Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Genre: YA Paranormal romance
Pub date: January 18th 2010 by Graphia (first published in hardback on February 1st 2009)
Jessica was sure she was just your average teenager… until an ultra-hot European foreign exchange student shows up at school, stalks her, and then follows her home, insisting that they are both vampire royalty and must be married when she turns eighteen to ensure peace between their families… and Jessica is sure that Lucius, no matter how attractive, is absolutely insane. She manages to free herself of his grip… and then realizes that he’s all she ever wanted in the first place. But getting him back before he destroys her –or himself—will be quite a challenge. But Jessica is up to it. She has to be.
I absolutely loved Jessica’s Guide. It was funny, romantic, and entertaining the whole way through. I don’t know why I put off reading it so long.
The plot had great pacing, great twists, and great conflict. At one point I was tempted to flip to the end of the book just to make sure it all worked out at the end… because I wasn’t sure I could handle it if it didn’t.
I loved how Jessica’s and Lucius’s relationship wasn’t perfect. I saw this in Fantaskey’s other novel, Jekel Loves Hyde. Like Jill and Tristen, Jessica and Lucius certainly had their ups and downs… may I say more of the latter than the first. I despise happyland syndrome in romances… and was pleased to find none whatsoever in Jessica’s Guide. Their romance was destiny and fate, the only question was how they’d get there in the end. And it was quite a rollercoaster. Their love was based on character more than actions, something that is sometimes hard to write well, and many authors fail miserably, but Fantaskey did a great job. For both Jessica and Lucius, there can never be anyone else.
The characters were great. I officially adore Lucius… passionate and mysterious and infuriating…we need more heroes like him… and Jessica was the kind of girl who would work hard for what she wanted, and sacrifice anything. I think we need more heroines like her, too! Jessica’s parents were both annoying and funny… I especially loved her mom.
The writing was fluid and descriptive, and easy to read. I demolished this one in about four hours.
Heart-pounding plot, characters to die for, and an epic romance, this one begs many re-reads.
Content/recommendation: some language, no sex. Ages 14+. This one is a perfect summer-read… or anytime read, really.