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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)
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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  32,637 Ratings  ·  2,661 Reviews
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 cop
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Harcourt (first published October 19th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 17, 2009 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This novel wasn’t exactly what I was expecting! With a line like... “The undead can really screw up your senior year...” I was thinking more a more fluffy, funny, entertaining, just generally a cute novel. I was wrong.

Honestly... when I started this novel and read about the first ten pages... I was skeptical. I started having a little bit of deja vu... which really isn’t that big of a surprise considering the volume of vampire novels I read. And it is not necessarily a bad thing, but the feelin
Kat Kennedy
Mar 18, 2011 Kat Kennedy rated it liked it
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is an imaginative, immersive (when will the world realize this is a word?) tale of the struggles of a pair of teenage vampires against tradition, expectations and politics.

In a completely original storyline that we've never seen before...

The Princess Diaries

Jessica discovers one day that she is not a normal teenager but is, in fact, a vampire Princess bound by contract to marry a repugnant, spoiled, aristocratic prince, Lucius Vladescu. He does not approve of her at all...

So I don’t even know where to begin, I heard great things about this book. Therefore, no brainer, I was really excited to read it. Let’s say I was all kinds of disappointed, and for crazy reasons. I thought this book was a teen romance, and I thought Jessica would be using her guide to date, yet there was no dating and approximately two usage of the so-called GUIDE.

It’s Jessica Packwood’s senior year of high school and she just spotted a weird but sexy looking
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Well, the beginning was really good, the middle part was crap, and the ending was alright. Sorry for sounding crass - usually I try and sound more objective and mature when I write reviews, but this book just took all the emotion out of me. It's one of those up-and-down books.
There were things about this book that were really likable. For example:

Jessica as a character: I love well-rounded characters who undergo a transformation throughout the story - keeps them from being stagnate and boring. I
Aug 17, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: youngadult
Enjoyed this vampire romance. Jessica's teen emotions were more realistic than Bella's.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
At the start of her last year at high school in rural Pennsylvania, seventeen year old Jessica is spooked at the bus stop by the appearance of a mysterious young man who won't stop staring at her - and she could swear she heard him say her birth name, Antanasia, a relic from having been born in Romania before being adopted by her American parents.

When she gets to school, he's there in her English Lit class, an exchange student from Romania called Lucius Veldescu, domineering the teacher and, aga
Mar 08, 2009 Adele rated it really liked it
Before I start, I want to clarify one insy weensy matter - this book is nothing like Twilight! Would people stop saying that as I am beginning to get tired with people's lack of imagination and investment in Twilight theory (YA vampire = Edward = Twilight = Adele arggggghing). Thank goodness it's not like Meyer's work because I actually like and relate to the protagonist in this tale. Jessica's got moxie and buckets of it. She's smart, she's capable and she's unknowingly betrothed to Lucius due ...more
May 18, 2009 Tatiana rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, ya, romancelandia
There are dozens of vampire books on the market right now but I am confident this is one of the better ones, the one that stands out. I don’t want to summarize the book’s plot here because so many people have already done so. But I am going to say that this is an entertaining book, with colorful characters. The plot is not particularly strong and the story loses its ground in the final part of it, but mostly it is funny and witty, with a good measure of satire (“Twilight” comes to mind immediate ...more
I have noticed this book floating around out there amongst book lovers, but for some reason or another it never just reached out and grabbed me, moved me, or spoke to me. Maybe it's the title, not really what it says, but visually a little long (okay so that sounds crazy, but I am very visual). I am soooo glad though that I found this at the 1/2 price book store and gave it a chance. It has become one of my favorite vampire books next to Stephenie Myers "Twilight" series. I loved the dialogue, a ...more
The Library Lady
May 22, 2015 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-books
Let's get it straight, I am not,not, NOT into vampire books.
I think that "Twilight" is the greatest piece of crappy fan fiction style writing to get published since "Eragon".

The only vampire book I've really enjoyed until now is Sucks to Be Me The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire, which makes fun of the conventions of the genre.

But this one is worth reading.

