This book I checked out of the library because it looked like fun and after reading New Moon I had the desire to know what other Vampires, outside of Edward, were doing with their immortality.
Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey (isn't that a fantaskey name)
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Reading Level: 13 and up
Summary: Jessica Packwood is just a normal teenage girl, or so she thinks. Her world is suddenly turned upside down when Lucius Vladescu, a Romanian exchange student tells her that he and she are vampire royalty and betrothed to be married. Unable to believe it at first, even with her adoptive parents confirmation, Jessica tries desperately to ward off his persistent romantic advances. Unfortunately you can't just run away from being a Vampire, but just as Jessica is ready to embrace her new lifestyle her suitor seems to suddenly have a change of heart. Is Lucius no longer interested in her, or is their more to their marriage pact than meets the eye?
My Review: I was right! This book was a lot of fun. For one it's not another Twilight wannabe. It's was a much better vampire romance. It was funny, intriguing, and the characters were not gratingly annoying. I like how it started off light hearted and comedic and then transitioned slowly into a slightly darker story. It's also written in the first person narrative, but unlike Bella, Jessica (or Antanasia as is her true Vampiric name) has a personality, and thinks Lucius; in the beginning, is absolutely crazy. Jessica when we first meet her is your typical American teenager who just wants to get through high school with as little hassle as possible. She's a mathlete, stuck on logical explanations, and loves her horse Belle. She has a crush on a boy next door type character named Jake Zinn a nice hard working farm boy. I like how you get to see Jessica's character grow from a slightly inscure teenager to a strong vampire princess. Also her affections for Lucius come along gradually as they get to know each other better, not automatically in a wave of soppy adjectives.
Lucius is a somewhat enigmatic character in the beginning, and you only get to see her true personality through the hilarious letters he pens to his uncle about his life in he human world. He is in every way a royal snob, looking down on the way Jessica and her friends and family live. Yet he also has a sense of humor and moments of caring and weakness that will make you warm up to him enough to care about him when his dark side begins to take over. He also changes as a character, quite a lot, and I like how the author keeps all this little changes and melts them together into who Lucius truly is.
Since it was in first person narrative it has the usual weaknesses like action being told instead of seen, and you can't see everyone's thoughts and feelings, so sometimes you may feel yourself going: "What the halibuts going on?" but once you finish and are able to look at the book in it's entirety I think most of your questions will be answered. There are some things that I wish would have been expanded on(like Jessica and Lucius's Vampire family, and the Vampire elders.) and some things were wrapped up too quickly, but all in all it did not hinder my enjoyment of the book. Beth has a great witty style, I really enjoyed the way she wrote. I feel this book could have worked even without the vampire aspect but the vampire element did add some great stuff to the story. The ending in particular gave me wonderfully delicious shivers in the only way a vampire romance can. (:
Content: Language, some violence and disturbing situations, thematic elements, and innuendo.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommend: yes for teens who love vampire romances or just romances in general.
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