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

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark SideJESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey Book Review
Series: Jessica, #1
Publication Date:  February 1st 2009 by Harcourt
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book 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 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.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey Book Review Overview:

  • Fantaskey does a swell job in convincing readers that vampires do exist
  • You can’t help but love Lucius Vladescu
  • Satisfying romance

Thinking of all the vampire books I’ve read, almost all of them were recommended to me. JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey is no exception. Recommended by my best friend, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I picked this up. Surprisingly, I found myself delighted with Jessica and her story.

What I love most about JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. Jessica, the main character, even refuses to believe that vampires exist in the first place. Beth Fantaskey succeeds in making the mythology plausible to both Jessica and the reader.

Coming into JESSICA’S GUIDE, I was a little apprehensive about the name Lucius. Lucius is not a very popular name in young adult and children’s literature, and prior to this book, I had only encountered one other character with that name: Draco Malfoy’s father. As a huge Potter fan, I was worried; would I be able to dissociate Lucius from Harry Potter? The answer is yes. The image of a white-blond-haired man with a serpent-topped walking stick would pop up in my head every now and then, but overall, Fantaskey was able to make this character entirely her own, despite sharing the same name with a Death Eater.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to buy into the romance at first either. The whole concept of instalove does not sit with me very well. Just because Lucius and Jessica are betrothed to each other since birth, I wasn’t expecting sparks to fly between the two of them immediately. But Beth Fantaskey is quite the tricky (and clever!) writer, because before you know it, Lucius has somehow buried his way under your skin and into your heart. Then, she slams you with an intense blast of jealousy. Before you know it, you realize just how much you care about Lucius.

After being in a reading slump for quite a while, it was absolutely refreshing to read JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE. It was one of the first books I enjoyed reading in a while. I’m not into the whole paranormal craze, but I’m glad I picked up this vampire novel.

Other Book Reviews:
Ed and Em’s Reviews

About the Author

Beth FantaskeyBeth Fantaskey was raised and still lives in rural Pennsylvania, a place that features prominently in her books. (There’s nothing unusual about getting stuck in Amish buggy “traffic” where she lives.)

Fantaskey has been a burger-slinger at a diner called “Diffy’s,” a teenage tax collector, a journalist, and now a part-time professor at Susquehanna University. But her most fun job is “YA author,” because she gets to interact with so many interesting readers.

Find the Author

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  1. I loved the first half of this book, I thought it was funny and loved reading Lucius’ letters to his uncle and his dialogue as he tried to adjust to Jessica’s way of life but then the second half the book sort of went downhill for me. Jessica was finally coming around but everyone else had changed their minds and were telling her to stay away from Lucius including Lucius himself so the romance in the end felt overly sentimental to me when she had to go through all that angst to try and “save” Lucius :/.

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