

5)He wasn’t up himself. Unlike a lot of vampires I've read about.

6)It was generally a good book.

7)Henry and Vlad were not pms-ing all the time.

Yeah, that’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure the list goes on. Oh yeah, they were young and innocent, LOL.

Overall, this is an interesting twist on the whole vampire thing and is worth looking at. Even if you only read the first in the series.


Yep, it kept me awake...
Profile Image for Barbara.
519 reviews9 followers
April 10, 2008
Vladimir Tod is no ordinary 8th grader. Like most 8th graders, he is trying to negotiate the trials and tribulations of middle school, including a pair of bullies, an unrequited crush, teachers and homework, and oh yeah, the fact that he is a vampire. On top of all this, his English teacher is missing and they get a bizarre new substitute. His mother was human and his father was a vampire but they died in a tragic and mysterious fire when Vlad was 10, therefore he has little guidance to help him navigate life as a vampire. His “aunt” Nell, his parents’ best friend and Vlad’s guardian, does her best to keep his blood lust sated with bags of blood she gets from the hospital where she works as a nurse. Other than his Aunt, his best friend Henry is the only other person who knows he’s a vampire…or so he thinks. Vlad has a million questions after he discovers a journal of his father’s and the mysterious substitute teacher begins asking too many of his own questions. Other mysterious events occur and the plot thickens. Vlad gets some resolution to his questions and these mysteries, but not entirely setting the stage for the next book. This suspenseful first book of a series is sure to please fans of vampire stories even though the main character is only 13. Reviewed by School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 6 books2,016 followers
October 23, 2014
A quick read, but a surprisingly good one, even for an adult. Typical of a kid's book, the plot is a bit simplistic, but it was a good story with believable characters. A lot of background had to be covered & it was well done. This is mostly Vlad figuring out what he is, which fits rather well with his age, too.

One of the more interesting points is the characterization of the various people. They're not as simple as in most books of this type & even the bad guys have redeeming qualities, while the good guys have their faults. Refreshing.

If I found any fault, it was with the pacing. True to life, there were busy, exciting times followed by others that were typical. Typical days were just cut out. Sometimes a jump of several weeks left me a bit dazed & a few threads got lost. The author is constrained by a year per book & I'm guessing a specific length for each book. It felt like it, at times.

Vampire books are all the rage now & I've read so many that I didn't think this series would interest me too much, but I found that it does. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Julie Suzanne.
1,870 reviews66 followers
February 23, 2010
It's unfortunate that this enticing book cover and concept (an 8th grade vampire) were wasted in this way. I didn't think I'd make it through, and only did so out of sheer determination, but the ending turned out to be suspenseful and exciting, causing me to bump my 1 star to a two. The first 120 pages, however, were like having to read an 8th grade student's first draft of a "book".

Not only did the writing fail to engage, but it actually grossed me out. Imagine an 8th grade vampire who eats french fries dipped in thick blood from his special Heinz 51 bottle. Imagine an 8th grade boy inserting capsuls full of blood into his peanut butter sandwich and eating this in the lunchroom, or sipping "tea" at night which is really just nuked blood in a mug. Yuck.

We have an adolescent boy who has the power to read minds and hover, and he rarely does either of these things! Maybe boys are different from girls, but I would've been making use of those skills 24-7 when I was in Jr. High--forget sleeping. He's just the world's most BORING 14-year-old character I've ever encountered, which is just ridiculous because he's a freaking VAMPIRE! I'd hate to see what Brewer would do with a normal teen in a realistic fiction novel...

The plot inconsistencies and holes are too juvenile to even address. Really, it's like when a 7th grader hands you 50 hand-written pages and says "Will you read my book?" I'm not going to pick it apart.

I'm glad that my students are drawn in by the cover, but I'll wager 10 beans that none of them will make it through to the end. It's sloppy, boring (until the very end), crass, and unrealistic, leaving teens with little to relate to. If Brewer had spent some time revising, this could have been a good book.

