Monday, April 1, 2013

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

Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantasky
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Age: 14 +
Review Rating: 3/4


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.

Let's be totally honest here. That title, SUCKS! But the book, pretty good. Really clique, but good. Because it was a vampire novel, I felt the need to read it. It's a weird compulsion thing I have. If there are vampires in it, I've got to read it. And starting out, I didn't think this was going to be much better then those cheesy teen romance novels. But . . . as it seems lately, I was pleasantly surprised.
The introduction to the main character is straight out of a horror film. She is waiting for the bus in the early hours of the morning, when a man steps into the light of a nearby street lamp and says her name. Okay, can you say corny? It goes on to have him mysteriously appear in her English class and give her a pen to write with, while staring at the cut she had on her finger where the blood was dripping. At this point in the book I was ready to put it away. There wasn't much more I could handle.
But when the mother notices this young man/boy and stops to talk with him, that's when things get interesting. Turns out Jessica is a vampire who was given to her parents by her biological parents because the villages were going to kill them. When she was born, she was betrothed to a boy from a warring clan of vampires in hopes that a peace could be sustained. So this man/boy is here to collect on that betrothal.
The book was surprisingly introspective, with the characters spending a lot of time on figuring themselves out and what their place in the world is. With grace, both characters navigate the pressures of being teenagers, as well as the added pressure of ruling two warring vampire clans.
The character that impressed me the most was Lucius. He came from royalty and had grown up with the knowledge that he would one day marry Jessica and rule over the vampire clans with an iron fist. Beth Fantasky does a great job of portraying the psychological effects that would have on a teenager and how it would morph/shape their choices.
All in all, I really liked it and had a great time in Jessica and Lucius's world.

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