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

(Cover picture courtesy of On the Bookshelf.)

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit in to Jessica Packwood’s senior-year “get a life” plan.  But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchanged 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 Jessica has never even been kissed—how can she possibly commit herself to a long-term relationship?  Or an eternal relationship, for that matter?

When I first started reading this book, I thought it would be another YA novel that jumped on the Twilight bandwagon.  Boy was I wrong!

Beth Fantaskey’s novel is the thought-provoking, yet semi-hilarious story of Jessica Packwood, a high school girl just starting her senior year.  Her plan is to get a life and become popular, but things go horribly wrong when the European exchange student, Lucius Vladescu, shows up on her doorstep, bringing back dark secrets from Jessica’s past.  Jessica is really a Romanian vampire princess who was betrothed to Lucius at birth.  Throughout her senior year, Lucius helps Jessica build up her confidence and they slowly fall in love.

Jessica’s  Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a wonderful novel that stands out from the hundreds of other vampire novels.  My favourite part of it is when we get to see Lucius’s correspondence with his uncle back in Romania.  They offer a great insight into his personality, especially his rapier wit.  Although there are many great things about this novel, there is one thing I do not like.  Jessica takes a very, very long time to believe Lucius is a vampire, even when there are huge clues all around her.  Maybe it’s just me, but when someone shows you fangs that weren’t there before and the people who have taken care of you since birth tell you this person is a vampire, I would clue in to the fact that things are not all that they seem.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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