Gr 7 UpĖTo some, being human and attending a high school for vampires might be a little unnerving. But for Cody Elliot, itís a piece of cake. At Vlad Dracul he is cool, extremely popular, and dating an actual vampire princess. Unfortunately, when his difficult and opinionated cousin moves in, things get a little out of hand. Turkís tough Goth exterior and smart-aleck attitude antagonize the vampires and draw attention away from her own issues and insecurities. Art is her outlet, so when Turk discovers an abandoned warehouse in the uninhabited section of town, she enlists Codyís help to turn it into her new studio and make her mark on the world. What Cody and Turk donít realize is that Crossfield has a violent past, one that many, including the mysterious Mercian, want to keep hidden. Cody must make difficult choices at the risk of losing all that he holds dear while forging alliances and discovering secrets that will change New Sodom forever. Reesís fast-paced and action-packed story line tackles important teen issues like identity, belonging, friendship, and acceptance in a way that is not overbearing or preachy. With lots of humor and strong, engaging characters, this novel has an appeal factor that is sure to make its mark (or bite) on readers of this genre.
Irrepressible Cody Elliot is back at Vlad Dracul High (Vampire High, 2003), accompanied by his brilliant but truculent artist cousin, Turk (short for Turquoise), who helps ramp up the mayhem - by a quantum leap - to total pandemonium. Their decision to set up an arts center in an abandoned factory in nearby Crossfields generates a war in the vampire (or jenti; non-vampires are gadje) community, alienates Cody's jenti friends and ends in a full-blown disaster. Princess Ileana and Justin Warrener are back, but the greatest fun is generated by the focus on Cody's nemesis, Gregor Dimitru, whose musical talent and prowess at flying (as a bat with a 20-foot wingspan) are only exceeded by his arrogance. The exciting, nonstop plot and electrifying climax lead to an over-the-top resolution guaranteed to produce satisfied readers. This page-turner, with its smart-aleck narrator, plentiful laughs, innocent romance and consistent jenti-gadje culture clash will suck in both keen and reluctant readers of a broad range of ages. Buy this for enthusiasts of Brian Meehl's Suck It Up (2008) and Heather Brewer's Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. (Funny paranormal. 12 & up)