Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Beth Fantaskey

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  • Publisher: GRAPHIA BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 354 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 28mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 18 January 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
  • ISBN 10: 0547259409
  • ISBN 13: 9780547259406
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 42,062

Product description

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

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Author information

BETH FANTASKEY lives in Pennslyvania with her husband and two daughters. "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side "is her first book.

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 19 Sep 2010 5

Jessica has always known she is adopted. Her parents, the Packwoods, have told her the story of how they, as anthropologists, were studying her family in Romania when they were attacked. Jessica's birth parents begged the Packwoods to take their daughter to safety. Eventually, Jessica's birth parents and many others of her family are killed and the Packwoods return to the United States with a new baby.

Jessica hates the story. She hates the fact that her parents were the kind of freaks that anthropologists wanted to study in the first place and how her birth name sounds so ethnic and strange. Antanasia - what kind of name is that?

Jessica starts to get a little freaked out when she sees a strange and mysterious guy watching her from afar. At the same time, she starts hearing her birth name whispered in the air. Antanasia... When the same strange and mysterious guy shows up at school, she doesn't know what to think. It turns out he is an exchange student named Lucius Vladescu. When Jessica points him out to her mother and tells her how he gives off a weird vibe, she doesn't seem too surprised to see him. Jessica's mother even invites him home for dinner to talk.

All of this happens within the first 17 pages of the book.

Jessica (Antanasia) is a Romanian vampire princess who was betrothed to Lucius when they were born. The promise of their marriage has held their two clans, the Dragomirs and the Vladescus, in a tentative peace for years. If the wedding doesn't take place, there will be a large-scale war which will most likely lead to the destruction of the Dragomirs.

Jessica has a difficult time believing any of this. She has a hard time believing anything that can't be explained logically. Lucius attempts to win her over, while Jessica attempts to live her life like normal - pretending she isn't a vampire princess.

Both Jessica and Lucius go through major changes in the novel. They have time to examine their true feelings about family and duty. Beth Fantaskey does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing until the very end. You will constantly be reassessing your opinion about how the story will end. Personally, I found myself getting very nervous as I was getting toward the end of the book and I still thought there was so much that needed to happen.

Luckily, Fantaskey does a brilliant job tying up loose ends. JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE could easily be the beginning of a series (I don't know if there will be a sequel or not), but it can also work as a great stand-alone novel.

JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE has become one of my new favorite young adult vampire novels. I know I'll be reading it again.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

By Michelle Auricht 04 Sep 2010 5

This was a surprising , funny, smexi, chivalrous read I thoroughly enjoyed .
Jessica Parkwood adopted, mathlete aka Antanasia Dragomir, Vampire Princess ( who knew?? she didn't) is a 17 year old with spunk. In walks Lucius Vladescu a Vampire Prince from Romania on a mission and Jessica's life all of a sudden has become very confusing.
Beth Fantaskey has written this book with such humour and feeling for poor Lucius and his mission . I especially liked his letters to Uncle Vasile . Jake Zinn is the human love interest of Jessica, until Lucius announces to her and her family that he has arrived and they are to be married when she turns 18 .
As the reader we slowly watch Lucius slide into American Teen lifestyle . Lucius realises things aren't going to be black and white as he thought. Uncle Vasile/Elders had a few thoughts of their own to painfully put forward. All the while Jessica is trying to understand , sometimes stubbornly , what is happening to her and her feelings for both Jake and Lucius.
I found this book really flowed well from start to finish, I would read it again in a heart beat.

By Michelle Auricht

By Amy Mansell 20 Jan 2010 5

Though some might think it is 'just another one of those vampire stories' this one is very different to books I've read before and it's much less cliched. Instead of a human girl falling for an oh-so-hot vampire guy, this book is about a girl, who doesn't know that she is in fact a vampire princes, being wooed by a vampire prince whom she can't stand.

I found this book to be believable when it comes to character reactions. I like that this book isn't love at first sight which is something I have a lot of trouble believing. Instead, when Jess first sees Lucius she is creeped out and believes he is stalking her.

I really liked Jess as a protagonist. She is a very maths/science type person and it takes a lot of convincing to get her to accept that vampires are real. She is a very relatable character - I can understand why she reacts in certain ways and I went through the same kinds of emotions as her throughout the story.

Lucius, on the other hand, I sometimes loved and sometimes despised. He speaks in a very old-fashioned way and his attempted use of slang is cute, but for a large period of the book I just wanted to slap some sense into him. He made me so frustrated!

Beth Fantaskey has a really great writing style. Her writing caused me to feel a lot of different emotions. I actually cried in what part which isn't something I do very often because of a book. The little bits of "Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide To Dating, Health and Emotions" were hilarious, probably more so for girl readers than guys. I loved that she switched to Lucius's point of view for the letters he wrote to his uncle back in Romania, they showed the reasons for his actions and the darker side of what was actually going on.

Overall, Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side is worth 4 and a 1/2 stars out of 5 in my opinion. I recommend it to lovers of vampire stories, paranormal and fantasy in general.

Review quote

"Jessica evolves nicely with each new shocking revelation, becoming, over the course of the novel, an intriguing and strong protagonist . . . romance buffs will find the ultimate pairing of Lucius and Jessica absolutely irresistible, and it's downright swoonworthy once their elaborate courting ritual begins in earnest.""-- ""The Bulletin"* "A romance involving a high school girl and a handsome vampire may sound a little too familiar, yet this first novel quickly bursts ahead of the pack of Twilight-wannabes . . . The romance sizzles, the plot develops ingeniously and suspensefully, and the satire sings.""-- ""Publishers Weekly, starred review""Fantaskey sustains a wholly believable contemporary teen world against a backdrop of vampire romance--Jessica and her friends look and talk like real teens, and her wry sense of humor is delightful, especially when describing an archrival who has her eye on Lucius. Girls obsessed with vampires and romance will welcome this clever, amusing take on teen vamps in love.""-- Booklist""Fantaskey's fast-paced story is full of plot twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the very end. The story is highly entertaining with plenty of action, drama, romance, as well as self-discovery." "-- School Library Journal""Fantaskey's novel is far more than a romantic fantasy . . . Jessica is a witty, spunky protagonist with authentic insecurities and inner conflicts."--"VOYA, "5Q, 4P, (highest rating)