About the Book

Title: Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #1)
Published: 2007
Series: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
Swoonworthy Scale: 2

BFF Charm: Yay
Talky Talk: The Vampire Under The Cupboard
Bonus Factors: A Vampire City?!!
Relationship Status: My Favorite Younger Brother

The Deal:

Vladimir Tod is in eighth grade, and is dealing with all of the typical eighth grade stuff: feeling awkward, mean bullies, a crush on a popular girl, grieving over the death of his parents, and being a vampire. Oh yeah. See, his father was a vampire, and his mother was human. Vlad subsists on blood, (although he likes a good chocolate chip cookie now and then) but has been raised to never drink from humans. His aunty Nelly–who isn’t really his aunt, but never mind– has been raising him, and is one of two humans who knows his secret. (She’s also a nurse, handily, and brings home the blood bags!) As Vlad continues to develop some of his vampire powers, we the readers see that a dark someone is hunting him, and as his desire to find out what really happened to his parents builds, Vlad begins a dangerous journey…

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

So Vlad is a 13-year old boy. But I didn’t once get annoyed with him. Don’t spread it around, but he’s kind of a little darling, and I loved watching him figuring out the mysteries his parents left behind. The fierce loyalty between Vlad and his best friend, Henry (who was the only other human besides his aunt who knew Vlad’s secret) was adorbs, and I felt his hopes soar and get dashed whenever Meredith looked his way. Also, Vlad, I’d go with you to your secret spot and we could have a good cry over your parents together.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

This really isn’t a romantic book. I totally felt Vlad’s crush, but nothing, as of yet, has really come of it, and that’s okay, because this story had a lot of ground to cover.

Talky Talk: The Vampire Under The Cupboard

So I couldn’t help but be reminded a bit of Harry Potter when I read this book. I’m not going to say it’s necessarily in the same league of awesome, but this book has heart. (Contrary to what you might think by looking a the cover art, because it’s clearly geared to 14-year old girls and boys.) Anyway, the story is straightforward and clever, and I never once questioned the mythos. I just cared about Vlad and Henry, and what they were going to do next.

Bonus Factor: Vampire City?!!

I don’t want to post any spoilers, but can you imagine if there was a secret city where all the vampires lived, and they had their own government and everything? Oh, you can? Well, it’s still cool.

Relationship Status: My Favorite Younger Brother

I really felt like this book and I GOT each other. I might be closer to it than all my other young-boy books. It’s not super clingy, or really bratty and annoying, or ADD like some of the others. We could actually have a conversation that didn’t end in it farting. So I think I’m going to keep it around.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Eighth Grade Bites is available now.


Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.