Monday, January 7, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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.

Rate:5 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts:
    Ohh, I really enjoyed reading this. After about 60 pages I was so into the story I didn't feel like putting it down.
    This story is about identity, about understanding who you are and who you were born to be. There are many similarities to other YA books out there (Twilight, Vampire Academy are two that immediately came to mind), some cliches, but I felt so invested in the lives of Jessica and Lucius that their story seemed fresh and unique
    The Vampire prince, Lucius Vladescu from Romania, comes to find his betrothed, Jessica, or "Antanasia" (btw, I totally thought her name was Anastasia until about halfway through the book, when I realized it was spelled a bit funky) who doesn't know anything about the fact that she was born as a vampire princess in Romania. Jessica reacts in a very realistic manner when she hears the news; "You're all bleedin' mad." (not quoting her directly here) You would think that when something so serious and important is coming for you in your future, your parents would tell you about it... But no.
    Is it a frilly, lovey dovey, cute romantic story? No! Actually, towards the ending it turns out to be quite dark. Murder attempts, actual murder... self deprecation. But that's what makes it so refreshing. These creatures are VAMPIRES! They're not nice beings. They're scary and dangerous, and if Jessica is going to Romania she's obviously going to have to live in fear of maybe being murdered some day.
     Lucius's letters to his uncle were awesome and really gave insight to his struggles and desires. They were poignant, funny, full of wit, wisdom, and observations about everyday American life that were hilarious. The romance was very sweet, very YA, but also full of a passionate underlying sexual tension.
    Jessica is that one character who makes my eyes gleam and tear up with pride. She isn't one of those whiny, "I can't live without Edward," poor excuses of a female protagonist. Once Lucius enters the picture, her hostility and sarcasm and endurance are awe-inspiring. She was funny and  logical. I also loved Jessica's attempts at linking logic with the illogical.
     Lucius just makes me laugh. I just love how he's all snotty and disapproving and judgmental and "big vocabulary-ish". Yes, I've grown to be *swoon* for him, Lucius is that snobby, arrogant, rich-crazed vampire who gave me the laughs whenever!
    Because of this book, I have a feeling that vampire might exist. Okay, call me crazy but I do have that feeling. This book make vampire sound almost normal. I mean NORMAL to be standing in this world with extra-complicated human.
     So in conclusion, "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" is dark, humorous, a tad provocative, with a pinch of snark. Late teenage girls will fall for it, no doubt


“American women. Why do you all want to be nearly invisible? Why not have a physical presence in the world? Women should have curves, not angles. ...One should never confuse fashionable with beautiful. ...Eat. Be happy to have curves. A presence.”
Beth Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

“Where do you. come from?" Frank challenged, puffing his chest, a little bolder now that he could breathe. "Some of us are starting to wonder."
"I come from civilization," Lucius retorted. "You wouldn't be familiar with the territory. Now pick up the books.”
Beth Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

“Lucius paused, turning on his heel to face me. "I grow weary of your ignorance." He moved closer to me, leaning down and peering into my eyes. "Because your parents refuse to inform you, I will deliver the news myself,and I shall make this simple for you." He pointed to his chest and announced, as though talking to a child, "I am a vampire." He pointed to my chest. "You are a vampire. And we are to be married, the moment you come of age. This has been decreed since our births."

I couldn't even process the "getting married" part, or the thing about "decreed." He'd lost me at "vampire."

Nuts. Lucius Vladescu is completely nuts. And I'm alone with him, in an empty barn.

So I did what any sane person would do. I jammed the pitchfork in the general direction of his foot and ran like hell for the house, ignoring his yowl of pain. ”
Beth Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

“I like pink."
Lucius sniffed. "It's just red's sorry, weak cousin.”
Beth Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side


  1. Glad you liked this one! I haven't read it yet, but it looks good. And that last quote is hilarious :)

  2. The comedy in this book is amazing!I recommend it. :)