In sum, the book bites even more than 8th grade. Disappointing.
Profile Image for Bethany.
170 reviews7 followers
September 1, 2007
I'm a complete sucker for vampire stories and "Eighth Grade Bites" did not disappoint me. The story is about a boy named Vladimir Tod an eighth grader with a deep dark secret -- he's a vampire. After his parents died mysteriously and tragically in a flash fire, Vlad was taken in by his "aunt" Nelly, his mother's best friend. As far as Vlad is concerned, he's the only vampire in the world, aside from his now deceased father.

We follow Vladimir through the mysterious disappearance of his English teacher, and into a world of deceit and confusion when Mr. Otis takes over as his English teacher. Suddenly Vlad is finding pieces of his past and mysterious markings in very strange places. Suddenly a whole new world is evident to Vlad, and he's not sure its one he'll be able to survive in.

The story is an excellent one, meant for a young adult audience. It moves along quickly and is full of mysterious surprises which keep the reader interested and engaged. I look forward to the next book by Heather Brewer.

Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,379 reviews1,051 followers
July 9, 2017
“Whoever had decided that school should start so early in the morning and last all day long needed to be hunted down and forced to watch hours of educational television without the aid of caffeine.”

I met this author at a movie convention and bought this book, had it signed, planned to read it soon…but then it sat on my shelves for years for some reason. That’s the story of my life with books.

The writing style is simple and humorous, which should be enjoyable for the middle school age. It was a little too simplified for my tastes, but the story was good enough to stay interesting. I would have liked a bit more complication, but again it’s middle school age, so that’s more forgivable under that circumstance.

Vlad is a hybrid who goes to school like any other normal child, but he soon finds out that he is being unfairly judged by a vampire council I wanted to strangle. There’s a few oddball characters where you’re not sure if they’re trustworthy or not, but all ended up okay on the last pages.

Basically a fun book with several cute moments, it works to be a quick read and nothing more. The series may develop more – I have a few other books to read in it – and I’ll continue to see if the plotline improves a bit as he gets older.

Profile Image for Rachael.
611 reviews46 followers
January 27, 2009
Vladimir Tod doesn’t have much to look forward to in school. As a skinny pale boy in eighth grade, he is often subject to taunts and bullying. To make matters worse, the principal probably hates him and his crush probably likes his more popular best friend Henry. But puberty and teen angst aren’t all Vlad has to worry about; in fact, those are the lesser of his problems because Vlad is only half human—the other half is vampire. The disappearance of a well-liked teacher and the appearance of not only a strange and nosy substitute teacher but also a mysterious and likely dangerous stranger alert Vlad that someone knows his secret—and is out to get him. But in order to fully understand what’s happening to him in the present, Vlad has to drag up painful memories of the past and learn vital information about a vampire world he never knew existed before.

Eighth Grade Bites is a hilarious debut to an intriguing sounding vampire series that successfully combines supernatural dangers with the trials of being a teen. I just have to say that I love Vlad as the protagonist; he has emotional depth as well as determination and spunk, when he needs it. I really enjoyed reading alternately about Vlad’s vampire mischief or woes and his “human” crushes on girls and struggles with being bullied. The plot is interesting enough, mostly told from Vlad’s perspective thought with occasional flashes from other characters, with a nice balance between action and internal maturation. I truly enjoyed the unpredictability and suspenseful nature of the story as it kept me eagerly reading. The concept of a hidden vampire world isn’t quite so unique because it’s used in similar novels, and its background could’ve been better explained, but it is still an interesting addition that I hope to learn more about in the continuation of this series. Fast and funny, though a bit disappointingly short, Eighth Grade Bites is an excellent choice of vampire lore to read.

Readers who enjoyed Kimberly Pauley’s Sucks to Be Me will want to start Brewer’s vampire series, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. I can’t wait to read more of Vlad’s story in Ninth Grade Slays and the not-yet-released Tenth Grade Bleeds.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,763 reviews497 followers
August 20, 2017
Book Review

Book Title: Eighth Grade Bites (Vladimir Todd #1)
Book Author: Heather Brewer (now Zac Brewer)

This is a throwback review, since I read this book way back when I was in grade eight (which feels like a lifetime ago). At the time this was one of my favourite books, and it goes me into many more YA novels and into my current reading obsession. I even called one of my cats Meredith (many years later). This book was a great way to get me into reading, and I applaud Zac Brewer for all of his wonderful writing and work, because I wouldn't be here in my reading and writing career without him.

