Tara'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
Oct 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal-romance, vampires, young-adult

Looking at the cover of the book, I couldn’t help think Bella Swan. I know that it’s always going to be easy to compare EVERY LAST teenage vampire novel to Twilight, and whilst I avoid doing it, it’s really difficult. Because of that association, I was thinking “teenage girl falls into an ill-fated love with hot vampire guy, bad stuff happens, good prevails, girl probably becomes a vampire”. Yeah, exactly, the same sort of story we’ve all read before. Whilst I can’t say it wasn’t at all like that (trust me, the similarities were there) it wasn’t exactly the book I was expecting to read, and that was in a good way.

Basically, the story centers around Jessica Packwood, a normal high school girl who is adopted. Everything is normal, until her senior year, where Lucius Vladescu, a foreign exchange student shows up. Unfortunately, he’s not the nice normal human boy you’d hope for – he’s a vampire prince. And he’s come to claim his fiancé – enter Jessica Packwood, aka Antanasia Dragomir, vampire princess who just hasn’t come of age yet.

I have to admit, at that point in the novel, I wasn’t too hopeful I’d enjoy it. But what made it enjoyable for me was the characters – unlike certain other vampire girlfriends, Jessica doesn’t immediately fall in love with Lucius, she’s (understandably) rather hesitant, and thinks he’s a nut job. I liked this aspect to her, and even when she did fall in love with him, it wasn’t hesitant – it felt organic. Lucius also didn’t immediately love her – he pursued the courtship out of a sense of duty to his family and the blood pact between them, and it was good to see the feelings gradually change, until there was genuine care and affection.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Very little of the story dragged for me, and it was a nice break from reading more ‘serious’ books. The supporting characters in this were almost as good as the main characters, and for me, this was the perfect book to sit down and ‘escape’ with. If you’re into your vampire romances, this is definitely worth a read, especially as it actually has palpable tension.

Apparently this book is going to become the start of a series, which is good, because I really need to hear more about Jessica and Lucius and what happens next!
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