Thursday, May 17, 2012

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

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)

Title: Jessica’s Guide To Dating The Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Graphia
Release Date: January 18, 2010 
ISBN-10: 0547259409
ISBN-13: 978-0547259406
Source: My shelf
Goodreads   Amazon

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.(Goodreads)


I have had Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side on my shelf for some time just waiting to be read. It was recommended to me by Cana over at Place of Reads.

Jessica has grown up with her Vegan parents on a no kill farm, other than that she is just like any teenage girl starting her senior year of high school. That is until a strange hot new guy calls to her by her original name, the name her birth parents gave to her, one that she has tried to forget about.

Antanasia Dragomir didn’t exist, as far as I was concerned.
“Are you sure he knew your name?” Mindy asked.
“No,” I admitted. “But I thought I heard it.”
“Oh Jess.” Mindy sighed. “Nobody knows that name. You probably just imagined the whole thing. Or else a word that sounds like Antanasia.”
I looked at Mindy crosswise. “What word sounds like Antanasia?”

I liked Jessica’s character, she is incredibly smart and knows what she wants to do with her life. Jessica has some gorgeous guy tell her she is a vampire princess and she has a normal reaction, she is skeptical of the whole thing. And she did not instantly fall in love with Lucius, powerful, hot, prince of vampires Lucius. It was nice to see a reaction like that in comparison to the YA norm, insta-love and with a yay I’m a vampire thrown in.

I had a love hate relationship with Lucius. Lucius has grown up a rich entitled prince and he was sure that his bride to be Jessica would want nothing more than to be with him just after spending a little time with him. Lucius has a rude awakening when it comes to Jess, so he has to change his strategy. I liked that Lucius tried to fit in eventually and learn the ways of the mortal. I loved the letters Lucius writes to his uncle, they are normally very funny, and give insight to what Lucius is actually thinking.

A little of one of Lucius’s letters:

Here, one worries only about colliding on the narrow lanes with a wagon overloaded with hay (and people say Romania is backward!) or whether there will be a “good show” on the television at night. (The Pakwoods have been kind enough to supply me with a TV out here in my backyard exile, to which I can only reply with an americanism “Woopee.”)

I don’t want to give any spoilers but I will say that the relationship between Jessica and Lucius drove me crazy. At first I couldn’t decide if I wanted them together, by the time I did want them together they were completely frustrating me and I didn’t know if it was going to happen.

After a while some of Lucius and Jessica’s classmates catch on that there is something off about Lucius and it becomes an all witch… err vampire hunt.

   “Some people say that vampires still exist,” Frank continued. “If you look on the internet, there is a lot of information about people who drink blood—human blood—and call themselves vampires. Many of these freaks live in Romania, where they are often killed because normal people shouldn’t have to live with them.”
He paused and stared pointedly past me. At Lucius. No, no, no.
“Franklin, I’m not sure this is appropriate,” Mrs. Wilhelm sputtered. standing up.
   But Frank returned to reading, more quickly, before anyone could stop him. “There are even names of blood-drinking people on the Internet. Lots of people who say they are vampires have the last name Vladescu, just like Lucius. That is a weird coincidence.”

The one thing that really got under my skin was there seamed to be no consequences to the harsh actions of the students that went after Lucius, they just got to continue on with their life without a second thought or some kind of realization that the things they did were very wrong.

I enjoyed Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side. It was a nice surprise to find that it was not like every other YA Vampire read.

Happy reading,

It's good. I had fun for the most part.

Recommended For
Teen and up: There is language, violence, and talk of sex.


  1. Hiya :)

    I remember this series from before and then I forgot about it. But it does sound ok. Nice review :)

  2. I thought Lucius acclimating to Jessica's world was hilarious! I enjoyed the sequel to the book as well!

  3. I suspected this book to be some sort of chick lit vampire book, but it sounds much better! The fact that Jessica's reactions are so real, is nice :)

    Thanks for the review!

  4. Hee hee! Lucius's letters were the very best parts of the book to me. I'm glad this one pleasantly surprised you.

  5. I have this one too but I've never read it. Actually this is the first review that I've ever read on it. The letter is funny - Woopee!

  6. I read this book a while ago in French and absolutely loved it. I don't know if I'd enjoy it as much now because I've gotten a lot more critical about YA books. Glad you overall enjoy this book Rebecca ;)

  7. I'm glad you liked this one! I found the letters from Lucius to his uncle were hilarious... and actually I might have unconsciously delayed reading book 2 because... Wait, I'm not spoiling, but you know.

    You're right about the lack of consequence, it was peevy. I guess that you can't be tried for murder if there's no body, though, and a mob has never been known for its morals so I can kind of explain it away... I think.

    Anyway, great review! Thanks for saying it! :)


Thanks so much for the comment love!