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Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Every once in a while dear readers I dig up an old review from my Amazon.com account that's never been posted here and do a little repost. Since the Paperback reprint of this one just came out last week I thought I'd make it one to share today! Rumor has it Fantaskey has a sequel called Jessica Rules the Darkside coming out this fall. I can't wait! -- Rhi
(Original Review Date: December 2008)

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Hardback $17.00
Paperback $8.99
Ebook $8.99
ISBN# 0547259409

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Author Site: www.bethfantaskey.com

Good Book, Bad Title (4 stars)

In this cliched tale of a very ordinary American teen who finds out she's really European royalty, Jessica Packwood's world gets turned completely upside down. Jess knows she's adopted, knows there were strange circumstances behind how her adoptive parents came to be her guardians. What she doesn't know is that she was born a vampire princess. Like any story of an adopted misfit, she has mixed feelings about her birth parents and her mother and father have kept the truth from her 'to protect her'. But as her coming-of-age looms they can't keep it from her much longer.

When Lucius Vladescu shows up claiming that not only is he vampire royalty but that she is his betrothed princess, it's only natural that Jessica think he's crazy. Even after her parents tell her it's true she can't believe it. She just wants to continue being a mathlete and mucking out stalls on the farm until graduation then go to college and be with a nice boy. But can she really give up on her destiny? Can Jessica condemn her birth family to a war just because she doesn't want to marry the arrogant, aristocratic Lucius? And what of the slowly growing feelings she has for the vampire prince?

First off I have to get this off my chest... I hate this book's title. It gave me the impression this was going to be a more humorous book when in reality it was pretty straight-forward. Sure there was humor in it but this wasn't a teen-chicklit-vampire story. Beyond the title though it was a pretty good story. I loved that Jessica was a size 10 and uncomfortable with her curves, that Lucius didn't understand the American obsession with being all angles. I found Lucius really grating at first, wondering how it could ever be possible for someone to be so stuck up but he was well developed and grew through the story. Jessica's adoptive parents were probably one of the bigger sources of humor in the book, they were quite eccentric.

If you're looking for an entertaining coming-of-age story that just happens to involve vampires but doesn't get as gloom and doom as a certain saga that's currently popular you might enjoy this book. It's not as angsty as it could be but neither is it as funny as the title would lead one to believe. One to add to the librarian's list of recommendations for the YA vampire romance fan.

Notes: I received this ARC through Amazon.com's Vine program. This is a reprint of my old review now that there's been a paperback reprint. :)


Lover Of Romance said...

I enjoyed your review!!! I have heard good things about this one, and I am eager to read it!

koorihime-sama said...

I made a review over that a long time ago. I just need to re-read and re-review it since that is one of my resolutions for your informal challenge.

Not only is the sequel coming out in 2011 called Jessica Rules the Dark Side, much better title since it isn't long :), there is a short story on her website for Lucius and Jessica's wedding, if you want to read and review that.

And yet another reason why I want to re-read and re-review most of the books I've read. So many sequels and updates, and opinions change after you read it twice, so meh.


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