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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark…
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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (edition 2010)

by Beth Fantaskey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,064None7,856 (3.85)37
Member:Annesanse
Title:Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Authors:Beth Fantaskey
Info:Graphia (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Ebook, Owned, Finished
Rating:****
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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

2009 (12) adoption (7) arranged marriage (14) beth fantaskey (8) dating (15) ebook (12) family (8) fantasy (51) fiction (45) high school (27) Kindle (13) love (12) own (7) paranormal (33) paranormal romance (15) Pennsylvania (13) princess (7) read (7) read in 2009 (7) romance (63) Romania (21) royalty (9) school (8) teen (21) to-read (48) unread (6) urban fantasy (14) vampires (142) YA (55) young adult (61)
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» See also 37 mentions

English (99)  Italian (5)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
So...

I was actually surprised at how amusing I found the first third of this book. It certainly exceeded my expectations. The rest of the book, not so much, and the end -while workable- was not executed very well at all. One particular reason why I found the middle to end sections so hard to stomach (I only ended up finishing it because I am in a race with someone to read the most books, and I didn't want to waste the time I spent reading the first half lol) was how Jessica seemed to supposed to be all empowered and stuff, while she (and everything about the book) is actually still very male centric, and the attitudes that Jessica develops towards Lucius seem very unhealthy.

The idea (and even execution) of a vampire being transplanted to rural Pennsylvania really was priceless. ( )
  Zabeth | Dec 9, 2013 |
Si puntò un dito al petto e dichiarò scandendo bene le parole come se avesse di fronte un bambino: «Io sono un vampiro». Poi, con lo stesso dito, indicò me. «Tu sei un vampiro. Noi ci sposeremo all’alba della tua maggiore età. Così è stato deciso al momento della nostra nascita». Il mio povero cervello non arrivò nemmeno a processare la parola “sposeremo”, figuriamoci “deciso”. Si bloccò a “vampiro”.
Libro molto bello!! L'ho letto davvero con molto piacere e spensieratezza.
Libro d'esordio di Beth Fantaskey che devo dire promette bene come scrittrice.Diciamo che la storia è ormai un "classico" dei giorni nostri....stundentessa americana e vampiro bello e dannato, però comunque una bella storia! Sicuramente diversa da Twilight, questa è una "favola" dei giorni nostri più che un romanzo, perchè ne racchiudetutti gli elementi: principi, principesse, cavalli, castelli....e chissà anche il tanto amato "e vissero felici e contenti" in questo caso per l'eternità?! ( )
  Emanuela.Booklove | Oct 6, 2013 |
This was a lot of fun to read, and I flat out adored the first 3/4th of the book. Jessica was funny, totally identifiable, and I found the whole premise pretty amusing. (Plus, anthropologist mother=win!) My only quibble was the ending when they (*spoiler alert*) end up in Romania. Things kind of fell apart for me then, with no grounding in the characters, setting, or events. It all felt kind of strange and I wish the book had wrapped up in the US. Anyhow, it was fun though, and I'll definitely be picking up the next book! ( )
  Meradeth | Jun 25, 2013 |
My opinion of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side changed about a dozen times as I read the book. At first, I didn't like it much - because I took an immediate dislike to Lucius, the vampire prince whose arrogant, totally unsympathetic attitude was anything but seductive. It took me a long time to warm up to him at all. He's a guy who wears a mask pretty much 24/7, so the only way we get to see his true self is through the letters he writes to his uncle Vasile. The letters are funny, charming, smart, and because he's writing to an equal/superior, his ego is less dominant. So I started to like Lucius because of his letters, especially because it's mostly through the letters that we see him grow and change.

Once I realized that Lucius was going to evolve, and improve, as a romantic lead, I got really into the book. Really, the story only makes sense because Lucius is such a jerk at the beginning - otherwise, why would Jessica want to turn down a handsome, wealthy vampire prince offering marriage and a glittering, glamorous future?

And then the book takes a pretty dramatic turn. I want to avoid spoilers, so that's all I can say. Like I said, it took me (and Jessica) a long time to warm up to Lucius. Around the halfway point, we'd both been convinced. Jessica was ready to believe he's a real vampire and consider his offer of marriage; and I was ready to root for him. And just as that happens, the whole game changes. To make a long story short, Lucius starts acting like a jerk again. An even bigger jerk than before. Because we still get to read his letters, we know what he's up to, but frankly, I didn't care. I'd just BARELY started to like the guy, and I don't think his good intentions were enough to justify some of the nasty things he did.

Basically, what it comes down to is for the first, say, 30% of the book Lucius is a jerk; and then for the next 30% we get to really like him, and then for the final 30% of the book he is - at a minimum - ACTING like a jerk again. Well, that means that for 60% - two-thirds! - of the book, the romantic lead is a jerk, unworthy of his protagonist.