Now onto my review:

Eighth Grade Bites is a great spin on the typical fish out of water story. Vladimir Todd is a vampire, and his life is quite the mystery. Not only does he have to try to survive being a teenager as a vampire, but he has to try to find out where his past comes from. Where are his parents? What happened to them? Why is he a vampire? Why must he hide this secret?

The book is incredibly light hearted and written for the correct audience. It doesn't exactly translate into the adult scene unless you are interested in these types of books (in my opinion). Rereading it, I loved it but my friends who have moved on from the vampire scene did not enjoy it as much. The book is super fun and delightful and I hope more people get into this series.

Every minute of Vlad's story is enjoyable to read. It will keep you on your toes and make you want to continue the story. The plot is well thought out over the series, and the characters are absolutely lovable. Alongside the steady pace, the random twists that occur make this book stand out among the many other vampire books I have read throughout the years. The fact that I can still pick this book up and get a good chuckle out of it proves to me that Zac is a truly incredible author.

Overall, I give this book four out of five stars. Wonderful story!!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,521 reviews33.9k followers
October 11, 2011
A fun, fast, and fluffy read with lots of humor. I liked Vlad's voice, but the story was a little simplistic for my taste. Hoping to see more plot development in future novels!
Profile Image for Kitty.
211 reviews80 followers
October 22, 2010
I wanted so desperately to like this book - I work with books for a living and I'm always on the look out for good reads for younger teens, especially ones that appeal to boys. So after hearing so many good things about this series I decided to give this a shot. The premise and characters all sounded so fun and the book started out with a definite bang but sadly that's all it really has going for it.

I wish I could give this book two reviews - one for how I think it should be viewed in the eyes of parents and teachers looking to recommend it and one for how it stands up on it's own. For adults looking for good vampire fiction for kids ages 9 - 12 this does make a very good choice. And with so much vampire fiction on the market being targeted at young girls its nice to see a male alternative pop up. I suspect this book would also make a good selection for reluctant readers at a middle school level - the book keeps it's page count low and the writing styling makes it easy to follow along with for younger teens who aren't yet doing so well with longer chapter books.

However for anyone outside of it's target demographic this book is a hot mess - it's biggest flaw being how both characters and plot are woefully underdeveloped - after finishing this book I could tell you a host a facts about the people populating its pages and yet I couldn't tell you why they felt the way that they did or even how they came by such a decision. We know that Vlad has a crush on a girl in his class but she seems to not function at all out side of this role - other than the fact that she had blue eyes we know nothing about her other than Vlad loves her. What is her personality like? Why does Vlad like her so much that he's rendered speechless in her presence? Is she kind? Smart? I know she has pink lips because they're mentioned 100 times but I know nothing else beyond the color of her lip balm and skirts. This doesn't exactly make for a heart pounding romance.

And everything else in the book seems to follow suit in the same way. Characters are around to move the non existent plot foreword rather than flesh out anything resembling an interesting story line. The adults bumble, the vampires are painfully bland and stupid and the dialog between the teenagers is so stilted that it sounds as if it were ripped from some early 90's So You're Going Through Puberty video. All throughout the book I found myself continually wondering if I wasn't reading a badly abridged copy since the characters came to such abrupt decisions and information that was crucial to the story line was dropped so abruptly in that it was distracting to encounter it.

The writing its self is also incredibly clunky and at times it hinders more than it helps. From the dedication on the opening page one would have thought that the writer would have learned her lessons from On Writing but apparently not. And so we're treated to such clunky instances of "I hate it!" Vlad seethed and "X did this and then X did this again before X picked up the phone and reminded us again his name was x" Jesus! Glad to see she doesn't think her audience is so dumb that she has to remind us of a character's name three times in the same sentence or to tell us that if someone is yelling how much they hate something that must mean that they're seething.

