Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey
February 1, 2009
Genre: YA Paranormal
Contains: sexual references and innuendo
Source: Personal purchase
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.
Why the major turn, you ask? It had a lot to do with the Faith subplot. Faith, being the evil blonde as stated by the book. The situations thrown into the story through Faith as a catalyst quite honestly ticked me off. I don't care what the justifications were. They weren't enough and they didn't make enough sense. Lucius took a nose dive in my view. And Jessica wasn't much better, taking abuse and humiliation like a blind "love"-struck fool. (I put "love" in quotes because I didn't feel it.) She wasn't the girl who started the book. Her transition to becoming a stronger woman/vampire actually made her look weaker in my view.
But what about the ending, you ask? It made it only slightly better. On paper it had a good ending, but I didn't get the resolution I wanted from the garbage dealt in America. The apology, if any, was weak. The circumstances were excused too easily. So while it was a satisfactory ending, with a touch of sweetness, it didn't make up for all my disappointment, and even anger, from earlier in the story.
Will I read the sequel? Eventually. I own it already. But I think Lucius, Jessica, and I need a break from each other for a time. I can't imagine liking the sequel less than this one, so I do have that to look forward to. I am curious about where the vampire world with take these two and the author is a good writer.