Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

GoodReads Description:
Junior high really stinks 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 and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he realizes he has a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in . . . fast!

My Review:
Why I read this book: I read this book for the Unread Reader's All Male Review Challenge. I love reading from the Male POV, especially if the author is also male. When I read these books, I feel like I get a glance into the confounding male psyche and maybe, just maybe I can begin to decipher some of my own boy problems lol. I'm sad that this challenge was only a month long...and that I only found out about it about a week or two ago. I would have tried reading many many more books for it. 

This was a quick, easy, light read. Granted, it is for a younger audience so I guess I can't be too harsh. Unfortunately, I found that there were many things that left me unsatisfied. This book commits one of the most severe crimes (well...for me) in YA books....this book is EXTREMELY dumbed down. Small words, simplistic plot twists, and underwhelming characters in general all leave me with this air of irritation and doubt. There is just something lacking that is keeping this book from becoming a great one. 

Vlad is kind of a different character. He is an orphan, yet he doesn't seem particularly depressed or upset about it. Ok...SO has anyone other than me noticed that heroes tend to not have parents? For example, in Disney movies,it is highly unlikely to ever finish a movie with both parents alive and healthy. Cinderella, Finding Nemo, Aladdin, Snow White....and the list goes on. And it's not just a Disney thing anymore....its like the defining quality in a hero is that one or more parent was savagely killed/maimed/infected etc and is no longer able to care for(inhibit) the hero. My thoughts on the matter is that by protecting their kids, parents accidentally weaken them. They don't let their kids experience the hardships of life, therefore allowing them to slip through the cracks of heroism and becoming mundane. While orphans, step-children, and those who have dealt with a loss of a parent are thrown out into the harsh world, and the story could end right there with the dying on the streets, but the newly made hero grows a tough skin and becomes the man(or woman) they always had the potential to be. Unfortunately in the case of Vlad...he isn't a very good hero. He makes poor choices based on little or no fact, and he switches sides every other chapter so you are left rather confused

I give this book a 1.5/5 Stars...Not my cup of tea :(



  1. i have to say i really like the title. very very cute! i do have to say that i'm not surprised, but a bit dismayed to see that it does have a vampire theme in it.

  2. I don't know about the cover, but the plot sounds really good. I can't decide whether to pick this one up or not.