Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey


Title: Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harcourt
Release Date: February 01, 2009

Genre: Young Adult :: Paranormal Romance
Themes: love, arranged marriage, vampires, high school, feuding families

Synopsis: (From GoodReads) 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.

Additional Information: Read an excerpt of Chapter 1 here. AFTER you read the story, if you feel like reading more on Jessica and Lucius, then click here. You do NOT want to go to that link before you read the book, unless you want the story kind of spoiled. You've been warned. ;)


My Review: Jessica Packwood is waiting on the bus for school when she spots him - the mysterious stranger leaning up against a tree with a long, black coat on. The part that bothered her? He was staring at her. Avoiding contact with him by climbing into the school bus, Jessica heads for school with more questions about the stranger - like how he knew her name from her past that no one knew about. Her crazy encounters don't stop there. Suddenly, this guy is everywhere in her life - from being in her class, to talking to her mom, to being invited to her house for supper! How could things get any worse? Finding out that Lucius, the stranger, believes that she is a vampire princess and she has been decreed as his fiance since birth to save their rival clans from war. Oh, and he's a vampire too, obviously. Convinced that the guy is off of his rocker, Jessica goes out of her way to try to avoid him - only to have her own parents turn on her and make her be courteous to him, in and out of school. Throughout the story, Lucius tries to court Jessica, but finds it completely impossible - especially with a farmhand courting her as well and Jessica accepting his advances. Realizing that Jessica was not raised to handle her vampire life, Lucius begins to distance himself from Jessica - only to have Jessica start accepting her heritage. During this time, Lucius figures out some dark secrets of his own family and decides to break their contract of marriage in order to save Jessica's own life. However, he puts his own life in jeopardy. The ball is in Jessica's court - does she continue to live out her normal life, or does she embrace her fate ... even if there is a chance she has lost her vampire fiance?

This story ... was pretty awesome. There are so many cliches in this story ... yet their are also so many original twists to the story, it makes my head spin to keep up with the two. What I love about this story is that you can really see the character development happen right before your eyes with the two main characters, as well as a few others. Jessica actually develops feelings for Lucius over the course of the story, she doesn't just automatically fall in love with him as soon as she sees him or as soon as he shows chivalry. Lucius is hard at first, set on bringing Jessica back to marry her as part of his duty - but her ways charms him into actually feeling something for her. Both characters I find very endearing. The story is told from Jessica's point of view (in 1st person pov), but you get breaks and a peek in Lucius' mind through his letters to his uncle scattered throughout the book. The story was wrapped up really well and everything just seemed to flow seamlessly. My favorite part? Lucius' banter. He reminded me a lot of Stewie Griffin - and that's a very good thing!

Rating: - For the reasons above - especially Lucius and his dialogue - I have decided that this book is definitely worth five stars. I would read this book over and over because it's absolutely adorable. I mean, the whole self-sacrifice on both of the characters' parts was extremely gutsy and the story is completely believable - not everything is black and white, not everything is all peaches and cream. However, in the end, what needed to happen actually happened and it pulled together nicely. As far as I know, this is a stand alone story - but the world and story is so elaborate that more could be written about it.

Summary: This story is a wonderful paranormal romance with a back history attached to it. Anyone that loves witty vampires and true love and sacrifice with love this book.

Source of Book: Purchase.

Other Books By Author: Beth has another book coming out that is not related to this story called Jekel Loves Hyde.

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