Jessica has always known she is adopted. Her parents, the Packwoods, have told her the story of how thReviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com
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....more
Fifteen-year-old Alfrieda Emerson already had enough to deal with before finding out she has freaky pReviewed by Allison Fraclose for TeensReadToo.com
Fifteen-year-old Alfrieda Emerson already had enough to deal with before finding out she has freaky psychic powers.
Crammed into a one bedroom trailer with her mother on her half-uncle's property, Allie's life has been pretty miserable since her mom decided (thanks to Oprah) that she has fibromyalgia and can't work anymore. Every Thursday, her mother's lawyer, "Big Ed," comes to spend the night, and Allie has to escape to her creepy neighbor's opulent home.
The eccentric Kizzy keeps telling Allie that she has the Gift, but Allie never believed her until a fall from a ladder into the bull pasture triggers something strange in Allie's brain, and she's suddenly able to keep the bull from charging her with a mere thought. Later that night, a hippyish ghost named Trilby appears out of nowhere, claiming to be Allie's spirit guide.
Apparently, Allie has passed "the first test," but Trilby refuses to tell her anything more, except that Allie is part of an ancient prophecy.
Things get weirder when Kizzy gives Allie a moonstone pendant that has been in her family for generations, saying that Allie is meant to have it. If this piece of jewelry means even more magic, Allie wants nothing to do with it. But despite her reluctance, she finds herself in the middle of a magical tug-of-war between those who would misuse the power of the moonstone and those who would see the prophecy fulfilled.
It's time for her to live up to her destiny as "The Maiden Who is Strong of Mind" so she can protect the people that she loves.
This first book in the new UNBIDDEN MAGIC series starts off with great promise, and draws the reader into Allie's world, where ancient conspiracy and magic meet the most common of circumstances. Watching the main character grow to take charge of her life and deal with her new role left me itching to read the next book and find out what happens to her. ...more