“It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown nor had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harboured for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain-vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?” – Whitney Gardner, Fake Blood.
Rating: 5 Stars!
This is the first Middle Grade graphic novel that I have read in a long time, and it did not disappoint.
Fake Blood had me howling (pun intended) with laughter. Each and every character was likeable and fun in their own way. Plus it had a fantastic twist that I’m still thinking about 24 hours after finishing the book. It almost made me wish it was longer. I would have loved to see more of these characters.
My favourite character overall was Aj’s older sister, who is a 15 year old vlogger and great advice giver. She was hilarious and very sweet (in a big sister kind of way). I love reading books where the siblings have a good, healthy relationship. Even when she suspected her brother of stealing her things to give to his crush, both her and AJ retained that loving sibling relationship throughout. It was obvious how much their cared and looked out for one another, even when they argued.
AJ was extremely relatable as well. I can definitely remember a time when I too was the smallest amongst my friends, and a bookworm who preferred to read during recess versus run around…oh…wait a second I’m still a short bookworm. I miss recess.
Anyway, haha, AJ was such a great character to follow. I think many of us, especially when we were 12, had crushes that we never spoke to and prayed for some way to get them to take notice of us.
AJ takes that longing to the next level, despite is friends and sister telling him to “Just talk to Nia!” and decides that since she loves Vampire’s so much, he’ll learn everything he can about them.
AJ goes so far that he even begin watching and reading Fake Bloods versions of Twilight and Vampire Diaries. There are even references to Buffy and Teen Wolf.
Unfortunately this doesn’t go as planned. Nia takes everything related to vampires very seriously. Like, very, very seriously. In fact, she plans on becoming a vampire slayer!
This little twist creates a ton of problems for AJ, as Nia and other character’s, like their mysterious new teacher Mr. Niles, start believing that he really is a vampire.
I have to say, this twist had me turning the pages faster and faster. I was scared for AJ. Who knew the sixth grade could be so dangerous?
Nia was also a really fun character. I loved her hair (mainly because I wore mine like that in the sixth grade). She was really sweet…to bad about the whole killing vampires thing. But hey, if Buffy is your hero I mean…can you blame her?
I also love how in AJ vision, when Nia drinks from the water fountain, rainbows spill out and it’s all sparkly. That was a cute touch.
Amidst all the confusion with Nia, AJ is also dealing with other problems. He feels left out constantly by his friends Ivy and Hunter, and is starting to grow impatient with their constant betting. AJ ends up even emulating the cold attitude of the vampires in the books he’s been reading and as a result ends up hurting his friends and family. It isn’t until after this that he realizes how much he needs them by his side…especially with all the craziness going on.
Overall, this book was a fun read! I finished it in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. I would definitely recommend it to Middle Grader readers (and up) and am exciting to see what this author comes up with next.