Book Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica #1)
Published By: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication Date: February 2009
Page Count: 351
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound 
* The eBook is currently free until January 6th for Kindle and Nook*
Source: Owned by Reviewer
Audience: YA - Paranormal Romance

I originally read this book back in 2009 when it first came out and LOVED it. I was using some Christmas gift cards to fill up my e-readers yesterday when I noticed that this one was FREE! I was so excited that I had to snag it since originally I had borrowed the book from the library. Finally owning this book, stirred up all the memories of how much I loved the story and Beth Fantaskey's writing. Thus, this review was born.

Jessica Packwood is attempting to navigate her senior year of high school when a mysterious stranger, Lucius, shows up on her doorstep. Jessica has always known that she was adopted, but she never expected her past to come waltzing up to her front door to introduce itself. Lucius insists that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess and he is her betrothed. Jessica doesn't want to be a princess and being engaged is the last thing on her mind. She's more concerned with passing tests and the cute farm boy from down the road. Can she learn to step into her destiny or will she choose the comforts of a normal life instead?

I loved Jessica and Lucius; I read their story in a span of two days and couldn't shake it from my head for weeks. Many a good book suffered during that time as any new characters I met had to share space in my thoughts with Jessica and Lucius. I was slightly worried when I began this one because it had potential to be yet another Twilight knock off, but Jessica's Guide is far from that. I loved the Romania connection and getting back to the true roots of the vampire mythology. Lucius is definitely not a sparkling, moody guy. I also just really enjoyed watching Jessica and Lucius' relationship evolve. The ending bummed me out - I wasn't ready to walk away from this pair so I was so excited that there was going to be a sequel. Jessica Rules the Dark Side will be out on January 10th.

If you haven't spent some time with Jessica and Lucius, I highly recommend that you remedy that soon. 

One Last Gripe: I wish the sequel has come out sooner - it's been a long time!

My Favorite Things About This Book: Beth Fantaskey's writing style & the quotes from Growing Up Undead

First Sentence: The first time I saw him, a heavy, gray fog clung to the cornfields, tails of mist slithering between the dying stalks.

Favorite Character: Jessica

The undead can really screw up your senior year ... 

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s 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 he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s 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.


  1. Oh! Thanks for pointing this out!! Sometimes I'm leery of free books, but since you enjoyed it I will definitely be grabbing it up!

  2. @Somer S: I hear ya. I am nervous about free ones most of the time as well, but this one is only free for a limited time. I am assuming its to lure people into reading book 1 before the sequel comes out later in January. This is a cute, fun read.

  3. this book is like $1 at Barnes and Noble it is in my shopping cart as we speak

  4. @KThomas5 - The paperback must be on sale too. The eBook was free this morning and I believe it will be until January 6th.

  5. I love this book! I'm glad you liked it too. I thought it was hilarious and fresh. I wish Kobo had it for free too. :p

  6. Totally agree- this is an awesome read! I liked this one, and I don't even like vampires- it was that good! Definitely intrigued by the upcoming sequel...

  7. @P.E. - Sorry to hear its not free on Kobo, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one as well.

    @Allison - I am so excited about the sequel and to see what Jessica and Lucius have been up to!


Post a Comment

We love your comments!