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Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side [Kindle Edition]

Beth Fantaskey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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


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  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    Starred Review. A romance involving a high school girl and a handsome vampire may sound a little too familiar, yet this first novel quickly bursts ahead of the pack of Twilight-wannabes. Down-to-earth mathlete Jessica Packwood is completely horrified when, a few months shy of her 18th birthday, a Romanian named Lucius Vladescu shows up on her doorstep, claiming that he and she are vampire royalty betrothed to each other since infancy—what's worse, her adoptive parents verify the betrothal story and explain that her birth parents identified themselves as vampires, too. Fantaskey makes this premise work by playing up its absurdities without laughing at them, endowing Jessica with a coolly ironic sensibility and Lucius with old-world snobberies that Jessica's girlfriends find irresistible. Jessica's laidback parents serve as foils for imperious Lucius (Can I ever again be happy in our soaring Gothic castle after walking the halls of Woodrow Wilson High School, a literal ode to linoleum? he asks sarcastically); a scene at a steakhouse where the vegan Packwoods meet the carnivorous Vladescus is first-rate comedy. The romance sizzles, the plot develops ingeniously and suspensefully, and the satire sings. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From School Library Journal

    Grade 7 Up—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. Fantaskey's fast-paced story is full of plot twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the very end. The story is highly entertaining with plenty of action, drama, romance, as well as self-discovery.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2791 KB
    • Print Length: 373 pages
    • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 18, 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003UV91AQ
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.2 out of 5 stars
    (315)
    4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Handy tips for dating the undead November 26, 2008
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    Beth Fantaskey's "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" is a tongue-in-cheek teenage vampire romance that will have you cheering for its heroine. Jessica Packwood is an adopted Romanian orphan with loving, hippie parents. Raised on a strict vegan diet, she's a math geek, and at seventeen, she's never been kissed. She's not afraid of getting dirty; she helps muck stables and does household chores on the farm as the only child. Her invisible social life goes on predictably until the first day of her senior year, when a creepy guy in a velvet coat suddenly turns up as the new Romanian exchange student living on her farm.

    Lucius Vladescu is tall, dark, handsome, multilingual and irritating: he's on several medal-winning sports teams and picks up new skills with ease. He claims that Jessica is really a vampire princess, the last of her line, and that he's a vampire prince and her betrothed. Jessica is very grounded in math and proven fact, and can't tolerate his claims of being a supernatural creature (perhaps Jess's literal thinking is also a rebellion against her New Age hippie parents and their vegan lifestyle). He gives her the "Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions" to aid her in her transition (according to Fantaskey's mythology, a female vampire reaches maturity at eighteen, and cannot complete her transformation without being bitten by a male vampire), buys her beautiful prom dresses, and encourages her to embrace her intelligence, beauty and royal status.

    Jessica and Lucius's clans are teetering on the brink of a full-scale vampire war if the two fail to marry as set forth in their contract, but Jessica insists on pursuing all-too-human Jake, who's none too bright but "nice.
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    31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. May 16, 2009
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Originality: 5
    Characters: 4
    Writing: 5
    Setting: 4
    Plot: 5
    Passion: 4
    Overall: 27/30 90% = A
    Cover Bonus: 0

    First off, I need to address why I ended up reading this book. I was NOT going to read this. I'll address some of these reasons *cough* cover *cough*, *cough* title *cough* later. Until I read Beth Fantaskey's guest blog on Wondrous Reads. This guest post [..] in and I purchased my copy that very afternoon. And please note that if I can help it I do not buy books that I can't purchase in Kindle format. I will wait until it's out on the Kindle before buying the physical book. Not with this book. I HAD to have it. Now, on with my review.

    Originality:
    I awarded this element of the book a 5 not because it was "truly" 100% original but it's execution was original. I have never read a book where a young male swoops in and insists on wooing a young female into being his beloved for fear that if he fails his family and her family will throw themselves into all out war.

    Characters:
    Jessica (woot! my name!) is someone that I immediately related to. It's strange though because we are incredibly unalike but that doesn't matter because ultimately she was just an average, teenager blossoming into a young adult and all that entails with that change. She was real. She was also very mature, unwilling to rush into anything with out thinking it through. Her parents were a wacky pair but they too where amazing parents.

