Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey
Summary: The undead can really screw up your senior year ...Hmm.
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 this book was not what I was expecting. And I absolutely freaking adored it.
I don't know if it was the cover (did not like) or the title (meh) or the summary ("sounds so cliche, the vampire thing is so overdone right now" *headdesk*), but I just wasn't in a rush to read it. The only reason I even bought the book was because so many people gushed about how awesome it was, but I still put off reading it for ages -- I only read it because of the challenge Julie and I had and I'm so glad that I did, the book is awesome.
It took me a little while to get into it (the writing bugged me in the beginning), but once I did, I was completely hooked.
I can't really explain the reasons I liked it properly, it's hard to put into words. I know I loved the characters, Lucius was amazing...I have a weakness for brooding bad boys who are good guys at heart and the fact he is Romanian makes me swoon like a pathetic fangirl (Romania is somewhere that I desperately want to visit) and I liked Jessica and the fact that she was realistically skeptical about the whole vampire thing for so long and that she was stubborn and didn't pull a Bella Swan the minute she met a pretty boy. I liked her best friend, parents and uncle, too.
I really liked how the vampire thing was handled. As far as mythical creatures go, vampires are probably the most overused over the past few years and I thought I was all burned out on vampire stories but I loved this one and it didn't feel cliche and overdone. It reminded me why I loved vampires in the first place. I read Dracula when I was about 12, loved vampire movies -- the more Twilight-ish books are a pathetically watered down form of vamp-lit but Jessica's Guide kind of got back to the roots of the kind of stories that I love.
I'll stop with the rambling now, but I really loved the book and if you were like me; put off by the title/cover/summary/vampires, then maybe give it a chance anyway. I can't wait to read the sequel and get more of these characters.
p.s. one thing I hated about the book was her original name: Antanasia. It irritated me so much, every time I read it, I forced myself to substitute a different name in its place like I did when I read the name "Wanda" in The Host. =P