Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

3.84 (35,674 ratings by Goodreads)
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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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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 354 pages
  • 142 x 211 x 30mm | 476g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0152063846
  • 9780152063849
  • 456,764

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)
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About Beth Fantaskey

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

35,674 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 34% (12,176)
4 31% (10,964)
3 24% (8,532)
2 8% (2,851)
1 3% (1,151)

Our customer reviews

The first impression I got from this book was how humorous and funny it both sounded and looked. The title itself sounded way more sarcastic than serious. So I wasn't expecting a book with too much plot and depth. When I picked up the book (finally). It was exactly what I expected until the story got deeper and the plot began to drip with more depth. Some may say that this book was just like all the usual vampire books but for me, it was Dracula with a new twist. A new twist that was captivating enough to keep a reader up all night. Jessica's confused and distressed when she finds out that she's vampire royalty and has been betrothed to a vampire Prince since birth. You find yourself following Jessica as she walks the road of self-discovery, denial and sometimes anger. I liked Jessica, she was a great character to follow and she was easy to connect with. She had her flaws and I didn't agree to all her decisions but hey! She's not me. Lucious Vladescu (her counterpart), on the other hand, is brooding, tall, dark, Romanian and 100% vampire. Lucious was the perfect male counterpart, he wasn't lame and annoying like the male protagonists in "certain" vampire romances that I won't mention. He was extremely dark that any reader can tell that he was coming from a harsh and violent background that tailored his good manners and demeanor. I pitied him a few times and definitely wondered what in the world was he thinking when he did certain things in the book. Tsk. Jessica and Lucious' relationship was realistic. She didn't immediately fall for him even though she found his charm and looks irresistible. They started out hating each other, then friendship and finally, at the very end, they began to realize how strongly they felt about each other. Though I didn't appreciate what happened near the end of the book. I enjoyed learning how vampires operate in this book. The author writes it up pretty well, even though it was used before. This version of how vampires operate work fits the story so well that I don't see why anyone would complain about it. Overall, I loved the unique and clean writing style, the snarky and dark characters and finally, the plot that captivates a reader enough to keep them from putting the book down. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel and more of Beth Fantaskey's books (especially, Jekel loves Hyde).show more
by Najla Qamber
I've recently gone off vampires, mainly thanks to my past obsession with Twilight and the cringe factor that the movies brought with it (I've turned closet fan now!!). However there are a few selected books that centre around vampires - Vampire Academy for one, that I do enjoy. Now, I can add this fantastic book by Beth Fantaskey to that list. Senior year. A time to worry about boys (namely to cute farmer boy who keeps making eyes at you), bullies in the form of antagonising boys and evil cheerleaders and finding out that you are a Romanian vampire princess, betrothed to a hot vampire prince. At least, that's what happens to the always thought she was your average American teenager, Jessica Packwood. I loved this novel because it was light but intense at the same time, it was humorous in all the right places and I do still have a soft spot for gorgeous vampires, even if they have a weird (but attractive) name like Lucius. Whilst it begins like any other vampire style novel, or like something off the Vampires section from FanFiction (guilty as charged for having spent an eternity on FF during aforementioned vampire addiction), Fantaskey has managed to create an interesting and somewhat humorous novel about what it's like to be a vampire princess. I almost felt as if it were a kick in the teeth at all the other vampire novels out there, a spoof, but it was spoof that has been brilliantly written. Our two main characters are amazing, although I did find Lucius quite wooden at times. Jessica is normal, which is great. She doesn't believe in vampires, and a good majority of the beginning of the book is spent with her completely adamant - like any other sane person - that vampires do not exist. At all. Lucius's fascination with Jessica is very much alive throughout the whole novel, and we are shown this through the letters he writes back to Romania (anyone up for a Eurotrip btw?), and the change we see in these letters as to his feelings for her. The book is written from Jessica's POV, so we only see her side of what's happening, but these letters are a real insight into what Lucius feels and how these emotions affect the choices he makes in regards to Jessica and his impending marriage to her. Lucius' lack of knowledge about Western culture and his hatred of the colour pink also helped cement my decision that this book was a great read - "It's just red's sorry, weak cousin." Damn straight! The only disappointment I had in this book was that the ending was done and over before you knew it. While the beginning and the middle panned out nice and slowly at the right pace, as soon as the major conflict came, I was setting down the book having been finished. It felt very rushed, as if Fantaskey had decided that she couldn't be bothered writing any more and just wanted to be over and done with the whole thing. I've seen this happen a lot with authors, where they just fizzle out with the ending. However, in saying that, it was only a minor disappointment - this book was fantastic, and I'm so glad to see that another book has been written and will be released this more
by Hannah
Also reviewed on my blog, the Vintage Bookworm. ( This is an old review. Read and wrote this in April 2009. First off: This wasn't what I was expecting when I first learned about the novel. At all. I mean, it sounded really, really good. But I thought it would be a little like all the other vampire books I'd read. I hate getting into a novel like that, because I love vampires and I love reading about them. So I was a bit worried when I first got this book. But I was wrong! Oh, so wrong! I never expected to love it as much as I did. This quickly made it to my number one favorite book before I was even done with it. (Sharing spots with other books, of course!) Fantaskey recreated the genre and made it her own. Which is extremely hard to do nowadays with the amount of Young Adult novels that are out in the book world. Plus the percentage of them that include vampires in them. I can't remember how many times I cried while reading Jessica's Guide. And how many times I got completely ticked off with Lucius. At first I thought I was going to hate him throughout the book, but a little ways in I started to fall in love with him just as Jess was. At first while I was reading, I thought things were moving a bit too fast. Too many things were happening and it was just the first chapter. But now that I'm done with it, I feel that if those things didn't happen as fast as they did, all the other events wouldn't have played out as great as they did. I also loved how Fantaskey threw in some things from Lucius' perspective. It added to the story and really let you get to know him more, and how his mind worked. I really liked Jess, too. She was an amazing protagonist. All her feelings were geniune and real and I felt I really got to know her throughout the novel. I feel as though she's one of my best friends. Which I love those feelings when reading a book. I felt all the minor characters really added to the story too. They were all really interesting and I loved Jess' best friend, Mindy. Fantaskey's style of writing was really great, as well. It all really flowed well and drew you in. I always felt as though I were right there, experiencing all the events that were happening throughout the novel. Overall, it was a GREAT read. I will definitely be reading this again in the future. It's one of those novels where you have to reread them at least once or twice every year. The end was very good!show more
by Amanda
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