The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer (Book Review).

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

For my book report, I’ve chosen to read Heather Brewer’s Ninth Grade Slays. There were a few themes mention in this sequel to Eighth Grade Bites. A few of which being: figuring out who you are and what you want to do with yourself, teenage-love, and being enigmatic. To sum up this “Gruesome, heartwarming, and spellbinding” (D.J. MacHale, Critic) story, you’d need to know some background info on Vlad– Vlad is this half vampire-half human, trying to figure out how to master his vampiric nature; with the help of his uncle, Otis, and his late father’s good friend, Vikas. Mind you, this is all happening while he has most of the vampiric city of Elysia, as well as a vampire slayer, looking to revenge his fallen sister, after Vlad… Wanting him dead. Oh yeah, and he’s dealing with the “girl of his dreams”, Meredith. And battling teenage-love as well.

As you can clearly tell, Vladimir– Vlad, is the main character of Ninth Grade Slays. And in the following report, I will explain how he changes throughout the book, due to adversity.

One of the biggest changes in Vlad, as well as one of the main themes, is ‘self-confidence’. At first, in respect to many different situations, Vlad was this shy, unconfident, noob-of-a-vampire. And who could blame him? Considering he was the very first, in vampiric history, of his kind. Vlad was born as a vampire, not made. As his uncle Otis has put it, “We cannot be certain which traits you will inherit… and which you will not.” (Page 13). To this, Vlad wasn’t happy. In fact, he was broken-hearted, and ashamed. But he later discovers that he has the potential to become one of the greatest vampires to have ever lived. This was confirmed when a vampire-master told Vlad, “You are one of my finest students.” (179). To explain a bit of what amazing powers Vlad has developed: Vlad was instructed to use telepathy to reach his best friend “halfway around the world.” (147). Vlad said “I don’t think I can…” lacking in self-confidence. However, he had successfully done it- managing to make Henry look foolish while showing off to impress a few girls. Vikas, the vampire-master, boosted Vlad’s confidence even more after, saying: “You are indeed skilled, Mahlyenki Dyavol.’ (147). Which brings me to my next subject of Vlad’s changing.

Vladimir, four years earlier, had lost his parents to a ‘fire’ in their home. Since then, Vlad has idolized his father, more than he had before. Vlad changes drastically, in the respect of getting closer with his late father. While in training, Vlad finds out he is the splitting-image of his father. Vikas commands Vlad to push into his mind, and tell what he was thinking. Vlad was saddened to find Vikas was thinking “about how much I look like my dad.” (145). Not only did Vladimir’s father, Tomas Tod, and Vlad himself look alike, but also they act very much the same. “It was startling how similar his dad’s mannerisms were to his.” (169). It thoroughly comforted Vlad to hear and notice himself he and his father were as similar as they were. Vladimir was pleased to know he reminded Vikas so much of his father, Tomas. Explaining why Vikas’ nicknames for Tomas and for Vlad were very close to each other. “Vikas’s per name for Tomas was “Dyavol’…Devil…. It‘s his way of saying you‘re a smaller version of your father.” (180)… Vlad’s nickname was ‘Mahlyenki Dyavol’ meaning ‘Little Devil’. I think it is clear of the importance of being like his father was to Vlad.

Finally, I want to highlight Vlad’s changing during his ‘friendship’ phase with Henry’s cousin, Joss. Joss had just moved in with Henry. Since Henry and Vlad are best friends, and have been since 3rd grade, it is only natural for Joss and Vlad to develop a one-of-a-kind relationship. At first, the two were great friends. Joss saved Vlad from the high school bullies, Bill and Tom, they hung out after school all of the time, their friendship was strong. Then, the girl Vlad’s been crushing on since he met her, Meredith, asked Joss to the Snow Ball Dance… Just to make Vlad jealous. Foolishly, Joss accepted. And according to Vlad’s “Friendship Code” (214); “Thou shalt not date the girl that thy best friend has a crush on…” But that’s only part one of said code. Joss later asked Vlad to help him with a job he was hired to do. For what, you may ponder? Well Joss goes on explaining, “For my job. I’m a slayer”… “A vampire slayer.”. Henry and Nelly (Vlad’s guardian), being the only two humans that know Vlad’s secret, Joss has no idea he’s asking Vlad to commit suicide. Which is part two of the Friend Code. “…nor shalt thou try sticking thy best friend in the chest with a sharp hunk of wood.” (214). Vlad’s opinion changed on friendship right then. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” (223). He was torn between life-death-and friendship. Not the most popular trio, if you ask me. “It came down to Vlad’s life or his friendship with Joss.” (223). But which will he choose?

Overall, I enjoyed the book and cannot wait for Tenth Grade Bleeds to come out in August. However, I believe, this book, book two, will remain one of the most important in the series. This is due to the huge role ‘self-confidence’ plays in influencing young Vladimir Tod to trust himself more, push himself to the limit, and never back down. Self-confidence helped Vlad enormously to leave Otis’ wing, and take challenges on for himself. As he did when going into the city of Elysia alone, knowing he is wanted dead there. Lastly, it helped Vlad build bravery and self-trust.

