Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

The undead can really
screw up your senior year...

Jessica has a very ordinary, teenage life in a small town in Pennsylvania. She has a best friend Mindy and a crush on a nice boy named Jake. Lucius Vladescu is a new foreign exchange student from Romania who is in her senior lit class. He appears at her home later and makes outrageous claims. He is a vampire and Jess is really a Romanian vampire princess Antanasia Dragomir and they have been promised in marriage to each other since birth. They are to be married at the age of 18. She knew she had been adopted but had never heard such a story. Her parents confirmed it. She is shocked and appalled that her parents would allow it.

This is a debut YA novel and I had heard good things about it on other reviews. Since this is a hot trend right now I wasn't sure if it was going to be a repeat of so many other stories out now. It did have some of the same elements with the main characters who appear to be completely opposite, a love triangle, snotty rich girl who wants the new guy, new guy who happens to be a hot vampire... but it has it's own interesting storyline.

Jessica narrates the story but there are also letters from Lucius to his uncle mixed throughout the chapters. The author takes this opportunity to mix in some humor when Lucius complains about the American lifestyle and how much he abhors his teenage classmates. As he describes their spoiled behavior he is also slowly adapting to their ways. And Jessica is also slowly accepting the possibility that he may really be telling her the truth about his life. But she's no pushover and she doesn't just take his word for everything. When Lucius presents her with a written guide to becoming a vampire she tosses it aside. It must be nonsense! But as she starts to experience "symptoms" she decides to check it out a bit. Although some of the comments make her roll her eyes (Getting new fangs is like getting your first period. Ha!) they do become relevant, and quite funny.

This was an enjoyable and quick read. The way the book ended I can see a sequel coming. I look forward to reading it to see what happens next for these characters.

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release date: February 2009
Pages: 368
Price/Format: $17.00/Hardcover
Type: YA fiction
Age: 14 and up


  1. When I read that he came from Romania, I did a little groan and said, "They always do." So I chuckled when you said you were half expecting it to be a repeat of all the other vamp-teen-love-stories... we were on the same page :-D

    I'm glad it ended up fun, though, and something to look forward to the sequel.

  2. I had read that this was going to be the 'new Twilight' so I had high expectations going in. I thought the book was a light, quick read but no where as engrossing as Twilight.


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