Sunday, April 11, 2010

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

Look how good I'm doing! I'm actually regularly posting reviews! Or.. at least more often. Regularly suggests a schedule, and schedules? Pft, I scoff at them! Right, right, tooting my own horn for actually posting isn't the reason for this post.

Disclaimer: This book, "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side," was purchased by me, the reviewer. I was not given this book, nor any other forms of compensation, in exchance for a review.

Type: YA fiction, Paranormal Romance

From the back of the book: " Marrying a vampire definitely doesn't fit in to 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 fiance. 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 Jessica has never even been kissed - how can she possibly commit herself to a long-term relationship? Or an eternal relationship, for that matter? "

I'm sure by now readers have noticed I'm a sucker for a lot of things. Covers with shirtless men, wrongly accused heroes... Well, I have another one here for you - Arranged marriages and/or marriages of convenience. I just like the idea of two strangers being tossed together, and to see how they deal with the situation. I'm sure in reality there would be a lot of unhappy people. But that's why I like fiction. Plenty of Happy Endings for all.

First off, let's start with the author's version of vampire lore - I like it. Vampires aren't turned, or so it seems, but are actually born. They are an evolved, superhuman race. Vampires can go out in sunlight, their fangs are hidden except in times of extreme emotion.. And probably my favorite part, because it's so interesting, is that girls don't fully come into their vampirism until a male bites them. For example, Jessica can feet her jaw ache and her teeth start to shift, but her teeth won't come in until she's bitten. I thought that was an interesting spin on the vampire myth, one I've not heard of before.

I enjoyed the characters as well. I felt very close to Jessica, and when she felt sad, mad, jealous, etc, so did I. And I really felt for Lucius, you could tell that he was finally let himself experience really freedom, and what it meant to be a real teenager in the United States, despite his upbringing and the task he was sent there to complete.
Part of me wants to start comparing "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" to "Twilight," but I won't. Mostly. I will say this book is a lot less creepy, since Lucius is actually near Jessica's age, and isn't over one hundred years old and yet keeps going back to highschool. Just throwing that out there. And that I think it beats Twilight hands down. Just saying.

***Possible spoilers!***
The one thing I didn't like about this book, and the reason the rating will be less than perfect, was Lucius' little dalliance with the highschool's resident bee-otch. I almost understand why the author did it, but I think there could have been better ways of getting the characters to that point. And since the author made me feel so close to Jessica, I felt her pain when Lucius was.. dabbling with the other girl.
***End spoilers***

I'm going to give "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" a FOUR POINT EIGHT out of FIVE. Yes, I'm aware I've never given a 4.8 out of 5 before, but I'm torn. I really enjoyed the book, I felt connected to the characters, and I know this is something I'll be suggesting to people in the future, but the issue covered in the Possible Spoilers paragraph just irked me enough to drop the rating down.

All that said, please check out "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" by Beth Fantaskey, and come back and share your thoughts! Or, if you've already read it, tell me your opinion!
Happy Reading, and enjoy your week!

~!~Morning Glow


Book Junkie said...

Wow 4.8! That is awesome. I have been eyeing this one for a little while and since I am trying to open myself up to YA a little more I was hesitant to add. I am so getting this Friday!

Thanks for the great review!!


Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

I hope you do get a chance to read it, and come back and tell me how you liked it! Part of the reason I rated it so high, was that I could still connect with the main character, and the author made me feel Jessica's emotions. And considering she's a senior in Highschool, and I'm.... several years past that, I think that's amazing.

Dating said...

Author made me feel Jessica's emotions!