Eighth Grade Bites #1: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Eighth Grade Bites #1: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Graphic Novel - Julia Laud, Heather Brewer, Tony Lee I basically read this out of utter curiosity - picked it up and read it in less than a couple of hours. I would say that it's more on the level of younger YA (though I think certainly those who are elder could enjoy it as a light read), though it has its share of intense scenes toward the end of the book. The story is about a young teen vampire named Valadimir (Vlad) Tod, who lives life secretly as a vampire - drinking blood from the bags that his guardian, Aunt Nelly, brings home from the hospital, and having to keep his fangs in check while at school. He has his share of problems - such as being picked on by bullies, the girl he likes not really taking as much notice of him as she does his best friend, among other troubles. But it doesn't compare to when he realizes his usual teacher is missing, and that his substitute teacher seems to suspect that he's a vampire.The characters are, while lightly constructed, quite funny and age appropriate. Vlad and Henry are two great friends to follow in the scheme of events. Kind of didn't like how quick to tears Vlad was in points when quite a number of times in the story it said Vlad wasn't really a crier - seemed a bit contradictory, but I could understand in some ways it was in part for his family and his situations. I just wish that it were fleshed out a bit more.I found the humor to be well matched even through picking some of the vampire cliches. The progressing story does have its intense moments, as Vlad realizes that he's being followed, and when he discovers secrets about his family that he'd never known in his life. So there's a fair balance to be had with the book (though I think some of it could have been fleshed out a bit more - the ideas are there, and it's engaging, but doesn't quite go the extra step). While it did have some caveats, it was still a pleasant read, and I'll be following the rest of the series just to see where the author takes it.Overall score: 2.5/5