Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey
Jessica thought her life was going pretty well. She had adopted parents who loved her, a best friend, and a crush who actually seemed to share her desire for a relationship. Until, on her first day of senior year, Jessica hears her name being whispered at the bus stop. Not the name Jessica, but her birth name, Antanasia Dragomir.
Jessica always knew she had been adopted following the deaths of her parents, but she soon discovers there is much more to the story than what she has been told. These secrets come to light with the arrival of Lucius Vladescu, a man from her homeland of Romania. Lucius makes many claims which Jessica finds unbelievable. He claims that he and Jessica are both Romanian royalty, that they are from warring clans, and that their betrothal at birth, once fulfilled, will bring peace to their people. But that’s not the craziest thing Lucius says. He believes that both he and Jessica are vampires. Jessica wants nothing to do with Lucius and finds his declarations impossible to believe and his attention entirely unwanted. Her parents, however, are not so quick to write him off as a lunatic. Perhaps they need to explain to Jessica a bit more about their time studying the native peoples of Romania.
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side offers romance, drama, suspense, and quite a few laughs. Lucius’s attempts to acclimate to life in a rural Pennsylvania high school provide for some very entertaining observations delivered with wit and humor. This is a great read-alike for Twilight fans, particularly for those readers who would like a feistier, less swoon-y heroine than Bella. Another plus? In a genre filled with series and sequels, this appears to be a stand-alone novel. Although, if you enjoy it as much as I did, more of Jessica’s story would be welcome.
Check the WRL catalog for Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.