A website dedicated to books in the Young Adult genre, featuring book reviews, author interviews contests and much more!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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

Hardover: 368 pages
Release Date: February 1, 2009
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition
Buy at: Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Told partly through Jessica's narration and partly through Lucius’ letters home to his uncle Vasile, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side took off right away and had me eagerly turning the pages. Lucius' letters were my favorite aspect of this novel. Chocked full of humorous recollections of his explosive encounters with Jessica, they always made for an amusing read. His sardonic wit and well rounded vocabulary brought his interactions with Jessica vividly to life. Time and time again, I found myself looking forward to seeing what he would write next!

Jessica was a great heroine whom I liked immediately from the start. Throughout the novel, she showed great spirit and confidence. I loved that she didn't get all starry eyed and swoony the moment she met Lucius too. I also want to mention Faith Crosse. It must be noted what a vivid character Faith was to contrast with against Jessica. She definitely personified all the old rivalries and insecurities of being a high school student for me and added a great source of tension to the book.

Jessica’s Guide was am extremely enjoyable novel. It was not only humorous, but also contained a much appreciated depth. The love story was at times even haunting to me, especially when all hope seemed to be lost. I voraciously devoured page after page of this novel and I only wish we could have another installment to look forward to!


My favorite hobby is traveling the world - but my biggest fear is flying.

My second-biggest fear is public speaking… but I’m a college professor (who sometimes teaches public speaking!)

I have two 5-year-old kids - who AREN’T twins.

My weirdest work experience was helping to “tan” deer hides using cow brains. (I was actually writing a magazine story about it.)

I’ve only been fired once, from a job as a bookstore clerk.

My best educational experience was doing research in India on the Dalit (“untouchable”) struggle for human rights.

My worst experience, ever, was getting food poisoning while riding my bike from the Missouri River to the Mississippi. (My friend told me the chicken tasted strange…)
Whenever I visit a new country, I try as many ketchups as I can. (Best: Poland, Worst: China)

I am an uncommonly bad volleyball player… ask the team that ALMOST won a championship.

I also suffer from mild “ichthyphobia,” or “fear or fish.” I don’t bother trying to overcome that one!

Beth Fantaskey’s Official Website


Anonymous said...

Nice review. A little spoilery though as I haven't read it yet. I really want to though and I liked your review because it told me the bottom line of the book.

Jessica Kennedy said...

One of my favorite reads this year. :) It was surprisingly awesome as I HATED the cover and HATED the title. :)

Dena said...

Ok this sounded better to me then Twilight.. my big problem with that book was the way Bella lost herself every time Eddie was around, sounds like this would be even more up my alley, not to say I did not like Twilight, but I like how you said in this book that one of it's strengths was that the main character was not like that.

Dani. said...

This book sounds like a book full of an adventure of awesome. I really want to read it!

brandileigh2003 said...

I didn't expect to like this one but I really did!