Monday, July 11, 2011

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side- Beth Fanaskey

Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt Childrens
Publication Date: February 2009
Summary: Jessica Packwood is a normal teen attending Woodrow Wilson High School. Her mathematical nature has even given her a slightly geeky reputation, which is about to change with the arrival of Lucius Vladescu, who seems to be stalking her. She tells her mother about him and learns that she is really a Romanian vampire princess who has been betrothed to Lucius at birth. She knew she was adopted, but this revelation comes as a shock. It is this agreement that has kept rival vampire clans, the Dragomirs and the Vladescus, at an uneasy peace. If the marriage does not take place, war will ensue and threaten the ultimate destruction of Jessica's vampire family. To say that this is a lot for the teen to take in is an understatement. Lucius is gorgeous, old world, tender as well as arrogant, and very overprotective of her. However, she chooses to date Jake, a handsome but rather dull boy. But not all is as it seems in the vampire world, and as the story progresses, circumstances force Jessica and Lucius to take matters into their own hands; in doing so, they examine their true feelings about themselves, family, and duty.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side brings equal parts paranormal and ordinary together to create an amazing piece of literature. What I really enjoyed, other than the unique take on vampires, was the development of Jessica and Lucius and of their relationship. In a lot of novels, the main characters fall in love almost instantly which make the story and the romance seem a little unbelievable. I really enjoyed that they started out, more so on Jessica’s part, having no romantic attachment and you really got to fall in love with Lucius as Jessica does and experience the gradual growth of affection. I also really enjoyed that Jessica wasn’t a helpless heroine who needed to be saved, although she allowed herself to be. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. She is certainly the kind of character that sets a positive model of independence and self-determination. It was inspiring to see such a strong heroine.

Likewise, the vampires in the novel were so alive despite being “undead.” I loved that they could feel physical and emotional pain (in a non-sadistic way, of course!),  and that they were wracked with internal struggles between doing what’s right for them and what is expected of them. They were so human! I definitely recommend this book.

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Beth Fantaskey has agreed to be interviewed right here on The Book Nook! For the next week, I will be taking questions (leave them in the comment) and then submitting them to Beth for her answers. If you have any questions, please let me know and look forward to the interview within the month.

The Book Nook

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