Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Summary: 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. (from

Review: Totally and completely loved this book! I picked it up during a bout of insomnia that began about 4.5 hours ago. About 1/2 hour ago I finished it up. At 351 pages, that's no easy feat. Lets just say this book sucked me in.

I loved both of the main characters. Jessica is a typical high schooler that isn't so different from what I was like in high school. Kinda geeky, not the prettiest girl in group and loves horses. So pretty much I was on Jessica's side from the word go. I loved seeing her go from being a bit of a nobody to the legitimate ruler of an entire royal family. She had to deal with alot throughout this book, the normal perils of high school, plus this whole other world that was thrust upon her out of the blue. Lucius is your typical tortured soul, and that was okay for me. I don't think Fantaskey really broke the mold with him, but I also don't think she needed to. I enjoyed seeing Lucius try to deal with the substandard conditions of living in rural PA and the horror that is High School. I especially enjoyed seeing him realize that having a choice in who you are and who you want to be is something that everyone should have. Which by the way is also slightly ironic, seeing as he is trying to decide who Jessica should be all the way through.

There are great supporting players here to and tops on my list are Jessica's parents. Too often in YA books we see parents that are cruel or distant or somehow lacking. Often that's what leads our intrepid heroine to stray to the supernatural. here we have two loving parents who risk their lives for both the child they adopted years earlier, but also for Lucius, because they see a wrong being done. They let Jessica make her own decisions, while still be present and engaged parents. I think that this is such a great piece to this book that I wish we saw more often.

In the end I really thought this book was a great ride. There are enough twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing at how (and when) it might end, and the love story at the heart of the book is a new take on the classic crossed lovers that you can't not love. I didn't want it to end and I want to know more about how Jessica and Lucius do moving forward. Thank goodness Fantaskey has more stuff on her website. This was a wonderful book- go buy it- you won't be sorry.

About Beth Fantaskey: Check out more about this great author!


1 comment:

  1. Okay, once I heard about this book on Eve's I was like, "Really? A Guide Book?" The title just didn't catch me until I saw the book at Wal-Mart and read the summary and your review here. Thanks for the review! I, too, am kind of bummed that parents these days in YA books are distant or almost non-existant. I'm glad there is an author out there that most likely sees the same thing. In my writing, I try to put in parental involvement, but it's really hard because the character doesn't want it either, or the parent they loved so much died on them. It just sucks really that the parents I want in my stories are falling away like they are.

    Great review though! I can't wait to pick this one up!