Author: Heather Brewer
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, vol. 3
My rating: 4.5 of 5
You’d think starting high school would signify a fresh start, some significant changes. But no, Vlad’s still dealing with the same old, same old: massive cravings for blood, scary vampires out to kill him, the usual. Hey, his middle school principal’s even followed him to high school to make things even better. Trouble is, when everything seems to be going incredibly scary–to the point that Vlad’s scaring himself with the changes he’s undergoing–his best friend Henry seems to be avoiding him and his uncle Otis is nowhere to be found. At least he’s dating the girl of his dreams . . . if he doesn’t end up eating her for a snack by accident.
Having reached the third volume of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, I’m still impressed by how fun, accessible, and generally outstanding they are in the overwhelming flood of vampire stories currently available. Tenth Grade Bleeds is a solid follow through from the first two stories, showing continued growth in Vlad’s character, the vampire mythos as a whole, and the Pravus storyline. I think, more than some, this volume focuses on Vlad’s own internal character and growth since, for a good part of the story, he’s kind of left out on his own. I mean, his aunt Nelly’s around, but he doesn’t exactly spill his vampire problems on her, generally speaking. So he’s got a lot of time (scary, dangerous time for part of it) alone to think about things. I think this volume’s perhaps a bit darker than the previous volumes . . . but that’s likely just because it’s fresher in my mind. The others were actually pretty dangerous and deep too; it’s just that the light, easy writing style makes it easy to overlook exactly how dark they can be. Speaking of which, I absolutely love Brewer’s writing style. It almost makes me think of Japanese light novels rather than your usual American YA–mostly because it flows lightly and fluidly without getting too caught up in itself. It’s thoughtful but easy to read–plus full of attitude and fun. I would definitely recommend this series, and Tenth Grade Bleeds in particular to anyone, even if you’re not typically a vampire story fan.