Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Series: Jessica #1
Publication Date: February 1, 2009
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 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.
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a fun YA vampire book.
Lucius drove me nuts for a lot of the book. He was so arrogant, especially at the beginning before being "Americanized". And later on he is such a jerk to Jessica! If I were Jessica, I would have given him a piece of my mind way sooner!
I loved how much Jessica grew throughout this book. In the beginning she is just a plain-Jane high school girl, but by the end, she becomes very brave and total kick-butt! I was so proud of her!
The vampire lore was somewhat watered down, with Lucius being able to go out in the daylight and not sleeping in a coffin or anything like that. However, Fantaskey added some additional lore, such as that a female vampire's fangs won't descend until she is bitten by a male. I actually wasn't a fan of this addition as it comes off kind of sexist (males don't have the same restriction).
Finally, Jessica's Guide gets a ton of bonus points for having some horse scenes! As a fellow (former) 4H member, I was super excited for any scenes with horses. Although that part of the book was mainly forgotten in the second half of the story. I think I'm still looking for the adult version of Pony Pals. Although a minor, nit-picky thing that bothered me was that Jessica's parents didn't agree with drinking milk because the cows were being exploited, yet they were totally fine with their daughter riding horses and keeping her horse in a stall.It just seemed a little inconsistent (coming from a farm girl who grew up on a beef ranch, so feel free to comment on my potential biases here).
Overall, I enjoyed Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. However, I wasn't a huge fan of Lucius. There were a lot of traits that were swoon-worthy, but there were others I couldn't quite get past.
On the Cover:
I like this cover, but there's nothing special enough to make me love it.
Rating: 4 Hearts