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Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Author: Beth Fantaskey
Release Date: January 18, 2010
Pages: 384
Read it in: 3 days

The Hook: The undead can really screw up your senior year...

Summary: 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 fianc√©. Armed with new-found 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.

LC's Take: 

It feels like a really long time since I have posted a book review-- I have been so busy lately, so I apologize for slacking off!! I am hoping to get back into my reading/blogging groove this week :) OK, so now for my review...

Seriously, what is there not to like about this book? You've got hot vampires, vampire princesses, snotty cheerleaders trying to steal hot vampires away from their betrothed, blood pacts-- oh the drama! LOVE it. This book was fantastic, I had so much fun reading it.

Jessica AKA Antanasia (that's her Romanian vampire princess name) was an awesome female protagonist- she is funny, quirky, insightful, and a fully-developed character that you can really connect with. What I liked most about her is that she was an individual- she had her own interests and strengths, she was smart, talented, and didn't have to depend on Luscious (main love interest) to have a personality-- as sometimes happens in books, where the gal can't exist without the dashing vampire guy! **cough cough twilight cough** Jessica is a main character you can root for, and I found myself feeling the same things she did: confusion and disbelief when she learns she's a vampire, anger and jealousy when some popular cheerleader tries to steal her vampire man, and real fury and betrayal when that vampire falls for said cheerleader. One of the best parts of this book is how Jessica grows into her own- you can see her go from being this gawky, awkward teenager to becoming a regal, confident princess who is proud of who she is. That is always an amazing character development that really makes a book worthwhile and rewarding to read.

Speaking of this vamp guy, I had very mixed feelings about Luscious Vladescu-- on one hand he's an arrogant, condescending and insensitive jerk to Jessica (he is a vampire prince, after all), but then he also has a passionate, romantic side that really makes you feel for him. He has been stuck his whole life in this blood pact between two warring vampire families and was raised by ruthless, power-hungry vampire "Elders."  As a result, he is both dripping self-importance while also being extremely vulnerable. It was a roller coaster with Luscious- first I liked him, then I got annoyed with him, then I hated him, then I felt sorry for him. Despite being a vampire, he was very human, and I guess that's what made him an endearing character, faults and all. I thought the author did a really good job at making such a complex character-- you can never really pin him down with one specific trait, and I think it's a real feat for an author to be able to create someone that multi-dimensional. Also, I thought it was very creative of the author to include Luscious' point of view by having stand-alone chapters of his letters back home (despite them being extremely annoying at times- oh man, **spoiler** especially the prison one, I was dying).  

Bottom line: I really enjoyed this book, and I am really hoping there is going to be a sequel to it. The plot had me hooked the entire way through, and the ending was wonderfully climactic. The characters Jessica and Luscious are ones that I definitely want to see again-- their chemistry is just so addicting. The narrative was funny, sexy, and dark all at the same time; full of passion, high-school drama and Romanian vampire lore. This is one vampire love story that is definitely worth your time!

LC's Rating:
Strong, multi-dimensional characters and a wonderfully-addicting plot make this book one you have to read, especially  if you are into the vampire lit genre!


  1. Awesome review! I loved this book as well and I can't wait for the next one to come out!!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. Great review! I felt the same way! And there way be another book! :) It's called Jessica Rules The Dark Side. :) I can't wait for it!

  3. great review! i'll be honest, I haven't heard much about this novel (or author for that matter) but you can tell you really enjoyed this book and that makes me want to read:) thanks for sharing!


  4. I've been meaning to read this one for a while! Now I definatly want to read it

  5. Yea! Very excited for this sequel :)

  6. Awesome review. This book is going on my short list. Thanks.

  7. Great review! I have this book, but have yet to read it. It sounds SO good!

    New follower! :)

  8. I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I know some people have complained about it, but I really liked Jessica and Lucius, both together and as individuals.

  9. I think it definitely takes pretty much the whole book to get a liking for Luscious, but in the end it was that complexity that made me think his character was really well done- he wasn't perfect and he wasn't a cookie-cutter kind of male hero that the main female lead-- or the reader-- falls in love with right away.

    I've seen many complaints about Luscious and I was surprised to hear that some readers thought the characters were "shallow," when I thought exactly the opposite! Interesting how we can interpret the same things in completely different ways...

    Thanks everyone for the great comments!


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