Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Posted by Tiffany at 11:27 AM

Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey (site)
Published: Feb 1st 2009 by Harcourt
Pages: 351
Price: $7.99 Book Depository $8.99 Amazon 

Series: Jessica #1
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: 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,  Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction. (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts: I've seen this one around the blogosphere and had expected it to be light, fun, fast, and a bit forgettable.

Review: In case you hadn't noticed, I edited the synopsis heavily. After reading the book, I felt a bit cheated by everything that was given away in the synopsis. So, if you go out and get it, try to refrain from reading the back.

Jessica was a great character. A rich, handsome guy shows up claiming that she is a princess who was hidden away after her parents were murdered and that he is her fiance. Does she faint, then wake up excited to throw on a tiara and marry him? Nope. She tells him to get away from her. She then tries to completely ignore him, going on with her life as though he'd never shown up. After all, what does she care about vampire royalty? She's got a perfectly normal life and she's not about to give it up for some guy, no matter how amazing he is. I loved Jessica's attitude toward the whole thing. She wasn't going to change who she was and become his queen first, herself second. However, it's not easy to fight your own feelings. What ensued was a thoroughly engrossing tale about a girl fighting to keep her life as it is, in spite of her growing feelings for the person who wants to turn it upside down. Lucius was a perfect male lead. He didn't gasp at the sight of her, then keep his feelings hidden until he couldn't help but declare his love. He was sullen, writing letters to his uncle about having to live on a dirty farm, trying to persuade some thoroughly common girl to marry him. He doesn't reveal an awful lot to Jessica about what exactly is going on. We get most of our insight from the letters to his uncle that are sprinkled throughout the story. The ending was amazing. Jessica isn't the kind of girl to sit back and wait for things to happen, she goes after what she wants. I can't say much without giving it away, just that it was perfect.

P.S. There is a short story (free!) that takes place after the book and a sequel (preview) coming out soon.

Quick Review: This book was much more than I was expecting. I thought it would be fluffy and fun, but forgettable. Instead, I stayed up all night finishing it. I fell in love with Jessica's moxy and the often antagonistic relationship she had with Lucius. There's not an awful lot of vampire-worship going on here, just a nice love story with two people who happen to be vampires.