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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Review: Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer

Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer
Buy Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer

Eleventh Grade Burns
by Heather Brewer
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Dutton Juvinile
ISBN-10: 0-525-42243-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-525-42243-3
Publication Date: April, 2010
List Price: $16.99

Review: “Out of the darkness came a sound. It was soft and breathy, a whisper that had only barely escaped the speaker’s lips before it raced to Vlad’s ear.” Who is coming out of the darkness at Vlad? Eleventh Grade Burns is filled with exciting moments like this. Author Heather Brewer, will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat anticipating more. Vladimir Tod is a typical teenager who holds a dark secret. He is a half-vampire/half-human and things aren’t looking well for him in the fourth book to the series The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.

Vlad deals with all of the problems of a typical teenager: fitting in, getting picked on by bullies, trying to maintain a relationship with a girl, as well as typical half-vampire problems like figuring out how to hide blood capsules in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Vlad lost both his parents in a suspicious fire. He is now being raised by his Aunt Nelly, a friend of his mother’s, who is able to get blood for Vlad at the hospital where she works. Vlad begins to unravel his parents’ past and in the process uncovers their enemies such as D’Ablo, a vampire psycho who believes Vlad to be the Pravus (the ruler of vampires who will enslave human kind). To make matters worse, he finds himself friends with a vampire slayer. Oops! In Eleventh Grade Burns, Vlad finds himself without any of his powers. He loses his powers in a ritual D’Ablo conducted with his father’s book. For this reason, Vlad must be extremely cautious while facing foes because he now has the ability to die. Therefore, it is not comforting for Vlad to find out Joss, ex-friend/vampire slayer, is back in Bathory. Furthermore, Vlad’s, Uncle Otis, faces the Vampire Council for his crimes: having a secret relationship with a human (Vlad’s Aunt Nelly) and telling others that he is a vampire. Otis needs help from Dorian, a vampire with a taste for rare blood who is immensely powerful; however, he will not help Otis unless he can drink Vlad’s blood and Vlad is vulnerable without his powers. Moreover, the fate of Otis’ trial is all part of D’Ablo’s plan and Vlad is sure to face more trouble from the trial than Otis.

Eleventh Grade Burns will keep you in suspense at every moment. Just when you think that everything is going well another surprise leaves Vlad even further entangled in problems. I could not put this book down as it is the most exciting book in the series so far, but make sure you read the first three books so you know what is going on. It is also important to note, Vlad is not a typical vampire character. He is not the coolest guy in school and does not make girls swoon like Edward in Twilight. Vlad is always being picked on and has to face big, mean, and nasty bullies. On the surface, Vlad is just a typical teenager trying to fit in. I wouldn’t change anything about this book; it is the perfect combination of reality and fantasy. It also has a good balance of action with a bit of romance. I would highly recommend this book to any teenager with a thirst for a good read.

Previous books in the Vladimir Todd series won ALA awards for her outstanding writing.

Review written by Nathan (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Nathan for providing a copy of Eleventh Grade Burns for this review.

Have you read Eleventh Grade Burns? How would you rate it?

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