And on top of all this the book was a mess of technical facts and keeping it's own mythology straight. Vlad eats raw hamburger to "get at the blood" and yet even third graders know that the pink juice in raw meet isn't blood. His lunches are normal twinkies stuffed with "carefully injected blood capsules" when it seems so much easier to just bring a thermos. At the end of the book he gets a tattoo and yet no one seems to notice it and/or think it odd a 14 year old has such a marking in a completely conspicuous place as his wrist.

Ah, well, I know I've gone off the deep end of a rant now - there's just so much to nit pick at in this book. Honestly I can't believe an editor actually took a look at this before publication - there are just too many gaping holes in the plot for anyone to take this seriously.

So yes, tweens and mature children will love this book and perhaps rightfully so. But for anyone above 15 it just becomes insulting to your intelligence after awhile to keep reading.
June 21, 2022
Rated & Reviewed
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A classic tale of coming of age with a supernatural bite that even the guys will secretly love.

Among some of my favorites. Outstanding literary work. The characters are well developed, interesting. The liked characters are likable and the hated are unlikable. The writing is captivating enough to keep you interested until the end and leave you wanting more. It has a fairly original or uniquely well-developed plot. The pretense and romance were well balanced and done with properly distributed amounts of hints, behaviors, and chemistry. Not so much predictable if at all. Overall, loved it, I recommend reading!!

Full Disclosure : I participate in reviews with NetGalley, Author Review Requests, Publisher Requests, and Book Tours. An e-copy was provided to me by NetGalley and/or the Author, and/or the publishers. No payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was not any obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist, or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Profile Image for Kadi P.
740 reviews94 followers
June 26, 2022
*More like 3.5 stars than 3.*

A promising start to this middle grade vampire series.

Adequately written and with enough lore to constitute world-building (albeit in the form of answers confined only to the last quarter of the book), this was an engaging and sometimes emotional and mysteriously intriguing read.

Despite the writing style not being the most eloquent it still managed to convey very well the emotions that the young, unexpectedly orphaned, protagonist Vlad was feeling throughout. Moreover, the book accurately portrayed the struggles of bullying, young romance, and included a strong friendship. The only downside to all of that would be that the pacing of the plot left more time for the protagonist’s everyday school life than it did for the world-building and vampire-related exploration which only made some headway at the tail end of the book. So the plot didn’t do as great job of balancing the focus between Vlad’s human school life and Vlad’s vampire life as it could’ve.

Also, this would probably not be a good book for the squeamish or faint-hearted. There wasn’t really any gore, but there was a constant appearance of blood and the protagonist drinking blood. Whilst you might think that would be a given considering the protagonist was a vampire, it was still quite surprising to see how flippantly it was woven into the narrative of his everyday life. Arguably, it was necessary in order to set Vlad apart as a vampire amongst all the humans around him, so this was not a negative aspect but just one to be cautious of.
226 reviews44 followers
March 10, 2009
Several students recommended this book for me to read. The vampire genre has regained popularity, with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga and now Heather Brewer's The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. Vlad is a middle schooler born to a vampire father and a human mother. He is not your typical vampire from legends, feasting on bags of blood his aunt gets from a hospital instead of killing humans to feed. At school, Vlad has trouble with his principal, teacher and bullies. It seems life couldn't get more complicated. But after a teacher goes missing, his substitute teacher, Mr. Otis, acts suspiciously and seems to be hot on Vlad's vampire trail. Vlad and his Aunt Nelly are in danger, and in order for Vlad to keep both of them safe, he's got to learn more about the vampire convenants his late father had broken.

This book is original and engaging. When Eighth Grade Bites appeared at the Scholastic book fair in September, it flew off the shelves, even after several reorders. If you are looking for a fun, exciting story that middle schoolers will enjoy and relate to, then pick up a copy of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites!

The sequel is Ninth Grade Slays, which I wasn't really planning on reading, but one of my students handed me a copy today, so I will have to put that on my to-read list!
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books478 followers
November 6, 2012
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for TeensReadToo.com

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod is being raised by "Aunt" Nelly, his mother's best friend. His human mother and vampire father were both killed in a fire, leaving their young vampire son an orphan. Life is not easy for Vlad...the school bullies harass him, the principal seems to have it in for him, and the girl he likes best and wants to ask to the dance seems to prefer his friend, Henry.