Unlike that simp Bella Swan, Jessica doesn't think being a vampire would be cool. When a Heathcliff like (Wutherine Hei
May 30, 2010 Annalisa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Annalisa by: Annie
A book that balks at the current trend in paranormal romance and for that it shines. It's not just a flat parody but a complex story in its own right by (gasp) a good writer (with a name like Fantaskey, how can you grow up to be anything but a fantasy writer?). A lot of the satire toward the YA trend is subtle, but it's there and it made me smile as much as Lucius' mocking commentary of American lifestyle. Finally a female protagonist that cringes at the dark, mysterious stranger who creeps her ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Kajol rated it it was amazing
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

The title had long since convinced me that this was yet another YA paranormal that was hell bent on holding up a public mockery in the name of the genre "Fantasy". I mean a dating guide to the dark side? Bite me.

Thankful to Ms.Fantaskey, I'd like to express my elation by saying that I was quite glaringly, obviously wrong. I loved the book. In fact, I loved it so much that I stayed up till 3 am on a school night (yeah, so I'm a senior in high school. Bi
Steph Su
Mar 22, 2009 Steph Su rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, best-of-09
Debut author Beth Fantaskey explodes onto the heavily populated YA vampire lit world with her amazing book, JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, which is sure to convert Twilight fans into having a new favorite vampire and vampire-novel heroine. Or if it doesn’t do that, then at least it will leave you smiling, biting your nails, and reading far into the night.

In rural Pennsylvania, math nerd Jessica Packwood is about to enter her senior year of high school, determined to have a good time
Jul 18, 2014 Collie rated it it was ok
I've never actually hated a book...but for "Jessica", I'll make the exception.

I WOULD give it three, due to it having such promise in the writing-style, but the content itself made it a two.

First of all, before you are deceived, this title does not match the theme of this book. It began as a light-hearted read, comical even, but then it just became a dark, angst volturi-twilight moody thing. I literally watched the tone change right before my eyes, like a gray scale being turned down to its dark
Nov 06, 2013 Patrisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ero partita senza troppe pretese con questo romanzo, leggendo commenti che lo definivano carino. Ammetto che le prime pagine non mi avevano preso, mi sembrava un romanzo troppo per ragazzine. Un vero young adult, poi qualcosa è cambiato. Ho cominciato a trovare nella figura di Lucius, il principe vampiro, un non so che di tragico e affascinante che mi ha conquistata,come ha conquistato il cuore di Antanasia, una figura femminile simpatica, normale, con un mondo nuovo da scoprire. Una ragazza for ...more
Meh. (Sorry, that's the most coherent thing I can come up with right now.)

I actually don't know why I made myself finsish that one (I'm normally rather quick to give up on a book), but it had these two highs in exactly the right places (at the beginning and around page 200), and that lured me into thinking it was worth finishing it ...

Just not for me, I didn't really like the main character, Jessica, and Lucius teetered between amusing and annoying. Addionally, the story was kind of inconsisten
Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader)
I gave it about 100 pages before quitting. That seems fair enough.

Again, one of those book where nothing is wrong with it, it's just not for me/I'm not in the mood for this kind of story. But I gave it a chance!

Feb 23, 2011 Jac rated it did not like it
*Sigh*, this book really left me at a loss for words. For those of you not patient enough to read yet another review about a book you may want to read, let me save you some time and sum up my main grievances with this book in one sentence: Oh my god, what the hell was this publisher thinking when he agreed to put his name on this book! I wanted so badly to like this book since I have a thing for Romanian vampires but I just couldn't no matter how hard I tried.

My worst issues with this book were
Lisa D. Smith (Lissa Smith Reads)
Mar 06, 2015 Lisa D. Smith (Lissa Smith Reads) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls and Boys Grades 5 and up
Recommended to Lisa D. Smith by: Daughter (age 11)
The book does take a while to get into, mostly because the major flaws are all in the beginning of the novel. The biggest thing that peeved me was that Jessica's love of "rational thinking" was used as a plot device to make her not believe that Lucius was a vampire until the moment Fantaskey needed her to. This could have been done in a much more natural way, because something just doesn't ring true about her parents not telling her about her vampyric past simply because she has a rational mind. ...more
I think that of all the books I've read this year, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, is the one that has surprised me the most. When I first saw the title and read the blurb, I scoffed at this book and did not even give it the time of day. The only reason I did read it was because it was free on Barnes and Nobles so I figured "why not?" I was very mistaken. [In my defense everything about it on the outside is horrible though it is really upsetting]

When Jessica Packwood meets a mysterio
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
I can say that I was looking forward to this book. Reading it was a whole different thing. The beginning was great.... great idea for a story as a whole, however the middle just rubbed me the wrong way. The ending felt rushed and seemed to clear things up way to easy and fast.

I get books with angst. I think angst fits into things and stories as its part of peoples personalities; however... this pushes the angst for me well over the edge.

