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

***UPDATE: My paranormal YA novel DRAWN is now out in paperback and ebook…If you like TWILIGHT and HUSH HUSH and books by Beth Fantaskey, then you’ll love DRAWN, the paranormal novel filled with forbidden love…and rich with believable characters. For more info about DRAWN click here!***

REVIEW: You know that obnoxious cocky guy? The one that is cute and he knows it?  The one that can’t help but make you laugh even though you really don’t plan on giving him the satisfaction of doing so?  Well, now imagine that this guy is European royalty, and that he shows up in your small Pennsylvanian town. Oh, and he’s a vampire.  Let’s add to that…It turns out you are a vampire too, but you didn’t know it.  And you were betrothed at birth to said arrogant vampire royalty dude.

Well, that is the entertaining premise of Beth Fantaskey’s debut young adult novel Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).  I know. More vampires. But like Suck it Up by Brian Meehl (you can check out my review of that by clicking here), Fantaskey fully embraces the ridiculousness of the situation to make us laugh out loud frequently.

Throughout the novel there is the enjoyable banter of anger laced with attraction between Jessica and the imperious Lucius. Well done throughout the book.  But the parts that I most enjoyed were the moments when Lucius comments on American teen life, and even gets involved in it.  One of my favorite moments occurs when he’s writing to his very scary uncle back at the homeland about his progress in sealing the deal with Jessica.  If the wedding between him and Jessica doesn’t occur, then the two ruling vampire families will go to war and most will be killed. No pressure, eh?  Anyway, Lucius concludes his rather solemn letter with

Your nephew, duty bound,
Lucius Vladescu
P.S. I’ve been recruited for basketball. The coach thinks I might start!

It’s that type of humor that will have you flipping the pages and thoroughly enjoying this book.  I loved the spoofy  wit surrounding the book Lucius gives Jessica to help her deal with her changes as she becomes a vampire –  Growing up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions. The guide has chapters like: “Your Changing Body.” Too funny.

The novel is full of flirty fun and moments of danger, but my favorite parts are when Lucius is looking down his nose at us all. “And do not even speak to me of ‘Jell-O’ and ‘sloppy joes.'”

So check this book out and enjoy. You’ll find it a great summer read.


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