Aunt Nelly understands his problems and helps him to hide the fact that he is a vampire and must have fresh blood to survive. Vlad's best friend, Henry, is the only other person who knows his secret, although Vlad did bite Henry once when they were eight years old.

The one teacher that Vlad had real rapport with has disappeared and no one knows where he is. Vlad and Henry are determined to find out what happened to him. The substitute teacher begins to question Vlad too closely -- and there is just something strange about Mr. Otis Otis (yep...first name and last name are the same.) Vlad worries that Otis might suspect the truth, and then when Otis assigns vampires as Vlad's research project, and the teacher scribbles "I know your secret" across the bottom of his essay, he is really frightened.

Vlad discovers his father's journal in the attic and is learning about the reality of being a vampire and the powers that he may possess. Vlad also becomes convinced that there is a vampire killer in town, and that he is next on the killer's list. Things go from bad to worse when Aunt Nelly invites Otis to dinner and he confronts Vlad with what he knows.

There is some gross-out vampire stuff in this story. How about chocolate chip cookies dipped in blood? The gripping confrontation with the vampire horde at the climax of the novel is electrifying in this well plotted, exciting, supernatural adventure. I loved the great characters, and the fast action kept me reading most of the night, with my door firmly locked.
6 reviews
April 8, 2010
All I have to say is two things:
One: TCVT is better than Twilight! First, vampires dont flippin' "sparkle" in sunlight, mmkay? They burst into flames and end in a pile of ashes, never to return to the face of the earth ever again! (Lesson learned from D'Ablo in the...Third book. :P)
Two: I wishhhh the characters were REALLLLL~~ Wait, what am I talking about, in my world, I go out and kidnap my favorite characters from books and have them live with me! (so far my house is full of kidnapped presences that are unknown to my fam:D) So, due to that, Vlad is myyyy cousin. Even though I'm a shade. :]]]
And I'm (sort of) sorry, I lied about the 'only-two-things-to-say' deal up top, cause i have one more thing... This book was super awesome. At first I was like, "yeah...teenage vampire... Eighth grade... Sounds pretty normal to me...", that kind of thing. but I'm in the middle of the fourth book right now, and I must say, it has REALLY transformed. It is completely different. So... finish this book and read the rest of the series, dang-it! it's pure awesomeness!! Well, not the rest of the series, the part of the series thats out, 'cause Twelfth Grade Kills is not out yet... *sob* :]]]
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,408 reviews256 followers
January 11, 2013
I really liked the sense of humor in this book and all of the references. It served as a good introduction to Vlad's world, as well, but at points I thought it got a little too predictable concerning Mr. Otis despite all the twists and turns. I was confused as to why the mark was given near the end regardless of the sense of community/family it offers because wasn't that what the father needed to get rid of if he didn't want to be found? Anyway, I look forward to more plot development and cultural background as it relates to Elysia.
Profile Image for B. Jean.
1,094 reviews15 followers
September 25, 2020
...I need a moment, because I can't get over Henry being handed a squirt gun full of garlic juice, which to vampires is the human equivalent of handing a fourteen year-old a glock.

I knew I was in for a wild ride when the book started with Vlad heading to a halloween party and "grabbing ten dollars because you never knew what would happen with Henry." I was like, ah yes, I too was thirteen, fourteen years old once and thought getting jones sodas from a local cafe was a wild time.

This brought me back to middle school and the mid-2000s. I think I was a year older than Vlad in this book when it came out, so it's incredibly nostalgic. I don't know why I didn't read it back then. I should've. I was a child of the Twilight era, after all. Vampires were EVERYTHING. I think I would've appreciated it more because it has everything I like (and I wouldn't have noticed the prose quality back then.)
Profile Image for Mel.
84 reviews234 followers
October 6, 2010
I picked this book up on a whim. It looked alright, even if it was another YA vampire novel. There was no female first person, and no one was in love with hot sexy vampire hunk. It was a story about a vampire kid going through vampire stuff. Well, there is a teensy bit of romance, but it takes up like 5-10% of the book. This is still set in the teenage world, so it's bound to happen.

