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January 29, 2012

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

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.
After hearing about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side almost a year ago, I never really thought it would capture my attention. For the most part, I've been past the vampire-loving phase. However, when I noticed it on the Amazon freebie list during the holidays, I decided to give a shot. By the end of the story, I was so glad I did choose to pick it up. Beth Fantaskey had exceeded my every expectation.

Jessica Packwood, our female protagonist, is by no means average. In fact, she is actually Antanasia Dragomir, a Romanian princess by birth...and that isn't the strangest part. She's also a vampire. Jessica has been kept in the dark for a long while until the arrival of a foreign exchange student. Cue Lucius Vladescu--cunning, charming, and a complete jerk. As Lucius tries to explain that he is Jessica's fiancé, Jessica becomes more desperate than ever to just feel normal. Instead of choosing Lucius, she goes after her long-time crush, spurring on Lucius's anger and potentially causing a full-scale vampire war.

I really enjoyed and appreciated the fact that there was no insta-love between Jessica and Lucius. Yes, both characters frustrated me due to some of their decisions, but like anyone, it took both of them some time to sort out their emotions. Jessica could be indecisive and Lucius could be domineering, but in the end, they were absolutely perfect for each other. Additionally, the tension between the two of them added to the excitement and suspense. It really was impossible to figure out what would happen next, and I always love unpredictability.

Getting to see a bit of Lucius's personality and perspective through his letters to his uncle in Romania was also an added bonus. His humor and wit never ceased to amuse me. Though essentially a cliffhanger, the ending of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was just carried out just right. I really hope I can get my hands on the sequel, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, very soon!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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