For my book report, I’ve chosen to read Heather Brewer’s Ninth Grade Slays. There were a few themes mention in this sequel to Eighth Grade Bites. A few of which being: figuring out who you are and what you want to do with yourself, teenage-love, and being enigmatic. To sum up this “Gruesome, heartwarming, and spellbinding” (D.J. MacHale, Critic) story, you’d need to know some background info on Vlad– Vlad is this half vampire-half human, trying to figure out how to master his vampiric nature; with the help of his uncle, Otis, and his late father’s good friend, Vikas. Mind you, this is all happening while he has most of the vampiric city of Elysia, as well as a vampire slayer, looking to revenge his fallen sister, after Vlad… Wanting him dead. Oh yeah, and he’s dealing with the “girl of his dreams”, Meredith. And battling teenage-love as well.
As you can clearly tell, Vladimir– Vlad, is the  main character of Ninth Grade Slays. And in the following report, I will explain how he changes throughout the book, due to adversity.
One of the biggest changes in Vlad, as well as one of the main themes, is ‘self-confidence’. At first, in respect to many different situations, Vlad was this shy, unconfident, noob-of-a-vampire. And who could blame him? Considering he was the very first, in vampiric history, of his kind. Vlad was born as a vampire, not made. As his uncle Otis has put it, “We cannot be certain which traits you will inherit… and which you will not.” (Page 13). To this, Vlad wasn’t happy. In fact, he was broken-hearted, and ashamed. But he later discovers that he has the potential to become one of the greatest vampires to have ever lived. This was confirmed when a vampire-master told Vlad, “You are one of my finest students.” (179). To explain a bit of what amazing powers Vlad has developed: Vlad was instructed to use telepathy to reach his best friend  “halfway around the world.” (147). Vlad said “I don’t think I can…” lacking in self-confidence. However, he had successfully done it- managing to make Henry look foolish while showing off to impress a few girls.  Vikas, the vampire-master, boosted Vlad’s confidence even more after, saying: “You are indeed skilled, Mahlyenki Dyavol.’ (147). Which brings me to my next subject of Vlad’s changing.
Vladimir, four years earlier, had lost his parents to a ‘fire’ in their home. Since then, Vlad has idolized his father, more than he had before. Vlad changes drastically, in the respect of getting closer with his late father. While in training, Vlad finds out he is the splitting-image of his father. Vikas commands Vlad to push into his mind, and tell what he was thinking. Vlad was saddened to find Vikas was thinking “about how much I look like my dad.”  (145). Not only did Vladimir’s father, Tomas Tod, and Vlad himself look alike, but also they act very much the same. “It was startling how similar his dad’s mannerisms were to his.” (169). It thoroughly comforted Vlad to hear and notice himself he and his father were as similar as they were. Vladimir was pleased to know he reminded Vikas so much of his father, Tomas. Explaining why Vikas’ nicknames for Tomas and for Vlad were very close to each other. “Vikas’s per name for Tomas was “Dyavol’…Devil…. It‘s his way of saying you‘re a smaller version of your father.” (180)… Vlad’s nickname was ‘Mahlyenki Dyavol’ meaning ‘Little Devil’. I think it is clear of the importance of being like his father was to Vlad.
Finally, I want to highlight Vlad’s changing during his ‘friendship’ phase with Henry’s cousin, Joss. Joss had just moved in with Henry. Since Henry and Vlad are best friends, and have been since 3rd grade, it is only natural for Joss and Vlad to develop a one-of-a-kind relationship. At first, the two were great friends. Joss saved Vlad from the high school bullies, Bill and Tom, they hung out after school all of the time, their friendship was strong. Then, the girl Vlad’s been crushing on since he met her, Meredith, asked Joss to the Snow Ball Dance… Just to make Vlad jealous. Foolishly, Joss accepted. And according to Vlad’s “Friendship Code” (214); “Thou shalt not date the girl that thy best friend has a crush on…” But that’s only part one of said code. Joss later asked Vlad to help him with a job he was hired to do. For what, you may ponder? Well Joss goes on explaining, “For my job. I’m a slayer”… “A vampire slayer.”. Henry and Nelly (Vlad’s guardian), being the only two humans that know Vlad’s secret, Joss has no idea he’s asking Vlad to commit suicide. Which is part two of the Friend Code. “…nor shalt thou try sticking thy best friend in the chest with a sharp hunk of wood.” (214). Vlad’s opinion changed on friendship right then. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” (223). He was torn between life-death-and friendship. Not the most popular trio, if you ask me. “It came down to Vlad’s life or his friendship with Joss.” (223). But which will he choose? 
Overall, I enjoyed the book and cannot wait for Tenth Grade Bleeds to come out in August. However, I believe, this book, book two, will remain one of the most important in the series. This is due to the huge role ‘self-confidence’ plays in influencing young Vladimir Tod to trust himself more, push himself to the limit, and never back down. Self-confidence helped Vlad enormously to leave Otis’ wing, and take challenges on for himself. As he did when going into the city of Elysia alone, knowing he is wanted dead there. Lastly, it helped Vlad build bravery and self-trust.

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply