Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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

Product Details
Pub. Date: January 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Paperback , 354pp
ISBN-13: 9780547259406
ISBN: 0547259409

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.

My thoughts:

This was a really fun book to read. I had a really hard time putting it down and it was nice to find out that there is going to be a sequel coming out sometime this year. That said I do agree with some reviews I've seen that there really wasn't a lot of actual dating going on between Jessica and Lucius. Tension and moments, but not actual dates, but title aside it was a very compelling book.

Imagine waking up during your senior year and finding out that you aren't who you thought you were. Jessica knows she was adopted and knows her birth name, but as she discovers her birth families background in Romania she is confronted by surprise after surprise. How could her parents think they were vampires? Does she really need to honor an almost two decade old pact that she must marry a Vladescu prince? Where is her choice in the matter?

High school life seemed believable. The class bully, the football player, the cheerleader no one ever said no to. They may be partial stereotypes, but they were brought to life and seemed like much more than caricatures. The only thing that threw me was Jessica's best friends name. Sometimes she is Mindy, then Min and also Melinda. I can see the names going together but how many people have two nicknames? At first I thought it was a mistake in editing, but since it kept going throughout I think the author just choose to have two nicknames for her.

Jessica's growing confidence in herself and transformation from being self-conscious of her curves to ready to have a presence in the world was a good lesson for young adult readers. Not everyone needs to be a size zero to be attractive. Also good was the way Fantaskey addressed Jessica straightening her hair and then coming to embrace her natural curls. So many times women especially try to change to fit the current fashion instead of becoming comfortable and happy with themselves and working on a style that works with their body type or hair type.

Seeing Jessica change over time from the beginning of the novel to the end made her journey along the way believable and compelling. I will be looking for the sequel to see what happens for Lucius and Jessica.


  1. I love when a book gets people (or characters) to look at how they change themselves for a man or for what's popular (i.e., their hair) instead of embracing their differences.

  2. It does sound like a fun one.

  3. This is very informative post. I like this and I bookmarked it.I will use it in future.Thanks for sharing such a precious post with community.

  4. I keep hearing this one is adorable :)