Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Reader: Megan W
Age: 16
Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt
Pub Date: 02/01/09
Galley: No
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
How would you convince others to read the book: I would tell them that while this may be another vampire romance novel, it was able to distance itself from others and stand out. It was witty and intriguing, and I for one found it a great read. While it didn't stick with the traditional vampire books (I mean, why can't we go back to them burning in the sun, not showing up in mirrors?) it didn't fit the mold of the sexy, nice vampires.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: While I really, REALLY want to go back to evil vampires that burn in the sun and are repulsed by garlic, this book wasn’t too bad. Although I could tell what was going to happen right from the beginning, I still faithfully read until the end. And I was not disappointed. Thankfully, this story was not another Twilight repeat. While the vampire in this book (Lucius) is certainly tempting, the heroine (Jessica, aka Antanasia) is strong and refuses to be wooed by some person she doesn’t know. Being told that she is betrothed to Lucius sends a small shiver of excitement through Jessica (I mean, who can’t resist being together with a sexy vampire?) but she still refuses him. And Lucius certainly isn’t perfect; he has a very big temper, and he has a serious problem with letting people see him weak. And he most certainly has huge pride. But that’s what made me like him; for being a vampire prince, he was FLAWED. He was not perfect like vampires nowadays seem to be.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book: But for all my talking about how much I like the book, there were some things that I didn’t like as well. For instance, I am REALLY sick of self-sacrificing characters. And in this way I saw a Twilight repeat. Lucius, though in love with Jessica, will sacrifice himself to save her and to keep from cursing”her to live a life as a vampire. It was the whole “I love you and we could be happy together, but I’m going to try to make you hate me and make us both miserable so I can keep you safe.” I, personally, am sick of it. They finally find happiness and a possible solution to their problems, and then the vampire throws it all away just to keep her safe? Ugh, it is rather nauseating. Also, the end seemed SUPER rushed to me. I was hoping for maybe a better reunion, and an explanation to what happened to the war. So, what? Since they end up together the war and ill feelings will just disappear? I doubt it. Which makes me wonder if there will be a sequel. And I fear that this book will indeed have a sequel, as so many do these days. What happened to good stand-alone books?
Did the cover tempt you and/or reflect the contents: The cover is very tempting, and very true to the book. That is about how I pictured the characters looking. But I was a bit disappointed with the title. The title, Jessica’s GUIDE to Dating on the Dark Side implies that the book will give advice about how to date on the dark side.” Sadly, I was mistaken. I thought the book would be witty and give tips on how to date evil beings. The title didn’t seem to fit at all with the book.
Comments: Though I found bad things to say about this book, I really did like it. I finished in a day because I just couldn’t stop. It was addicting, and I found myself drawn to the characters. I would definitely recommend it to people, as it is a fantastic read and very captivating. It gives a whole new twist on vampires. What if you were betrothed to a vampire and had to marry him to save two races on the brink of war? Would you choose eternity with a stranger?
Age Range: 16-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

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