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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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

Jessica's Guide

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 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.

Publication date: 2/1/2009

Pages: 368

My Rating: (4.00)

In case the above four star rating doesn’t say it clearly, I really, really, really liked this book! Seriously I loved it.image I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I was excited to read a book focused on vampires—it had been a while. The tone is much darker than I expected, which works, vampires are creatures of darkness after all. And yes, vampires have fangs in this book, as they should! Everyone knows fangs are sexy and fun! Right?Right! I am a strong supporter of vampires with fangs: My name is K. Bo Baron, and I support fangs.

I liked the way the story progressed. The humor was witty and clever. It even managed to make me laugh out loud on multiple occasions. I really enjoyed the satire. I love me some satire! The plot progressed in an interesting and engrossing manner. The main characters grew and evolved in ways they needed to. This is a romance, but it is not one of those gushy-gushy romances where the characters circle around the other and then jump each other. No, these characters had to learn a thing or two about themselves before they could really focus on the romance. The writing is fun, compelling, and, well, good. Beth Fantaskey manages to create a paranormal romance that doesn’t feel overstuffed or overdone; it is just right. 

The main character, Jessica is normal in an un-annoying way. She had her insecurities, as well as some identity conflicts, and the book consists of her dealing with them. She is an interesting main character and I liked her as a narrator. At times she was a bit slow to get with the program, but overall she was likeable.

As for Lucius, well I really liked him. He won me over when he gave a little speech promoting a healthy self-image:

“American women. Why do you all want to be nearly invisible? Why not have a physical presence in the world? Women should have curves, not angles. ...One should never confuse fashionable with beautiful.”

Trust me, it wasn’t cheesy! It was awesome and kind of sexy. One of the best aspects of this book is the fact that we get to read the letters Lucius writes to his uncle. They are filled with his own brand of clever humor and wit. Plus they show that Lucius has a light side to his personality. Let’s face it we all like reading the guy’s point of view and it is awesome when the author manages to not only to capture his personality, but to do it in such a progressively-believable manner. With every letter we get to know and like him more and more until, bam! an attraction to a fictional boy blooms!

Ah, so once again we reach that crucial point in my review: Do I have a new book boyfriend?

Lucius Vladescu, I am pleased to inform you that you have been ACCEPTED to my Hall of Book Boyfriends! Congratulations.

image This is a most auspicious moment! Lucius Vladescu, you should be proud, you’ve earned it. You will find that you are in good company!Go ahead, shake hands with Daemon Black and the others!

If you have read my reviews, you have probably noticed that there are usually two questions I ask myself after reading a book:

1) Do I have a new book boyfriend?*

2) Is there a sequel and if so will I be reading it? *

* Why are these two questions important? Well if I embrace a character as my book boyfriend, it usually means I found the romance to be believable, you know since I myself fell for the dude…and whether or not I will read the sequel, well that is important for more obvious reasons. Giving up on a series is a big deal, so if I say no, I really did not care for the book.

So back to the questions! I already answered the first with a YES! As for the second, what do I have to say?

Well first, when you are finished with Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Beth Fantaskey has provided a special treat on her website. You get some bonus chapters that explain what happened after the ending of Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. These bonus chapters are important for the sequel, but don’t go snooping around Beth Fantaskey’s website if you don’t want the nature of the ending of the first book to be revealed…you’ve been warned!

So as I mentioned earlier, there is a second book in this series—it came out January 10 2012. What do I have to say?


I already read the bonus chapters that Beth Fantaskey posted on her website—two thumbs up—so I am ready to read the sequel! And I am excited about it! I highly recommend picking up Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I found it to be an unexpected delight!

Here read some Free Samples (TEASERS) of Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side:

“Where do you. come from?" Frank challenged, puffing his chest, a little bolder now that he could breathe. "Some of us are starting to wonder."
"I come from civilization," Lucius retorted. "You wouldn't be familiar with the territory. Now pick up the books.”


Lucius smirked at me, raising one eyebrow. "Really? No suitors? How shocking. I would have thought your pitchfork skills would be attractive to certain bachelors here in farm country.”


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”


Lucius actually laughed. "Very funny. I didn't know you made jokes."
"I'm a funny person," I defended myself. "And by the way—I don't snore."


“As you know, I have always been curious about our immortality... how it feels to live on and on through time....I need speculate no longer, I have sampled eternity in Miss Campbell's fifth period "social studies" class. Three days on the concept of "manifest destiny," Vasile. THREE DAYS. I yearned to stand up, rip her lecture notes from her pallid hands, and scream, 'Yes, America expanded westward! Is that not logical, given that Europeans settled on the Eastern shore? What else were they to do? Advance vainly into the sea?”


"Yes. It's so much better to be stalked by a tall European than an American of average height.”

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