I managed to finish it in less than two days, and I must say, I was most impressed. It wasn't mind blowing-ly good or anything, it wasn't even brilliant or awesome, but when you think about all the crap that YA has been doing to vampire literature, you will read this book with constant sighs of relief, because this author did RESEARCH. She actually did RESEARCH. This author went on google, typed up vampire lore and traits, and fucking put those she liked in this book. There are covens, proper vampire characteristics, and laws that make sense. For example, human/vampire love is forbidden. Vlad's father did that in this book, and his coven hunted him down and killed his ass, which is what happens. Vampires are not much of a fan of interracial breeding, especially covens. This why Vlad, for being half human half vampire, is hunted. It makes sense.
Twilight, you're doing it wrong.
Vlad, even though he drank blood bags still had a lust after human blood, which we have seen before and which is what happens in vampires who do this. Like Louis. You all remember Louis, right? Tried to make a living from animal blood, but ended up almost draining a little girl? Yeah, that Louis. Vlad could be to his neck from the blood in blood bags but still stand in front of someone and be like "Biggest urge to bite..." But because that would have been highly inconvenient since it was in the middle of a party, well, he resists. And though he continues to try and resist and convince himself that he's not a killer... well as I said before, Louis tried that, and he ended up eating a little girl. And from what my girlfriend who read the third book told me, the same happens to Vlad.

Vladimir Tod has many characteristics of a young vampire. He's not the brightest bulb in the bunch when it comes to vampirism. He's pretty reckless and too adventurous sometimes, which is how young vampires tend to be, what with their new found powers and look at me and what I can do ha ha ha ha.

The plot of the book was pretty okay. It was certainly fun. For example the somewhat gory descriptions of Vlad's blood food, such as dipping chocolate chip cookies in blood and eating them, were so precious. I couldn't even get angry at the author for making him eat human food (which would normally make them sick since they're kind of... dead) but because it was so precious and innocent I couldn't stay angry for long. Damn you Heather. Damn you.

I did get disappointed by how it ended. I was hoping Otis would have stayed the bad guy, because he would have made an awesome villian. No instead, he turned out to be the secret good guy. And the bad guy was ridiculous. What a bloody easy victory. Again pretty lame.

Also some of the names in this book were bloody lame. For example D'Ablo. And Edgar Poe. Bo-ring. Even the name Vladimir was kind of lame. Lame because it's a reference to Vlad the impaler, not lame because the name sucks. I like the name Vladimir. Heck I have a character named Vladimir. (Not a vampire, mind you)

The characters were okay. I liked Otis, for he was a proper vampire. And he continues to be a proper vampire. Meredith was boring as hell and too... fucking... PIIIINK. Nelly was also quite boring and one dimensional. All she was was Vlad's kind-hearted guardian. She had no other depth to her than that.

All in all, the book was impressive. Not fantastic, heaven's no, just fun and impressive. I'm going to continue reading the series for the sake of wanting to watch Vladimir Tod grow up.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
October 26, 2010
Two confessions: I love a good vampire story that doesn't take itself seriously. And I had to wrestle this book away from my 6th Grade son.

You see, my son's school requires him to read a book and complete a four page report on it every two weeks. Generally, I try to read his selections first. I'm one of "those mamas" who wants to make sure I know what my children are reading at all times. But I didn't pre-read Eight Grade Bites so there was a bit of a tug of war and many exclamations ending with, "Mama, you can read it while I'm in school!"

But, let me talk about the book itself and why it created that tug-of-war. First there's Vlad. An orphaned vampire living with his Aunt Nelly and trying hard to fit in with his Eight Grade classmates. Feel free to conclude that he doesn't. Fortunately, he has a best friend, Henry, who knows his secret. And Aunt Nelly's job as a nurse keeps Vlad stocked with bags of almost-expired blood, which every growing vampire needs. So really, how bad can Vlad's life be?

Well, things take a turn for the worse when a beloved teacher disappears and a substitute teacher, Mr. Otis, shows up. And he's not your typical sub. He wears a top hat and seems to pick on Vlad. I mean, he gives him an assignment where he has to do a presentation on, what else but, vampires?!?!

