Gemma's Reviews > Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
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's review
Aug 17, 2011

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Read in August, 2011


Honestly, the first 2/3 of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was... not amazing, as we are still stuck in the clichéd world of teen paranormal romance, but probably as close as it gets. It was funny, the characters were good and solid and likable. The romance was getting there; it was that fun 'start off unable to stand him and then fall madly in love' formula. We all knew Jessica and Lucius were gonna be together by the end of the book, but it was fun and entertaining to watch them get there.

Lucius was perfect. He was everything the character should have been: snobby, elitist, baffled by American culture, pushy, a bit obnoxious, and undeniably hot. And Jessica was everything she needed to be: stubborn, headstrong and completely unwilling to even give Lucius the time of day.

Naturally, this... changes after the first hundred pages; they start liking each other a little bit. Very cute.

Also, the Vampire Hormone Guide (or whatever it was) was pretty funny. It sounded a lot like the puberty books your parents give you when you're eleven: overly enthusiastic and cheesy, with way more exclamation points than should ever be used to describe periods or armpit hair (or fang functions, in this case).

And Lucius's letter to his uncle every twenty or so pages... those were the best. His tone was perfect; he wrote the way he spoke and portrayed himself. And the letters were so funny: sarcastic, rude, condescending of American culture, making me question it myself... yes, the letters were good.

Yeah, so... for the first 2/3... good stuff. 4 stars.

Unfortunately, the last part of it kinda peaked. Beth Fantaskey tried to play the political angles of the whole ‘vampire princess’ thing, instead of trying to keep it as a pleasant, 'Taming of the Shrew/Princess Diaries' type of thing.

And that's when it got bad.

Lucius goes all Edward Cullen on us, what with the whole 'I could and might and want to/need to kill you' thing. Not cool.

For the life of me, I have never been able to understand how potentially murderous could be an attractive quality in a guy (or in anyone, actually). Strong, sure. Powerful, yeah. Desires for destruction... not so much. Maybe it's just my newfound fear of being murdered by a serial killer, but to me, a guy wanting to kill you just isn't sexy. It seems kinda weird to point this out, but… it’s actually quite bad. Because that’s how girls end up dead. And if we’re smart girls and/or have any sense of self preservation, we won’t want that.

So... that was something I didn't like in the end. I wish the author had kept things going the way they originally were, sort of light, fun fluff. The whole attempt to bring a storyline in kinda ruined it for me.

But overall… I found it pretty enjoyable and I'm interested in reading the sequel.

Just hoping things don’t get annoying, because it’s gonna be two characters in love, and anyone who’s read City of Fallen Angels knows how annoying that can be.

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