Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (January 1st 2009—Harcourt)
Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
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”
Review: First things first I have to point out that I love Lucius’s character. He had depth, volume, and area! Granted, I just made two of those things up…but really! He actually developed, a lot! I love his original attitude. He had the whole haughty European sex vibe going on; “I know I’m hot and sexy, so back off commoners, you’re breathing my air” type of presence. Even after he sheds his arrogance, his character still remains amazing. Jessica, however, fell flat at some points.
The love that grew between them also nicely developed. In the beginning they both couldn’t stand each other, and day by day it blossomed until they actually tolerated each other. And of course, fall in love.
The alternating points of views were a nice touch. It gave a deeper connection and a better understanding to their motives. I love how Lucius’ point of view was through letters to his uncle. It was just plain laugh out loud funny. But within the letters, it gave the true plotline and conflict. Which I have to say was creative and original.
Speaking of original, I thought that there were some vampire characteristics that were unique. The trait that only female vampires can only become full vampires by getting a male vampire to bite you was something that I have never read before. Apparently, never reading a vampire book in your life helps. A lot actually.
The ending, however, left more to be desired. There were some open-ended questions left to me. What happened back in the United States? Her friends? Her parents? Those type of questions.
Overall: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was a funny yet dark tale of love. It was a magnificent read from start to finish!