The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is a series recommended to me for summer reading. I figured I’d get started early and read the first book: Eighth Grade Bites. It was a lot of fun—and it doesn’t matter that the main character, Vlad Tod is in eighth grade; you’ll still be able to relate to him. If that really bothers you, you could start with Ninth Grade Slays or Tenth Grade Bleeds. But I think you’ll have fun with the whole series, which goes on to include Eleventh Grade Burns and Twelfth Grade Kills.
Vlad has a lot of the usual school problems—he’s bullied, a girl he’s crushing on seems to like his best friend, and others consider him a ‘goth’ because he’s so pale. He’s actually half-vampire (his mom was a human), but he still has to wear sunscreen to go out during the day or the sun will burn him up. Since he has to drink blood, in elementary school, his mother had brought him lunch each day. Now that his parents are dead—they perished in a mysterious fire—his adopted aunt cooks up wacky meals with blood-gel centers, such as cupcakes. (Imagine that in the middle of your Twinkie.) And Aunt has ready access to blood because she’s a nurse and takes frozen supplies of blood that are about to reach their expiration date.
The only person beside his aunt that knows his secret is Henry, the best friend mentioned above. When the friends’ English teacher disappears (you, reader, know from the first pages that he has been killed), a new teacher (Mr. Otis) comes to town, and he seems to know something about Vlad’s vampire nature. He also seems to be hunting Vlad down along with another stranger.
Lots of this is funny—plenty of gags about bloody food, jokes between the friends about coffin arrangements, accidental garlic attacks. (If you enjoy puns, this book is a must.) And that’s why I liked it so much. Too many of these vampire/gothic romance YA books takes themselves waaaay too seriously. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod doesn’t. Even so, there’s adventure, kidnapping, some suspense, and a neat resolution.
I have a long list of books to read this summer, but I’m going to get in at least one more Vladimir Tod—Ninth Grade Slays—because it’s too fun to quit just yet. Join me in reading this summer. It’s the easiest, most fun way of keeping your mind active during the break. Make a comment on this or any of the books I’ve suggested for summer reading!
Note: For the summer reading list, go to the blog post on summer reading.