Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey
February 1, 2009
351 pages
Genre: YA Paranormal
Contains: sexual references and innuendo
Source: Personal purchase

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

I am so disappointed in this book. It started so well, with such a great premise, and with my early enjoyment I had high hopes. But my elation in the beginning slow slumped, and then tanked. Initially I felt for Lucius and Jessica and their predicament, then I was annoyed by Jessica's stubbornness and felt sorry for Lucius. And then there came a point where I disliked and then resented the main characters and where their personalities and actions were going. There were also plot holes and character issues I could not reconcile.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry this was a disappointment :/ I read this book ages ago and really enjoyed it but I'm not sure how I would feel now, especially about how Jessica is. Nice review though!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf


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