Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica #1) by Beth Fantaskey
Release: February 1st 2009
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
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.
Wow. This book was just so surprisingly brilliant. Why do I say this? Well, because I really did not know what to expect or infer from this book by it's cover or title. But boy did I love reading every single page of this book. I thought it was dark, sophisticated and dare I say it, sexy! Yes, sexy! There is just no other way to describe this charming, witty and beautifully written book.
Let's start with the storyline, Shall We? The storyline in this book has a lot of depth to it. Something you would never guess from the title of the book. I thought that this book would be more of a satirical YA paranormal romance but it really wasn't. And there is humor in this book, granted, but it's not constant/fluffy and at it's best can be described as really sarcastic and mainly provided to the reader by the very witty main characters (Jessica and Lucius) who have a knack for cleverness.
The characters in this book are amazing! Not only are the main characters developed well (Jessica and Lucius) but the secondary characters each have a very strong and distinct personality in this book, too. Jessica was just such an amazing female lead heroine. Jessica is will-full, logical, and intelligent young woman. And she had the most amazing reaction to learning about her paranormal heritage and appearance of her supernatural fiancé, she freaked out - big time! *Applause*. This does not happen often in YA paranormal romance. My God, did I love Jessica. She does not fall to Lucius' feet just because he is a gorgeous, foreign exchange student who might possibly be a vampire! No - she stands strong and keeps a distance while she tries to uncover her past and his identity and whether he is dangerous or not, and also whether his claims about her heritage are true or not.
Lucius on the other hand, Oh em gee! Whats not to love about Lucius. He might come off as arrogant but the author finds a way in her narrative to truly show us what Lucius is truly about. His motives. His concerns. His values. Lucius is a really strong male lead. He is determined but he has a grace to him and an elegance, too. He's what you truly expect of vamp royalty without coming off as overdone. Old school, if you will and not because he's lived for centuries, he's a young man, but because he is very well educated and possesses an innate sophistication to him. This guy is a gentleman in every sense of the word. And I thought he was a rather layered character, as well - which I loved. As we go along we see him and Jessica learn a lot about themselves. Their growth was so great to read and their banter - off the charts! You will fall in love with these two - guaranteed.
Jessica's parents were also rather great and it is quite interesting to read about their lifestyle and how they raised Jessica and how it affects her when Lucius comes to town. The resident mean girl in this story is really evil. You also have a very evil villain and master manipulator (the resident Lord Voldemort of the story - at least, that's what I like to call the main-super-evil-character-mastermind of each story). The author of this book does a great job at painting the people who interact with Jessica in her town and high school (best friend, crush, mean classmates etc) in a vivid way.
The writing in this story was rather superb and I loved the romance in this story. It really wasn't one of those love-at-first-sight type of romances. The romance in this story is well paced, intense, and captivating. It really does grow leaps and bounds and by the end of reading this book - you feel like you have traveled quite a journey with both Lucius and Jessica. One that leaves you in disbelief of how you met these characters at the beginning of this truly amazing story!
My advice is to read this book! It is beyond good - it's amazing! And let me not forget to mention - quite sophisticated, too. It definitely stands out for me as one of the best vamp and YA paranormal romances, I've read in a while. Book 2 Jessica Rules the Dark Side comes out January 10th 2012 and I cannot wait!