Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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

If you like vampires and romance, you'll definitely want to read this debut novel by Beth Fantaskey!  It's not the kind of story you would expect it to be either.

So, since I'm horrible at the summaries of stories (I tend to review while summarizing most of the time I noticed), here's the summary of the story from Goodreads.com.

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.

So, I keep running into all these books that I like!  I hear about them once, read a review about them or see something come up about the author.  This is how I heard about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.  I was perusing another website that does reviews and saw that the author did a guest blog.  I read the blog and I loved it.  I still wasn't sure I wanted to read a book that sounded like an actual self-help book though.

Truly, that is what this story sounded like to me, but really, it's a fabulous story.  Yes, it has the same, girl sees new hot boy at school, school can't stand him at first, finds out he is jealous, so she dates another boy that she really likes because she hates new boy and then falls in love with new boy once he starts showing interest in another girl.  Sorry about the run on...that's how my mind is working at the moment.  But yes, I loved the storyline.  It carried everything that I look for in a story.  Drama, romance, the hot guy (always have to have at least one), comedy, and awesome character development.

Beth created Jessica and Lucius as if they were actually real people who sat down and told her their story.  Mostly I say this because you get Jessica's point of view throughout the book, but Lucius still has  letters to his Uncle Vasile in the story where you get his point of view and his feelings for what is going on around him.  These two characters are amazingly written.  Personalities flow together and apart, and really, I enjoyed every second I read them.  

Jessica is the dark, curly haired adopted child of two vegan parents and lives on a farm in rural Pennsylvania.  Loves math, and loves to ride her horse, Belle.  Everything about her screams NORMAL teenager at the beginning.  Then enters Lucius.  The luscious Romanian who claims he is a vampire prince come to claim his bride which is Jessica.  I love the banter and unbelief that these two have for each other and even the smallest moments between them become the strongest in the building of their relationship together.  Jessica is written very well to be the normal teenager, but as she starts to believe more of what Lucius tells her about herself and her lineage, she begins to believe.  However, when Lucius appears, he is adamant and very chivalrous toward Jessica and treats her the way a princess should be treated.  Nevertheless as Jessica begins to believe what she has learned, Lucius falls away and rebels against it all.  It's a fantastically written flip-flop of characters.  The development and devolving states they both go through.

Again, Beth Fantaskey has made me a believer and also made me want to go to Romania and visit there someday.  Her writing voice is strong and humorous and never fails in keeping you moving forward throughout the story.  A fantastical adventurous read that will have all the ladies looking for Lucius and his velvet coat.

Hey, maybe I'll take a trip to Pennsylvania to look for him myself...


Emily Cross on September 14, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

I'm always put off by those 'self-help' titles cause I'm not sure what the book is actually about.

Brilliant review Jessica - you should contact the author - i'd say she'd be delighted. You made me want to buy the book and read it immediately :)

Dating Coach on September 14, 2010 at 5:35 PM said...

Amazing article, Very influential actually purchased book & reading it.

JessG on September 15, 2010 at 12:53 AM said...

Haha Emily, Thanks! Yeah, I did contact Beth. And yes, this is a great read! I had a hard time putting it down at all.

I'm so going to find her other book as well, Jekel Loves Hyde.

StephTheBookworm on September 15, 2010 at 4:30 AM said...

This was definitely one of my favorite books I read last year.

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