What I adored about the book was the voice of Vlad. He is one strong kid, determined to understand his heritage and determined to keep the bonds of family and friendship. He is also extremely funny (from p. 147):
"We need to feed, Vlad."
"On a...person?" Vlad's stomach lurched as the last word passed over his tongue. It was all he could do to keep from puking. Blood was tasty but these were his neighbors. And just think of the looks he might get at the next block party if he got caught. Pointing accompanied by frantic whispers. Isn't that the kid who ate Billy. No way.

Book 5 of the Chronicles of Vlad: Twelfth Grade Kills is in stores now. I ran out and bought the remaining four. Because, well, there are more book reports. My son is already 40 pages into Ninth Grade Slays and this Mundie Mom needs to catch up.

If you like a well written vampire tale that slowly introduces a much bigger mythology through the eyes of a very sympathetic character, pick up The Chronicles of Vlad and join us in reading them. Oh, and why yes, my son did get an "A" on his report. Somehow, I know that Vlad, who likes doing English reports, would love to know that.
Profile Image for Lit Fest Magazine.
17 reviews20 followers
November 15, 2010

I love me some vampire stories. I own every one of Charlaine Harris's rather mediocre Southern Vampire Mysteries series. In high school, I was in the Lestat crowd. I own most of the Buffy and Angel DVD collections. I even watched Daybreakers. Vampires are serious business in my house, and part of the charm of any new vampire series is how the vampires function in the new world. What is true, and what is laughable myth in this particular portrayal?

So then, there's EIGHTH GRADE BITES the first book in Heather Brewer's VLADIMIR TOD CHRONICLES. The story is of a 13-year-old dhampir (a half-vampire, half-human) who is struggling with the everyday stresses that come with middle school: girls, sprouting fangs, hiding your blood fix in your peanut butter and jelly, etc. Oh yeah, and Vlad lives with his guardian, Nelly, because his parents died in a “mysterious” house fire two years previously.

The best thing I can say about Brewer's first foray into writing is that it makes the rather grand acknowledgment that children are allowed to have a dark side. In a world of “think of the children!”, Vladimir Tod admires the goth kids (though strangely enough, no-one throws the more natural “emo” label at him). He lights candles and cries and dresses in black, and aside from some stereotypical school bullies, no one tries to “fix” his dress sense or other markers of not-quite-fitting-in.

My main criticisms are those that I hope disappear or at least become mitigated in her subsequent novels: the storytelling is clunky and awkwardly paced. There are some objects that just magically appear in the characters' hands, and some details that might seem necessary to caring about the characters which are either withheld or meted out long after the details would have been helpful. At a slim 182 pages, Brewer could have afforded some space to fleshing out motivations a bit.

A few generations ago, the idea of goth kids being portrayed as anything but a cautionary tale was unimaginable and unpalatable. Two years ago, the idea of vampires being something other than “squee!” material was distasteful. Brewer gives us a middle ground: healthy goth/alternative kids and vicious-yet-reasonable vampires. I really hope Brewer finds her writing legs in the sequels, because today's alternative kids need a character who has the best and words of human and super nature.

Reviewed by Kat Barron for Lit Fest Magazine
Profile Image for R.J..
Author 13 books1,414 followers
December 27, 2008
My apathy toward vampires is nigh-legendary, but I keep finding books that make me reconsider. The last one was Claudia Grey's Evernight, and I thought that was just a fluke; but now that I've met Vladimir Tod, it seems that I now have two vampire-related series of books to follow.

Vladimir is a sweetheart. Not in a wimpy way (though he does get picked on by a couple of lunkheads at school, but he finds his own ways of dealing with that), I just mean that he's a really nice (yet normal and believable) kid. I enjoyed watching him pick his way through the story's mythology, dealing with confusion and anger and seeming betrayal by friends and all the things that could make him tiresomely emo and self-involved, and yet... not becoming tiresomely emo and self-involved. Just picking himself up, gritting his teeth (or fangs) and resolutely carrying on. Big hugs for that, Vlad.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the vampire mythology behind the story, and the indications that the secrets about Vlad's family history and the nature of the vampire world are going to take several more books to explore. That makes me excited to read more in the series, not just to hang out with Vlad again but to watch him develop his powers and his knowledge and tackle bigger enemies along the way... both in high school and in the world of vampires.

