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Tenth Grade Bleeds

Review by: 
Catwalk
Author: 
Heather Brewer
Genre: 
Horror
Publication Date: 
2009
Publisher: 
Dutton
Bottom Line: 
4

High school is tough. Kids have to juggle the never-ending popularity contest, pay attention in class, develop the understanding that video games are not always priority one, adjust to actual relationships and be prepared to grow apart from lifelong friends. That’s enough to juggle for any teenager. When you’re a vampire, that’s only half the battle.

Vladimir Tod has begun his sophomore year at Bathory High.  Things are looking up for the young vampire.  He is going steady with the girl of his dreams, school work isn’t too abysmal, and no vampires or slayers have tried to kill him in months. Not all is right in the world, though.  His best friend, Henry, is moody and secretive around Vlad. His uncle Otis has once again departed the country in search of prophetic code and his nemesis, D’Ablo, is still in town and making appearances in Vlad’s life from time to time.

Vlad is forced to learn more about himself than ever before. He is challenged by new emotions and temptations as the vampire within him grows into adulthood. He discovers incredible new abilities but not without a price. The balance between Vlad’s vampire and human sides is a pendulum, and this year, that balance swings heavily in favor of the undead.

Book Three of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod signifies a number of changes for Vlad. In Eighth Grade Bites, readers met Vlad, his Aunt Nelly, his buddy Henry and the strange Otis Otis. Ninth Grade Slays introduced more of vampire culture, the Elysian code, slayers and some deadly enemies. Tenth Grade Bleeds is a much more adult book. In a society where vampirism and sorcery is becoming fodder for Hollywood, author Heather Brewer resists the temptation to keep things light.

Tenth Grade Bleeds mixes the appropriate amounts of goth coming-of-age with murder and chaos. The villains are maniacal. The blades are sharp. The blood flows freely.  Brewer has kept the series moving steadily forward, refraining from any desperate shifts in story of character. The talented author makes the most of the momentum she’s created in the series, leading readers on a fast, fun journey.

For more information on Heather Brewer and Vladimir Tod, check out http://www.heatherbrewer.com.

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