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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by [Fantaskey, Beth]
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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Vampires, adolescence, true love and high tension . . . all feature prominently in Beth Fantaskey's exciting, biting book for the YA reader in us all.

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn't fit into Jessica's senior year 'get-a-life' plan.

Enter a bizarre new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu who claims Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth and he's her long-lost fianc�. He's arrogant, officious, embarrassingly overprotective, and, well, incredibly hot.

Armed with a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica tries to imagine the transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But just when things start to heat up with Lucius, a devious cheerleader sets her sights on him.

Soon Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war - and save Lucius's soul from eternal damnation. All of which leaves her to wonder: Wouldn't life be easier if she could just fall for a nice mortal boy?

'JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE is a fast, enjoyable read with a nice balance between comedy and drama. It doesn't get too bogged down in vampire lore. Beth Fantaskey borrows only a few of the usual bloodsucker staples (eg. stake + heart = death) and puts her own spin on the genre. I adored Lucius. He's showy but endearing. His incredulous comments about America in correspondence with his cruel uncle Vasile were side-splitting. If you want a break from dark, dark vamp stories, give this one a go.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 942 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin eBooks (19 October 2000)
  • Sold by: Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006ONMJV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #189,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 321 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side 23 January 2015
By Angie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is another one of those books that I had wanted to read for a really long time, but never got to it until now. I love vampires, but I'm kind of the fence about this one. I did enjoy it, but the vampires themselves are a bit disappointing and the ending was rushed and jumpy. Jessica is just a normal girl who doesn't believe in the paranormal. She likes facts and logic (she's a mathlete), but her world is turned upside down when her parents take in a "foreign exchange" student from Romania. Lucius is a vampire, and claims he is Jessica's betrothed. If there's anything more unbelievable to Jessica than vampires, it's her being promised to a stranger before she was born.

I really liked Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side in the beginning. Jessica isn't dazzled by Lucius and she certainly doesn't believe that he's a vampire, even when he flashes his fangs. Her parents are a bit eccentric, so she thinks this is some kind of cult occurrence, even when they show her the scroll with the agreement on it. It isn't until Lucius is gravely injured and her parents bring him back to the house to be seen by a special doctor that Jessica realizes that maybe they're telling the truth. It takes her a bit longer to accept that she herself is also a vampire princess and it's up to her to save her people from an impending war by joining with Lucius.

The story does kind of remind me of The Princess Diaries, but with vampires. And instead of a long lost grandmother appearing to give princess lessons, it's the infuriatingly sexy fiance. There's a lot of humor in the beginning, and Jessica and Lucius bicker a lot. But then the story grows gradually darker as secrets are uncovered. I liked the inclusion of letters from Lucius to his uncle. This gave us some behind the scenes info that Jessica doesn't have, as well as a lot of funny bits as Lucius ruminates on American culture.

My disappointments came in the form of the vampires and the ending. The vampires really aren't all that interesting, and in fact, Jessica asks what's so great about being one since apparently all of the myths are false. They're really not that different at all, except they can only be killed by a stake to the heart, have fangs, and occasionally drink blood. Great. As for the ending, the last 15% or so just seemed to skip ahead too much at a time, and Lucius got a personality transplant, then went back. It was like flipping a switch a few times, with nothing in between. I also don't get how he did his disappearing act.

In the end, I did like Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I do wish the vampires had been more interesting and special. Not necessarily into sparkling territory, but something other than just drinking blood. The conclusion does make me curious about what comes next though, since I don't think Jessica has fixed this problem so easily.
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Twilight 25 December 2012
By Ionia Froment - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book a lot. In the beginning I was prepared for another teen vampire romance that would undoubtedly make me cringe and stop reading after a chapter or two. What I got instead, was a fully realized reading experience. I love the main character in this book. Jessica "Anastasia" starts out as more of an average teen and soon realizes that simply going to high school and living the life of the normal American teen is not her destiny. I found that this author had an excellent way with dialogue and yet, was able to express what the character was thinking and feeling without even having to use words. She was so adept at giving her characters unique emotions, that I never had to guess what the character was feeling.

