AJ has a big problem a lot of kids go through about the time sixth grade and middle school rolls around. His classmates are getting taller and spreading the news about their big summer adventures. That is, everyone except AJ who spent his summer reading and staying the same size. That doesn’t help to resolve a lingering crush on a girl who pays no attention to him.

His solution is to find out what she likes and become that person. It’s a typical response at that age (Did I actually buy white jeans back in the day?). What makes this graphic novel fun is the girl, Nia Winters, seems to be obsessed with vampires. When the two of them get paired for a project this is AJ’s chance to use eye shadow, plastic fangs, and fake blood to win her over. Turns out she’d rather slay vampires than hook up with them.

The fast paced plot is perfect for Halloween or any any other time of the year. A subtle twist also has a real vampire making a climatic appearance. Hints are tossed in throughout as to who it might be. Other characters make for a diverse group with friends Hunter and Ivy.

Full color spreads are creative and often laugh out loud hilarious. FAKE BLOOD will be one of those books that gets passed around and enjoyed again and again.

RELEASE DATE: 9/4/2018    PAGES: 336


In Fake Blood a middle schooler comes head-to-head with his vampire slayer crush in this laugh-out-loud funny graphic novel that’s a perfect coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt too young, too small, or too average. It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored 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? When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer. Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.


Whitney Gardner is an author, illustrator, and coffee addict. Originally from New York, she studied design and worked as an art teacher and school librarian before moving to Victoria, British Columbia, where she lives by the Salish Sea with her husband and two pugs. In the rare moment Whitney isn’t writing or drawing, she’s likely to be reading comics, knitting, or roasting coffee.


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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to FAKE BLOOD

  1. This book really captures the awkwardness of the transitory period in the lives of 11 and 12-year-olds. Looks like a book for Halloween too!

  2. Hahahahaha! White jeans, indeed. You crack me up, Greg. Thanks for telling me about this book. It sounds like a good one.

  3. Sue Kooky says:

    THIS SOUNDS SO FUNNY OH MY GOSH. WOW I need to check this out. I haven’t really read any Halloweenish books yet and that needs to change asap, especially with Halloween in less than two weeks. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

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