I searched around a bit looking for a vampire book I wanted to read - there's no shortage of them these days. I landed on Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer. Mostly, ok, not mostly. It was pretty much the awesome cover that got me to read this one. I didn't really look into it any further once I saw the cover.
Vlad's different. He's always been different. When he gets hungry or angry he grows fangs. He can eat anything, but the only thing that actually sustains him is blood. Luckily, his aunt is a nurse and has access to the blood bank. Even among vampires (not that he's met any) he's a bit different. You see, his dad was a vampire, but his mom was human, so all the lore doesn't quite match up to his reality. Normal adolescence is hard, but when you've got powers you don't know what to do with? Yeah. When people start to disappear, and strange people show up in his little town, Vlad starts to look closer at himself - and his parent's deaths three years before. Hopefully, he'll learn enough to keep himself safe.
It's a light, quick read. Which is actually odd, since several people die. One death in particular is a little on the gruesome, unsettling side. I'm ambivalent about the book. I won't have a problem recommending it, but it's not a must read. I don't feel that there was any significant character development beyond exactly what you'd expect for Vlad. The supporting cast didn't have any dimension. I was especially disappointed with Vlad's best friend. Henry was interesting and dynamic, but there wasn't anything behind it, and his role at the end of the book was disappointing. It is however littered with amusing lines:
"Girls like Meredith Brookstone didn't date boys like Vladimir Tod. Besides, the hickeys would be a nightmare" p 15.
"'Hey Henry?' 'Yeah?' 'I'm sorry about biting you when we were eight.' 'No problem. Just stay away from the cat or Mom with throw a fit"' p 133.
The sequel, Ninth Grade Slays just came out.