Now, if there was going to be a sequel, that would change
What was this book about?

I'm serious, I borrowed this from the library because it looked cool and I couldn't even read half of it. So, I ask again. What was this book about? I read the first page and was not hooked, but I still kept reading because it had such a cool blurb and the cover was pretty cool too. I normally remember slivers of books, if not all of them. I could remember absolutely nothing when it comes to this book. So I ask again.

What was this book about?
♥The Shredder♥
Jul 04, 2014 ♥The Shredder♥ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-boyfriend
For the last month all I've read is New Adult and Erotica. So I knew by reading a YA novel that I wouldn't be completely satisfied with the romantic aspect of the story. The odds were against it from the beginning.

I have no qualms with the plot of Jessica #1. (Sorry, the title is so long that Jessica #1 seems like a good substitute.) Everything was in place: drama, flirting, vampires, and an evil blonde bitch. It had everything worthy of a Twilight successor.

Lucius and Jessica have been promi
Dec 29, 2015 Mishma rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Vampires.They never cease to amaze me.Whether they have to be invited,or capable with elemental magic,or a bunch of brothers who are too hot to be real or even sparkling ones.They are a bunch I'll never stop loving.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a new take in vampires.I love how it's not too focused on the topic of vampires.If we leave the word vampires out,it still would have been an amazing contemporary romance.

Jessica was a tolerable narrator.She is a perfect example for a norm
Dear Vasili,

Where to begin? This piece of literature, this work of art, was exquisite. Not once did I throw it at a wall in rage. (Okay, maybe once.) Your nephew and his fiance are wonderful people, and I don't believe you give them the credit they deserve. Do take that into consideration, Vasili.

When I picked up this book, I had no intention of reading it. I had believed it to be another of those annoying "chick lit" romance novels, with hot vampires in it only to make it seem more sexy. (Which
Yz the Whyz
Jun 20, 2010 Yz the Whyz rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
This book started quite strong, capturing my interest and made the pages fly as I read. However, by the second half, it seemed to have lost momentum and I was struggling to finish it, hoping it will recapture the earlier magic. Sad to say, to use a common expression, it started with a bang and ended with a whimper.

I utterly adored Lucius' character and his missives to his uncle were a riot. Snarky, funny and full of rapier wit. However, by the latter part of the book, the author gave him a perso
Jun 21, 2009 kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, ya
I thorougly enjoyed this book. Lucius is lucious! I know others think Jessica/ Antanasia did stay 'queen of denial' a bit too long but it didn't really detract from the story and if someone suddenly told you that you were a vampire princess, you might try hard to deny it, too.
The letters from Lucius to his uncle were wonderfully sarcastic and funny and Lucius was a character I really liked.
The vampire kingdom/world was well explained and well thought out.I did think the ending was a bit brief an
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Crazy long for almost nothing, but good fun. I forgot to take notes during this thing because there were just too many things going on (bitchy cheerleaders? Fancy clothes? Vampire Prince turns Emo? WHAT?), but I did love Lucius' character development. And hey, I will admit, hes an ass. But at least he's a chivalrous ass.
Dec 03, 2012 Cyna rated it did not like it
Some friends and I took this one on in a podcast review. The status updates should give you some idea of how that went.

Short version: Kinda like Hush, Hush with slightly less psychopathic and/or spineless protagonists. Still shitty, though.
Margaret Stohl
Jun 28, 2009 Margaret Stohl rated it it was amazing

This book really grew on me, which surprised even me. It's funny and romantic and low key, sort of Buffy-esque. I hope Beth Fantaskey is hard at work on the sequel!
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Hi! I'm Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, Buzz Kill and my new middle grade novel, Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter. I live in rural Pennsylvania - the setting for most of my books - with my husband, three children, a slightly dysfunctional cat, a completely dysfunctional dog, an immortal goldfish and a hermit crab nam ...more
More about Beth Fantaskey...

Other Books in the Series

Jessica (2 books)
  • Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)

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“American women. Why do you all want to be nearly invisible? Why not have a physical presence in the world? Women should have curves, not angles. ...One should never confuse fashionable with beautiful. ...Eat. Be happy to have curves. A presence.” 340 likes
“Jessica. For god's sake," he said. "Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite ow what 'women's lib' teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women's superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us. This is the only form of servitude a Vladescu ever practices, and I perform it gladly for you. You, in turn, are obligated to accept graciously.” 242 likes
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