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Friday, 10 September 2010

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

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 fiancĂ©. 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

From  the title you can pretty much guess  this is going to be in first person narrative from the point of view of Jessica (yes I know I am stating the obvious). Jessica is what I would classify as utterly 'normal' a 'typical' American, shy teenager - that is until Luke enters her life.

As I was reading I kept picturing Luke as a teenage Angel from Buffy - the whole vampire with a soul angle gets me every time *swoon*

I did find it a little difficult to believe that Jessica's parents were able to conceal her true genetic history from her. Although Jessica did make it easy for them by wanting to completely block out any memories of her childhood.

There is an additional element within the story of nature versus nurture. Showing the differences in upbringing between Jessica and Luke, the repercussions in the way they view the world and interact with others was very noticeable. The portrayal of Luke's Uncles treatment of him was brutal.

The narrative is interspersed with letters from Luke to his Uncle; enabling the reader to see the story from his point of view. I adored his dual role as a Romanian Vampire Prince and an American Basketball star. This dual nature really shone through in  the letters. Inspiring quite a few lol moments.

The relationship between Luke and Jessica builds slowly; both of them aiding the other on a journey of self discovery. Circumstances and other people keep getting in their way which in turn affects their progress. I loved the character development throughout the story. There is an ingenious subplot woven into the narrative which isn't completely revealed until near the end. All the threads come together to a really explosive ending.

The imagery was very realistic although unfavourable to vegetarian food, lol. There were a few gory scenes, (I dont like gore *shudders*) but I was able to repress the imagery *sniggers*.

I really enjoyed this book, getting to know the characters and see their interactions was brilliant. Plus how could I not love the caring, hot, male vampire. Perfect piece of escapism.


  1. Sounds like a fun read, especially if he comes across a teenaged Angel! Plus, I love letters in books. Something about that just makes me happy.

  2. Sounds really good - you had me on Angel from Buffy :D

  3. Ooh. I've had this on my TBR pile for a while now. I must, must, must read this one. Definitely a huge fan of brooding vamps with soul :) Lovely review as always!

  4. Fantastic review. I bought myself this a few months ago but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet!

  5. I really liked this one too! Definitely agree that it could have been fleshed out a little more at the end though. I was actually crossing my fingers for a sequel, but oh well. I need to read this one. I've heard this was a great book...and if you stayed up until 3 am reading it...I think I need to get it!!! I've never even heard of this, but it sounds amazing! I really need to buy this. Preferably today.

  6. This is a really interesting review. I've read mixed reports of this title and didn't like Jekel Meets Hyde by the same author but what you say about it makes me think that perhaps I should give this one a chance after all.

  7. Thanks for all the great comments :D I should tell you I am biased where brooding hot vampires are concerned ;)

  8. I really didn't love this one even though I really wanted to :(


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