Series: Jessica #1
Publisher: Harcourt (2009)
eBook (351 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
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.
From the title, cover, and synopsis, I expected Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side to be a light, fluff, read. Well, I was mistaken on that call. Sure, there are some fluffy bits, but, on the whole, this novel was something more.
Jessica was adopted from Romania as an infant. She didn’t pay much mind to that until a stranger shows up and called her by her birth name: Antanasia. His name is Lucius and he informs Jess that he is her fiance. Oh, and she’s a vampire princess of a powerful family. Sure, that’s believable. Now, what’s Jess going to do?
The romance in this novel is well-written. The story is told from Jess’s point of view and then there are letters that Lucius writes to his uncle as well. This gives us both perspectives. It isn’t insta-love at all and it takes a while for Jess and Lucius to admit their feelings. I have to say that, had Lucius’s letters not been included, I would never have bought the romance. They were very necessary.
I enjoyed Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side much more than I had anticipated. The characters were well-developed and acted in accord with their backstories. The romance was believable. The writing was wonderful.
My one complaint would be that it moved too quickly near the end. I would have liked more. It also took me a little while to get into the story as I wasn’t too intrigued at first.