Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publication: February 1st, 2009
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Description: 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.
My Review:We've all heard the story before; Regular teenage girl finds out she's actually a princess and eventually marries her Prince Charming. But that story didn't have vampires. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side tells the story of a girl as she learns to accept her fate and be a vampire princess and of a spoiled vampire prince that learns to accept her and eventually, love her.
My favorite part about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was watching the characters grow. Jessica starts out insecure and wanting nothing more than a "nice" life, but she learns that she is powerful and beautiful and deserves so much more out of life than "nice". In the beginning, Lucius looks down upon Jessica's regular American lifestyle and expects her to leave everything behind to marry him as she was meant to. He is arrogant and, frankly, annoys me. But Lucius begins to understand Jessica's life and care about her and what she wants. The characters' growth through the book makes the story more realistic and makes me care more about the story than many of the other books in this genre. I especially liked the vampire princess to-be, Jessica.
The main character, Jessica, played a huge role in me enjoying this story. At first she was feeble and insecure, and although I could relate to her regular life, she often made me roll my eyes. But quickly she transforms into a beautiful woman and a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, many of the female main characters in YA books don't make this tranformation, resulting in a book that I can't stand no matter how good the storyline. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side does not have this problem. During his journey of growth, Lucius becomes some what of an emo, moping around and being a jerk. Jessica refuses to put up with any of his crap though, even giving him a well deserved slap at one point. All I could do was smile and nod my deep approval.
The only reason this book didn't get a full five hearts from me was because of Lucius. Remember how I said that during his character growth he becomes an emo jerk? Well this particular stage of growth seems to last for a good part of the book. The story was almost painful as he messes around with the local hot cheerleader and is rude to Jessica. Lucky for him that she became a badass and pulls him out of his blackhole of self pity, or else this book wouldn't have even gotten the four hearts. Maybe in the end he did have a some-what understandable reason for his behavior, but it didn't make it anymore enjoyable to read. Besides this, sometimes the things that Lucius said would annoy me. Thoughout the book, Lucius would write letters to his uncle in Romania. While it was interesting to understand what he was thinking, he would often go off on lengthy tangents about whatever was currently annoying him or he found interesting in American culture. He would say things that were clearly meant to be funny, but often made me sigh. Not an important enough annoyance to take away from the story, but an annoyance none the less.
Besides Lucius' emo stage, I really liked Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. The story of an ancient pact between Romanian vampire royalty and Jessica accepting her fate as a part of that pact was interesting and exciting. Not only that, but the way that the character's reacted to all of this was believeable. Even though there is a second book in the series, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side could act as a stand-alone novel if you wanted it to be.
Summed Up:I really enjoyed reading this book. The main character rocked and I loved watching all of the characters grow. It also had a very cute romance. I admit though, this book was a little fluffier than I would've liked and I didn't appreciate Lucius' emo stage.
Jessica SeriesTo read Jessica's and Lucius' wedding that Fantaskey posted online, which I highly reccomend you do if you liked Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, go here: [link].
Review for Jessica #1: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Review for Jessica #2: Jessica Rules the Dark Side