Jessica is pretty charming throughout; she's just a sensible, likable high-school girl. Like in a lot of teen vampire romances (ahem, Twilight, ahem), she has a choice between two hunky guys: dark, dangerous Lucius and sweet, uncomplicated Jake. Frankly, I didn't think either was the right guy for her. Lucius tries to convince Jessica that it's a choice between a boy and a man, or between a sweet romance and a passionate one. I think the right guy for Jessica would be more of an equal (it takes Lucius a long time to believe Jessica is his equal, and I don't think that he ever really acts like it) and he'd know that there's room for some sweetness in a passionate romance. The right guy would be somewhere in between Jake and Lucius - and unfortunately, he's not in the book. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |

This review can also be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is cute but nothing special. It falls into the cliche of pretty girl in a pretty dress. If you read my reviews, you know that I prefer the cover to accurately reflect the character and this model is NOT the size 10 that Jessica claims to be. In the book we watch Jessica grow to accept her curves and curly hair as signs of beauty, strength and having "a presence in the world" yet, the cover features the typical slim young girl - such a shame.

The Gist: Jessica's has always known she was adopted from Romania but when the dark and mysterious Lucius waltzes into town claiming not only to be her betrothed but also, a vampire, she is forced to examine just how strange her heritage might be. As Jessica grows to accept the dark past of her parents and the strange new urges of her body, she realizes that if she does not become the princess her family needs, she may lose the future that she never knew she wanted.

Review: I found this book on the Bargain Shelf at my local book store and thought that it might be a good fit for some of the girly girls in my classes. Because I picked up this book knowing that it was not to my taste, I was fairly forgiving while reading it. Jessica's Guide falls into the category of "fluff", it was a quick, fairly entertaining read that did not require much brainpower. It is not a particularly unique story (we have all read these "oh surprise I'm actually a princess" stories before and it makes use of several cliches in its 300 pages.

Jessica is presented as an overweight Math nerd with self-esteem issues. Naturally, with encouragement from Lucius, she transforms into the confident and poised Princess that she was meant to be (actually she puts on a pretty dress and stops straightening her hair). I was NOT happy that, as she began her "transformation" her math skills suffered. What the heck Fantaskey? Can't she be pretty AND smart? Of course, her competition was slim, blonde and (say it with me now) A CHEERLEADER! And she was named, wait for it ....... Faith Crosse. Seriously? In a book about Vampires you combine the words Faith AND Cross?

There was some attempt at a love triangle (though poor Jake didn't really stand a chance) that pitted the sweet, honest farm boy against the dark and dangerous vampire. Just once, I would like to see a heroine actually choose the nice guy, come on girls, the nice guy will bring you soup and tissues when you are sick. The bad boy will take one look at your puffy eyes and snotty nose and run in the opposite direction. The nice guy will not understand when you sob uncontrollably, clutching The Fault In Our Stars to your chest unwilling to read another page for fear of more heartbreak, but he will hold your hand and try to make you feel better by cracking lame jokes. The bad boy will not even be there to see your pain because he doesn't think a chick who reads is sexy. The nice guy will be there when your best friend moves away, when your Dad gets sick or your childhood puppy passes away. The bad boy will be off finding some other pretty young thing who he can seduce with his recipe of aloofness, brooding and danger.

Of course, Lucius is the typical literary bad boy who can be rescued from the brink of self destruction by his "true love", a woman who is not willing to give up on him, no matter what heinous acts he commits. Again, ladies, put this particular brand of bad boy in the same category as unicorns, dragons and hairdressers that think 1inch = 1inch - they don't exist!
The writing itself was mediocre, but the sections featuring Lucius' letters were cringe-worthy. His use of local colloquialisms were laughable and the constant reminders that his uncle hits him left me annoyed rather than appalled. The plot was quick, if predictable, and I know this will appeal to those students who enjoy the the Pretty Little Liars series. This is one of those YA novels that doesn't quite translate to an adult audience but would probably be a very enjoyable (and perhaps forgettable) read for many teenagers.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

Age: 13 and up
Gender: Girls
Sex: Mentioned by several characters but not actually written about
Violence: Blood drinking, a beating, a staking, reference to child abuse
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: None ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
"Jessica evolves nicely with each new shocking revelation, becoming, over the course of the novel, 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."
added by Awesomeness1 | editThe Bulletin
 
"This first novel quickly bursts ahead of the pack of Twilight wannabes...The romance sizzles, the plot develops ingeniously and suspensefully, and the satire stings."
added by Awesomeness1 | editPublisher's Weekly, starred review
 
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For my parents, Donald and Marjorie Fantaskey
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The first time I saw him, a heavy, gray fog clung to the cornfields, tails of mist slithering between the dying stalks.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152063846, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:59 -0400)

Seventeen-year-old Jessica, adopted and raised in Pennsylvania, learns that she is descended from a royal line of Romanian vampires and that she is betrothed to a vampire prince, who poses as a foreign exchange student while courting her.

(summary from another edition)

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