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review: “jessica’s guide to dating on the dark side” July 29, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey.
Harcourt // Hardcover // 368 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.

Jessica Packwood thought her life was about as normal as it could get. She’s a member of 4-H, a bit of a math geek, and has her eye on her neighbor, Jake. A typical normal life. That was, until Lucius Vladescu shows up on her doorstep after stalking her all day at school. It gets worse once her parents let him stay and reveal to Jessica that she’s a vampire princess and Lucius is her betrothen.

I really enjoyed this take on the vampire legend. So many of the vampire books coming out these days are all true love and immediately falling for the vampire. This book is completely the opposite of that. If anything, Jessica digs her heels into the ground and refuses to even like Lucius. (At first!)

The characterization is this book is awesome. Jessica is funny and fresh; Lucius is every bit the old Romanian gentleman. And you get to hear both voices because while Jessica tells the story, Lucius’s letters home are also included in the narrative. And the letters truly had me clutching my side and laughing out loud. Particularly the lines about basketball.

The conclusion to this book is a bit sudden (at least, for my liking), but I was satisfied about where we left the characters at the end of the novel. I know a lot of my teens will be clamoring for a sequel, but I hope that this is it for Jessica and Lucius. Too many good vampire stories are ruined by trying to draw them out further.

Half romance and half comedy, this book will for sure lighten up the vampire genre while still giving teens the vicarious vampire romance that the crave. A great, light alternative to “Twilight.”

SWAN catalog
Beth Fantaskey




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