Book Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
|June 7, 2012||Posted by Cambria under Book Reviews|
Title: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Genre: YA paranormal/fantasy
Format: Ebook and Print
Publisher: Graphia (reprint edition 2010)
Synopsis (courtesy of Amazon)
The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.
My Review (courtesy of me!)
When I first heard the title of this book I smiled, it’s a good title, yes? I envisioned a manual type of book. With tips from this Jessica person as to how to snag a vampire, and once the “snagging” was over how to keep him and deal with his, uh, vampness… LOL.
That would have been a fun read, I think. But really, how long could such a manual be?
I was interested to get into this story to see what it was all about and if it would be as amusing as the title. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a charming book full of likable and not so likable characters (think Faith the mean cheerleader and Frank the bully).
Jessica is just starting out her senior year when a mysterious stranger shows up at her bus stop and then later at school. When she tells her mother about this boy and how he is “stalking” her … things get interesting. Her mother invites said stalker over for dinner.
Announcement: Mom, I love ya, but don’t be inviting no creepy stalkers to my house for dinner.
Back to the review: It turns out the Lucius (the creepy stalker) is not a stalker. He is just a vampire prince who has come to claim his vampire princess and take her back to Romania so they can unite their clans and stop a war. Oh, is that all?? Please pass the potatoes.
Well, Jessica, isn’t thrilled with this news. In fact, logical thinking Jessica thinks they are all crazy. She doesn’t believe any of them but Lucius will not give up so he stays in town and lives over the garage as a foreign exchange student.
It’s certainly an interesting plot and it is unique. I like the characters, they were all very diverse. You have Jessica’s parents who take in every stray they see, eat Vegan food and are very “free thinkers”. Then you have Jessica, a mathlete who likes horses and jeans and t-shirts. She doesn’t like fairy tales or anything that can’t be explained by logic. Then there is Lucius, vampire. Hot, drinks blood, doesn’t sparkle. Then there is Faith, a mean cheerleader who is self absorbed and Frank who is the big class bully (he bullies Jessica). There are other characters as well, all of them well written and believable.
This book is very well written, easy to follow and everything was described in a way that allowed me to picture it all in my head. I also enjoyed the setting, a small town in PA.
I will say that this book was a little slow for me. I often found myself getting frustrated with Jessica and Lucius because they never seemed to be able to “get together”. By this I mean, when he first got there Lucius was determined to win Jessica. She understandably wanted nothing to do with his crazy… eventually Jessica began to come around at which point it seemed Lucius had given up (and taken up with the cheerleader that clearly hated Jessica – ugh). It was a little maddening. I mean, clearly they were in love, let’s admit it and move on. They seemed to circle one another time and again, never really connecting.
I understand that nothing in a novel can be that cut and dry but really, these two are at odds with one another for almost the entire book. When I read I kind of like to see when they get together, then get to know them as a couple and watch as they face challenged together… in this book they seemed separate for a lot of it.
I did appreciate what each of them had to go through to come together though. Each of them had their own personal demons to face.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The characters were good and the writing was easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone who liked vamps, good characters and a love story.
So there you have it. My opinion.