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Fake Blood


Fake Blood

FAKE BLOOD by Whitney Gardner is the graphic novel’s answer to the question: Where did all the vampire books go?

Set in the Pacific Northwest, FAKE BLOOD introduces readers to AJ, an introverted and nerdy sixth-grader who just wants to fit in with his friends and be able to talk to his crush, Nia. Problem is, Nia doesn’t know AJ exists. She spends most of her time obsessing about vampires, a subject that AJ knows very little about. Desperate for Nia to notice him, AJ starts to research vampires and tries to act like them --- wearing sunglasses in the daylight, makeup to make him appear pale, even using fake blood on his teeth so that she would notice him.

"This book was SO FUN. Whitney Gardner is so talented --- her art alone is so perfect."

But when their teacher Mr. Niles assigns Nia and AJ as partners, they realize they have a lot in common. AJ is just about to give up the vampire charade when he finds out his act was convincing --- too convincing! His crush is actually a self-proclaimed Vampire Slayer and has to fulfill her destiny by killing him! AJ must act quickly to prove to her he’s not a vampire but he does know in town who might be!

This book was SO FUN. Whitney Gardner is so talented --- her art alone is so perfect. I love the way she seamlessly (and without being overly cheesy) gave homage to some of pop-culture’s greatest vampire characters and stories, including Dracula, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and even TWILIGHT. The banter between the characters was also so well-done that I felt like I was sitting in my middle-school cafeteria again. I loved how funny this was too and now I can’t believe that I haven’t read Gardner's other books as well.

Another point goes to Gardner for including a diverse set of characters --- characters that I could actually see being in a middle-school classroom instead of being what a less talented author might imagine what sixth-graders look like. All of the kids (and adults) felt very real. And I hope Gardner revisits them again in a future volume --- maybe BB (AJ’s wise, fashion forward sister) could get her own story? I also kind of want more about Natalie the Ninja Star --- she sounds amazing and any heroine who uses books as her main crime-solving device is worthy of more page time!

I don’t want to give too much away except to say that FAKE BLOOD is the fun graphic novel that you need in your life. Go out and get it --- it’s a fast read and perfect for the upcoming fall season. You might even crave some episodes of “Buffy” afterwards!

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on September 27, 2018

Fake Blood
by Whitney Gardner

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Genres: Children's 10+, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Humor
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1481495569
  • ISBN-13: 9781481495561