Friday, December 4, 2009

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

From Amazon: The undead can really screw up your senior year . . . Marrying a vampire definitely doesn't fit into Jessica Packwoods 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 hes her long-lost fiance. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampires 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.

The title of this one feels a bit mis-matched; I was expecting a light, poppy rom-com of vampire love. Instead there is a very dark story of Jessica, raised in rural Pennsylvania and Lucius, the Romanian vampire prince who is posing as an exchange student. Lucius is trying to get Jessica to realize that they belong together, not just because they are the main characters but because of alleged family promises made years ago. There are themes of identity, family, loyalty, and nature-versus-nurture running through the book, though none of them are explored very deeply. It’s a fun enough read; I think that fans of Twilight will enjoy it but there is just enough going on in it that I also think it will appeal to Twilight’s non-fans. I think that Jessica has more agency than Twilight's Bella does, and Lucius is a bit darker, a bit more dangerous than Edward. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but Fantaskey has a new book coming out in the spring called Jekel Loves Hyde.

Pair it with:
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
The Reformed Vampire Support Group - Catherine Jinks
The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot

I got this book: from the library.

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