Anyway, this was good clean fun and I'm glad I read it. And now I have two more books (so far) to look forward to getting my hands on! Huzzah!
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,893 followers
October 26, 2008
As if eighth grade isn’t hard enough when your human, try being a vampire. As is the life story of Vladimir Todd. Vladimir Todd half human half vampire, orphaned nearly three years ago, only two humans now his is secret; his best friend Henry and his guardian, Nelly.

Vlad is disturbed by the disappearance of his teacher Mr. Craig, and something is defiantly a little strange about the new substitute teacher Mr. Otis. Vlad discovers more about he mysterious death of his parents, through his father’s journal. Vlad assumed he was the only vampire alive, but there happens to be a whole society of them. A society that his father betrayed when he married his mother. Moving to the small town of Bathory was supposed to protect Vlad and his family, but it seems that their vengeance for his father has turned into a hunt for Vlad, himself.

This was an awesome book! The plot was completely unique and the characters were likeable. Usually I read YA books that are geared toward a more mature audience, Eighth Grade Bites, obviously appealing to middle schoolers, hence the title. I was a little apprehensive about my level of enjoyment, but I was completely enthralled in the story and not once did the characters age deter me away from my continues page turning!! I mean being a vampire and all, Vlad is very mature for his age!
Profile Image for Lala.
368 reviews4 followers
June 14, 2015
"If I concentrate, I can make my body float, and sometimes I can read people's thoughts. But for the most part, being a vampire bites."

Adorable. This was such a cute story...OMG. I read some not so kind reviews and I think people's expectations were too high. If you're looking for an earth shattering read...skip this. It's not going to rock your world. But...it's damn cute. It's exactly what I expected it to be. Vlad is adorable and super sweet...crushing on a girl, hanging with his BFF Henry (Romper Room Rambo) and just living life in a small town...oh and he just happens to be a vampire! So since I L.O.V.E. VAMPIRES, you know I just had to read this. Actually I enjoyed this so much I will most definitely check out the next book in the series. This book actually surprised me in that it had a good little story going...some intensity, action and intrigue. Mostly I just really enjoyed the relationship between Vlad and Henry. I look forward to 'Ninth Grade Slays.'

"Hey, did you see Stephanie's sister in there? She was looking pretty nice." Vlad shook his head and turned the corner toward home. "Dude. Seriously. She's twelve."

"It couldn't be easy for Henry to keep Vlad's secret, especially from his family, but he did it anyway. Some humans were so cool."

Profile Image for Rayne.
852 reviews288 followers
July 28, 2012
Well, that was terrible. Maybe if I had read it a couple of years back when I was younger and a more inexperienced reader and certainly not exhausted of vampire novels, maybe I would've found it amusing (though I am probably not giving my former teenage-self enough credit), but I read it now and, trust me, there was nothing remotely amusing, particularly engaging or clever about the book, even though it is obvious the author believed that naming characters Vlad or Edgar Poe or giving a street the name of Lugosi were deviously clever. The story crosses the line of simplistic into just plain and maddening silliness. The novel is alo ridiculously predictable, which had the effect of making this 177 page book feel like a 1000 page one. The humor fell flat, the characters were uninspiring stereotypes and the writing is tepid at best. I had been recommended this series multiple times and I can honestly say that I have no idea why anyone would want me to read this book other than perhaps to induce a coma on me out of the sheer mediocrity that is this novel and the boredom that it ensues. Needless to say, I am not interested in any other book in this series.
Profile Image for HannahT_E2.
16 reviews
May 3, 2018
Personally, I don't think this book is that great. The story plot is average and the writing isn't that good. I borrowed the book because the cover looked cool; however, the book disappointed me and the cover didn't really match the story. The story needs to be more clear...

I give this book a 2/5. I don't think I'll read the next book in the series.
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