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Book Reviews
June 12, 2009 posted by Nikki

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side – Beth Fantaskey

Lucius opened his mouth slightly, and I felt the faintest touch of his fangs touching my skin just above the spot where my blood pulsed strongest.

His fangs…

I didn’t care it if was irrational. I didn’t care if it was impossible. I just wanted to feel them. I needed them, like I’ve never needed anything in my whole life. In my mouth, my own teeth began to ache. That delicious, delirious agony of something struggling so hard to be born.

When Lucius rocks into town, declaring that he’s a vampire and Jessica is his betrothed (and also a vampire), Jessica tells the big tall Romanian guy to take a hike. I mean, come on, vampires? Insert big, loud snorting noise here. Jessica isn’t buying it, not even when her parents encourage her to listen to Lucius’s story, especially the part about the whole betrothed stuff.

But vampires aren’t real. Right? Right. So that means that her parents must have gone crazy, and the guy with the hypnotizing stare and ancient disposition must be some kind of crack pot. And Jess can’t be a vamp. She’s lived in her body her whole life. She’d know about something like that, right? But then Jess’s parents invite him to stay with them for as long as he needs, and Jessica thinks that maybe her parents have gone a little mad too.

Lucius enrols at her school and wins everyone over. Well, everyone with ovaries, anyway. He follows Jess everywhere, holds the door open for her, buys her lunch, defends her honor – gah! It’s just so frustrating and Jess wonders why he just can’t leave her alone?

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what the hell Jessica’s problem is. If a really hot, European guy ambled into town and told me that he wanted me to be his princess, my reaction would be the exact opposite of Jess’s. But Jess has her reasons, or reason, rather, and his name is Jake.

Jake isn’t anything like Lucius. He’s American, for one. He doesn’t have any of that European allure that Lucius has, but he’s nice. And he likes Jess. Enter love triangle here.

In terms of character, I found Jess annoying. I found being inside her head incredibly frustrating and I almost wished – no, I definitely wished – that this story had been told through Lucius’s perspective. I hated her naivety. Sure, if someone told me that they were a vampire I wouldn’t believe them either. But when the proof is presented in front of you and you just keep denying and denying and denying on the surface when deep down you really believe, well, that just gets annoying. And I really hated that Jess decided she wanted Lucius when she realized he no longer wanted her. Even though I hated all these things about her, I was compelled to keep reading.

I did, however, love Lucius. Not at first – I needed some convincing – but after a hundred pages or so, I was sold. I loved his rebellious streak; I loved his old manner. I loved how he chose the one girl he knew Jessica would hate him to fraternize with.

The cover is beautiful, although the guy who is obviously supposed to be Lucius reminds me a little of the Count from Sesame Street. What do you think?

I’m pretty sure fans of teen vampire books will want to give this one a go. Make sure you tell us what you think!

Rating:: ★★★½☆

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  • I had really low expectations for this book, so I was pleasantly surprised. But Lucius’ point of view would have been way better.

  • LMAO The Count from Sesame Street! That’s funny … one mwahahaha two mwahahaha…

    I can see it. He’s like the human version of the count.

  • You didn’t like it that much? I loved it!
    Jessica did get on my nerves sometimes though, I gotta give you that one. 😀

  • Lisette,

    I didn’t hate it, not by a long shot, but it didn’t really captivate me to the point where I couldn’t put it down. A book is only worth five stars if it was utterly captivating, in my opinion.

  • Wah. It sounds so cute! I can’t wait to read it!

  • I have to agree, Jess did get on my nerves a little a times, but god, Lucius! i loved him! not at first, though. it took a little while, but then i loved him.
    i think it’s a great book :)

  • Jess was a really annoying perspective, but part of the reason I liked her character was because how different she reacted from what I would have. This was one of the books that I had to wait a day or two to realize how much I liked.

  • i absolutely <3 the cover!! 😉 I thought the book was pretty good, though.. but it definitely DOES NOT beat Shadow Kiss! =D

  • I love the cover, is beautiful!! I love Lucius and I really like this book!!

  • The cover is some what kewl. But, idk if I will like it.

    • SOMEWHAT kool?! it is wayyy awesome n i f u dnt like it then u got bad taste n u got no life if all u do is go around judging awesome books by their awesome covers. u kno wat? thanks 2 u, im angry now. that book is 2 good 4 ppl like u(wit bad taste) 2 criticize.n u know wat else? my friend bob here thinks ur STUPID!!! n no one cares if u would like it because no one likes u. some ppl r actually attracted 2 the cover of a book n thats wat gets their attention n thats wat makes them want 2 read it n in MA opinion the cover of dat book caught ma attention n there is NO way that there is anything wrong wit it because the guy on the cover is hot n irrisistable so WAT NOW, SUCKA?!?!?!?!!!!! u gotta be da one who dnt like da cover. everybody else likes it but u stupid n dnt like it. u kno wat, wat is wrong with you??? plz tell me. yerp. thats all i’z gots 2 say.

  • who are the two people on the cover of the book?..their real names?

  • I absolutely love this book!!!I just finished it yesterday. At first I didn’t like Lucius but then I loved him! I recomend this story to anyone who likes books about vampires. Also to anyone who likes Beth Fantaskey. Hope you guys love this book as much as I do!!!

  • The book was really good. Definitely not one of my favorite vampire books for young teens, but it definitiely had something in it, or else I wouldn’t have read the whole book. I didn’t really like Jess either, but God I loved Lucius. I thought Jake was just annoying and I wished that he would keel over dead. I haven’t read Jekel Loves Hyde yet, but I plan to, & I hope it’ll be as good as this book was.

    No it definitely didn’t beat any of the Vampire Academy books. Not even Shadow Kiss, which was my least favorite in the series.

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