Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review: Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer


{Title} Eleventh Grade Burns (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book Four)

{By} Heather Brewer

{Publisher} Dutton Juvenile

{Release Date} February 9th, 2010

{Pages} 208


The penultimate chapter in the thrilling vampire series!

Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood. And Vlad’s arch enemy, D’Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.

[Angel's Thoughts:]

I've been a hardcore Minion (fan of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) from the get go. I loved the unique premise of a young outcast male vampire and his struggles through the normal rights of passage in high school -- like bullies, the girl of his dreams, and worrying about the distance that seems to be growing between himself and his ultra-popular best friend, Henry.

And then, there are the not-so-normal things, like the other vampires, the prophecy of the Pravus, and the vampire slayers.

One of my favorite things about this series is that with every book, they just keep getting better. Granted, this trend died a little bit for me, considering Tenth Grade Bleeds is still my favorite at the moment. But Eleventh Grade Burns still has an excellent story that I really enjoyed.
However, and this is more of a personal thing for me that I don't see most of the readers really being bothered by, I think one thing that drew me away a bit were some of the actions of the characters, like Vlad seeming so hopeless at times, so ready to just quit. It's probably just a minor peeve of mine, because I love strong characters that just keep pressing forward. It's logical, and actually more realistic, to see an 11th grade boy react in this way, so it didn't really get to me too much if I reminded myself of that. So long as Vlad doesn't get complete Bella-Swan-Syndrome, I'm still pleased.
Though I love seeing the characters I adore, such as Vlad, of course, or Otis Otis (my faaaaavorite), and seeing the quirks and humor that makes them who they are, I sorta feel like some aren't growing much outside of the main story plot. It might be because I just graduated, and I have a lot of friends still in high school, but some of the kids seem a little... middle school still. There are times I completely disagree with myself, but sometimes I really wonder about whether or not I can focus with that in my mind. Then again, the things most high school kids have on their minds are a tad different considering their lack of fangs, and the books are geared a little more for younger readers as well. So, there are some issues that really wouldn't be appropriate to upgrade Vlad to. So, that's something else that just bugs me, and isn't actually a real issue.
Now, the positives -- not that the other things were more than my personal peeves:
The little things that bothered me, only did so at the beginning, and probably because I had just finished a book in which sex, drugs, cursing, etc all ruled the characters. After I got back into the right setting, I really loved it. I was rather fond the new character, Dorian, as well as the trials and danger Vlad was put through and his developing relationships with the other characters. Not to mention, the plot twisted and turned and left you with an ending that will make every Minion scream in desperate need for Twelfth Grade Kills.
So, really, Eleventh Grade Burns will be a hit with all Minions, and leave them craving more. I know that I certainly can't wait to sink my teeth into the final installment, Twelfth Grade Kills.
If you're a fan of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, then this book will be a hit for you. Be sure to check it out this February when it hits shelves!

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