Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darksideby Beth Fantaskey

Jessica knows that she was adopted and that her name at birth was Antanasia, but what she doesn’t know is that she is actually a vampire and that she was betrothed to another young vampire when she was only a baby.  Her betrothed, Lucius Vladescu, has come to collect his bride and bring her back to Romania where their marriage will end the war between their two high-powered families.  But Jessica is sure that he and her adoptive parents are just delusional.  She is too practical to believe in anything like vampirism, and where are her fangs?  All Jessica wants is to continue being a mathlete and possibly date Jake, the farm boy from down the road.  Soon, though, Jessica begins to feel an ache in her gums, can sense blood in a way she never has before, and has a hunger that cannot be assuaged by any food or drink she knows of, but is it too late?  Lucius is showing incredible interested in the heartless and popular cheerleader, Faith.  Has Jessica lost him forever?  And what about the war between their families?  Jessica finds herself having to making hard decision to try and save vampire family members she has never met and the young vampire she is beginning to love.

Reaction: Much more than I expected.  I really liked Lucius.  He is so arrogant and annoying in the beginning, I just wanted to smack him, but then you learn that his life has been horrible.  His uncle raised him by beating him into submission.  Lucius was raised to think of himself as regal and entitled but he was also raised as his uncle’s pawn.  He grows a lot during his time in America when he learns about freedoms he never thought possible.  I also liked that the specifics of vampirism aren’t the main focus of the story.  Yes, Jessica and Lucius and several other characters are vampires, but it is more about their relationships–Lucius and Jessica, Lucius and his uncle, Jessica and the family she never knew–though vampirism does play an important part in shaping who Jessica ends up being.  There are definite weak points.  I wish that Jessica’s transition from despising Lucius to loving him as well as her transition from American teenager to vampire royalty had been a bit more developed .  I found the ending a bit rushed, though it was by no means a short novel.  Overall, I think Jessica’s Guide is a good addition to the ever-growing collection of vampire stories out there.

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About Casey

I am a librarian who loves all things reading, especially teen literature.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Reviews - Teen and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside

  1. Lisa says:

    As a high school English teacher, I’ve been ecstatic about the reaction to new books coming out – the Twilight series has been a particular favorite. When I had a 7th grade student come back from Christmas break with Jessica’s Guide, I figured I’d borrow it to see what Fantaskey was going to try with the vampire genre. I must say I was pleasantly surprised – so much so, that I finished it within about 5 hours! I am very happy to suggest this to other students who have enjoyed Meyer’s Twilight series and are looking for similar novels.
    Thank you!

  2. bookworm4life says:

    I know, it was a good one. This is definitely one that Twilight fans will like. It’s different enough to be something new but I think Lucius has a bit of Edward in him that readers will latch on to.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one too!

    I’m certainly looking forward to seeing Fantaskey’s future works.

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