I was particularly impressed with the dialogue when it came to Lucius. Although he made an attempt to assimilate to the modern high school ways, he never lost his princely qualities and his formal, proper way of speaking never wavered throughout the course of the book. I liked the romance in this book because it was complicated. At times the characters were frustrating and resistant to the forces at work around them, and I felt like this really added to the quality of the tension and romance between them. This book was fun to read from beginning to end and I thoroughly recommend it.
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it 16 July 2015
By Book Crazy Lady - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a romance story involving a high school girl and a handsome vampire prince. The down to earth, Jessica, is horrified when Lucius shows up on her front porch claiming that they have been set up for an arranged marriage since birth. The worst part is when her adoptive patents verify the arranged marriage and then explained that her parents are also vampires. The romance sizzles, the plot develops suspenseful lay, and the satire sings.

This is definitely a good read! If you don't want to read the second book, you really can stop with the first. Honestly I was not crazy over the second book but I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
5.0 out of 5 stars This was great! So why only 4 stars 21 February 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was great! So why only 4 stars? Because the title is not quite right. Jessica does not teach us anything about "dating the dark side." The actual "guide" mentioned in the book is more of a what to expect as your vampire DNA kicks into gear and you come of age. I may have called it something like Princess Revealed or From Vegan to Carnivore in Less than a Year or Wooed by the Dark Side.

Other reviewers have compared this book to other books. I don't think that is quite fair. A friend pointed out to me that just because authors use similar themes, themes that have existed as long as stories have been told, does not mean that the stories are the same. Yes, there may be some similarities, but a work should be judged on its own merits. This is what I strive to do. I may make mention of similarities to other books from my experience with the YA paranormal romance genre or my entire reading experience from time to time, but that is to be expected as i try to establish a common ground with whoever is reading my review.

Back to the real review. From the very first page we get to see what is going on through Jessica's eyes. She seems to be a normal teenage girl going off to school who encounters a rather intriguing/disturbing stranger. Tall, dark, handsome, and arrogant - that's Lucius. His antics were very interesting and the portions of the book that were his missives home to his uncle made for an interesting change in pace and point of view for the story.

Okay, so one of the first recurring themes with this romance is the hate/love love/hate thing. Lucius swoops into town ready to fulfill his end of a bargain. A bargain Jessica has no idea even exists. She does not take the news well and her world is rocked. She rebels at every turn.

The great thing about Jessica (Anastasia) is that she is intelligent and confident. her confidence and strength increases throughout the story.

The other recurring theme or rather character is the bimbo cheerleader. (I don't remember the cheerleaders at my school being snotty _ithces, but they seem to be everywhere now.) Faith's part in this story is pure Mean Girls - she is very much a plastic and she is trouble from the page we meet her. And with her are the "dumb jock" bully boys (again...where are the scholar athletes I know). I'm glad Jake is a "nice" guy. Maybe he and Mindy can get together; he deserves a nice girl.

We also have the faithful best friend, Mindy, who waivers. She is rather milk toast (if you know what I mean) and not exceedingly important to the story with the exception of her loyalty.

Thankfully, Jessica's parents are very prominent in this YA book. They are hard working, intelligent, and supportive not only of Jessica but also of Lucius. Lucius ends up being their Romanian exchange student for the year. Yes, there is no place Jessica can escape from him.

Usually I complain about having information withheld from a character, but this time it's not so bad. In Jessica's case, the secrets surround her birth and heritage and possible future. The lack of information is more of an inconvenience to Jessica than the reader because as the secrets are revealed she is able to make decisions that are appropriate instead of making incorrect inferences and choices.

I won't tell you what happens in the end, but I hope you overlook the strange title and give this book a try. It was a great read. Tension, love, compassion, atrocities, teen angst, old world style, makeovers, money, steaks and stakes, rescues, rejection, etc.
2.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed! 5 October 2015
By Cheshire Cat - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am sooooo 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.