    Lucius. Now Lucius is a guy that I could fall head over heels for. He's 110% chivarly. His accent (yes!) had me lured in from the get go. He was way too funny at points that I was wiping tears from my eyes. But I did hate him in this book too.
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    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating as all get out! May 31, 2010
    Format:Paperback
    Jessica is set to finish her Senior Year in her Rural Pennsylvania town with a bang. She's never been popular, but seeks out what she's good at (Math and Horseback riding) and determined to enjoy it. She's had her eye on that sexy Rancher's son, Jake, a few farms over and would love to finally get her first kiss. Then, Lucius Vladescu shows up from Romania declaring that Jessica is in fact the Vampire Princess Antanasia Dragomir his betrothed. The Vladescu and Dragomir Clans have wared for centuries. A tenuis peace has held for the past 20 years because of a promise of an alliance between the two warring clans by the marriage of Antanasia (Jessica) and Lucius after Antanasia's 18th birthday. Jessica wants none of this and is furious that her adoptive parents let Lucius stay in their guest house above the garage and that Lucius is determined to watch her every move and sneer down on her through his arrogance and conceit. All she wants it to compete in the 4H races and win her next Mathlete competition. Now she has some freak who thinks he's a vampire telling her that she dresses poorly and is weak. How did her Senior Year get so complicated?

    This book held so much promise. The premise is what captured my attention--it sounded like a little Romeo and Juliet, with Twilight (The Twilight Saga), and The Princess Diaries (Widescreen Edition) all magically mixed together for a fun, new story. The's writing is rather simple, more so than I expected and have personally read for a YA novel.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
    I absolutely loved this book, I've read it 5 times! Honestly I can't get enough it's got danger, love, bliss and defiance.
    Published 4 days ago by Destiny Fitzpatrick
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I really liked it. I did get a little upset with Lucius in the middle.
    Published 8 days ago by Tasha Hopper
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great Halloween read!
    In Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, we get a glimpse into a different world of vampires. Our protagonist, Jessica Packwood, thinks that she is just a normal girl. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Krystianna Straley
    1.0 out of 5 stars Could have been really good but the H and h were so immature and ...
    Could have been really good but the H and h were so immature and really getting on my nervous halfway through the book. Seriously, this was not a cute version of play hard to get.. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by megan
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read!
    I'll be honest, I enjoyed this more than I expected I would. Yes, it's fluff, but it's really fun fluff, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!! Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Sandi
    4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and cute
    A little icky at times but mostly funny and cute. It was a fun read and it didn't drag like some YA novels can do. I really liked it. Something light to read on a spring break.
    Published 3 months ago by MaCnamegirl
    5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
    i loved this book and wish there was another one!
    Published 3 months ago by Grace
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book!
    This book reminds me a LOT of twilight. The wanting but able to release the girl because the boy loves her so much. Very heartwarming indeed. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by nicole b.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Book was very good. Took a turn from romance to mystery. Highly recommended.
    Published 3 months ago by Shez
    5.0 out of 5 stars I'm super happy with my purchase
    I'm super happy with my purchase! Thank you so much! Super fast shipping
    Published 3 months ago by patrick hill
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    More About the Author

    I'm the author of the YA novels Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde and Buzz Kill. I was raised and still live in rural Pennsylvania, a place that features prominently in my books. (There's nothing unusual about getting stuck in Amish buggy "traffic" where I live.)
    I've been a burger-slinger at a diner called "Diffy's," a teenage tax collector, a journalist, and now a part-time professor at Susquehanna University. But my most fun job is "YA author," because I get to interact with so many interesting readers.
    Thanks for looking me up here on Amazon!

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    Topic From this Discussion
    Does anyone know a good vampire romance book (YA)
    It looks like your focus is on YA Vampire Novels.
    Have you tried the Evernight Series? or Blue Bloods?
    Apr 19, 2009 by Irene |  See all 7 posts
    Let's discuss the ending (!) :)
    Do you think she will make a part two of this book or make it a series. I hope so I really liked the first and I'm like you it left me with many questions.
    May 28, 2009 by September |  See all 7 posts
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