Monday, August 1, 2011

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

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Series: Jessica, #1
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA PNR
Features: Vampires
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: February 1, 2009
Source: Public Library
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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.
When I first picked up this book, I was expecting a typical, cute and fluffy story in which a handsome, dark prince swoops in and takes Jessica away to his magical palace in some exotic European setting. Simple as that. But the story turned out to be much deeper than that. Jessica is, for one, stubborn as a mule, and Lucius is aggravating as heck. He's so pompous and stuck up... although the lofty tone he used in his letters to his uncle cracked me up.


I was actually kind of annoyed with Jessica's stubbornness. Not because she wanted to be an independent young woman (she'd rather be, you know, not destined for life with a future vampire king), but because she simply didn't believe in vampires. Lucius goes up to her face and sticks out his fangs, and she's convinced it's a magic trick. I wanted to hit myself in the forehead with the book.


Lucius was also a character that I had a love/hate relationship with. In the beginning, I kind of liked him, because this chivalrous behavior made him all gentlemanly and swoon-worthy. And his pompousness amused me. But later on, when he got all dark and disturbed and internal conflict-y, he was absolutely infuriating. And so confusing. But then I liked him again later on. It's all 'kay.


The one thing that had me kind of worried was the romance. It didn't seem real to me, for some reason. I could understand Jessica's feelings, although she seemed to start falling for him when he didn't like her anymore (great timing there). However, Lucius seemed like he was all "duty, not love," so I wasn't sure about his true feelings. But I'm sure he'll soften up later.


The story wasn't something totally new and exciting and original, but I really enjoyed it. It was funny in some parts, and intense and scary in others. I found myself very emotional during certain parts. I was bawling my eyes out. It was very sad. (Not the book... my reaction. I'm such a wimp.)


I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to fans of vampires, romance, and the paranormal. This is a very good read that will keep you up late at night and leave you wanting more. An exceptionally well-written book that will have you laughing and crying along the journey. I can't wait to start Jessica Rules the Dark Side!

First Line:

The first time I saw him, a heavy, gray fog clung to the cornfields, tails of mist slithering between the dying stalks.

Favorite/Teaser Quotes/Excerpts:
Dear Uncle Vasile,
     The lentil is perhaps the world's most versatile, indestructible food.
     One can eat the lentil unadorned,; marry it off to its first cousin, the oafish "bulgur"; or attempt to drown it in harsh vinegar for a "vegan salad." But the lentil, alas, will always survive. Indeed, at the Packwood house, the tenacious little legume will forcibly resurrect, as free of anything resembling taste as ever, and insinuate its indefatigable, pelletlike self onto yet another dinner plate, expecting to be eaten. Again, and again, and again.
     And do not even speak to me of "Jell-O" and "sloppy joes."
     FOR GOD'S SAKE, VASILE.


Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

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