©2009 Beth Fantaskey; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"The romance sizzles, the plot develops ingeniously and suspensefully, and the satire sings." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
From the title and genre, I thought I had this book figured out. Just another teen vampire romance novel to go along with all the others. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It starts very similarly, girl meets boy vampire, boy vampire tries to hook up with girl, girl denies him but secretly likes him, yada yada yada. What’s different? This book is hysterically funny and the characters are fantastic.
On the first day of Jessica Packwood’s senior year, in walks mysterious and slightly creepy, foreign exchange student Lucius Vladescu (It’s so fun to say his name) from Romania. Lucius informs Jessica that she is a vampire princess and the two have been betrothed since birth, you know, minor details that Jessica’s parents failed to mention.
At first Jessica is repulsed by Lucius and disgusted at the thought of being betrothed without her consent. But, as time goes on, she sees the good in Lucius and begins to care for him. However, in the time it took Jessica to realize her feelings for Lucius, he seems to have gotten over her and their betrothal. Lucius begins to rebel from his family’s arrangements and expectations and pushes Jessica away. In his rebellion, Lucius turns dark, almost evil, and Jessica must fight for him back or lose everything connected to her birth family.
The narration was fabulous and I'm actually glad I listened to the book instead of reading it. Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite narrators and I loved the narrator for Lucius. Hearing Lucius’ Romania accent made this book for me and let’s face it accents are fun. The book alternates between Jessica and Lucius’ point of views, although Jessica’s is the primary perspective. Lucius’ perspective is introduced in the letters he writes to his uncle about his experiences in courting Jessica. His letters are an important part of this book and without them I’m not sure I would have liked Lucius.
Although Lucius’ dark side pulls at your heart, I enjoyed his unexpected change in feelings because it compelled me to keep listening. When Lucius rebels from his family, his character changes drastically, more so goes through a metamorphosis. Lucius’ change in character also forces Jessica to go through some changes of her own. I love character growth so I ate this up with a spoon.
Many people gave this book a not so great review all stating that they’ve read this book before. I have to disagree, I thought this book was different and had a lot of originality. This book was funny, dramatic, romantic, and so much fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun a read.
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I got this on a whim after reading the summary and figuring it would be a spoof on the whole YA vamp craze, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it-so much so that after it ended I listened to it again that same day. My only reason for giving it 4 stars is this: it is a campy but funny take on the vampire dating scene-he's a Euro vamp living with an American family of vegans, he drinks blood from Orange Julius cups while at school, and the heroine is funny and appropriately eye-rolls everytime he insists that she's his vampire bride. Its all very funny and sarcastic. But then the second part of the book hits and it gets dark and serious, and I no longer regarded the characters as just the cast of a clever farce, but I came to genuinely care what happened to them. So basically I loved the first half for being comical and somwewhat flippant, and I love the second half for the tragedy and the love story and the darkness. But somehow I cant help but wonder what happened between part one and two. And yes, Katherine Kellgren is amazing, but she does give the male an over-the-top Euro accent that lends itself to the comedy at first, but after hearing the male narrator (and hitting the darker second half) it sounds just a little off. But still, I loved it, and will listen to it again. Neither of these issues distracted me from enjoying this audiobook at all.
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ― Jorge Luis Borges
Seriously, this one is a breth of fresh air in the genre packed with "poor-me-I-need-hot -guy-to-save-me" main characters. Very entertaining and the second part is as good if not better.
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by this book. I found it to be a fresh and original take on the "teen-vampire-paranormal-love" genre. The characters were fresh and not so stereotypical of this kind of story. The story had more depth than I expected, especially as it progressed to it's conclusion. The writing is good, including meaningful dialogue, which allowed to highlight that the characters also had depth and were multi-demensional. Overall, this story won me over and made me care about the characters. I was impressed with the heroine, and how she stayed true to herself and stuck by her convictions and her belief in love, and the true nature of the guy she has come to love. The narration was good for the most part, though I did note that Ms. Kellgren seemed to read most of the story with a certain anxious, dramatic pitch that I definitely did not think needed to be maintained through most of the story in that manner.
I really liked this book at first I wasn't sure what to expect... But I found that the characters were VERY funny... And I also enjoyed how the story had them truely falling in love with one other, although they were betrothed as babies. And at first a was not very happy about the narrator but, her voice did seem to grow on me.
I must admit, at first I was a little off put by the reader of this book. She is a little older to be reading as a teenager, and her impression of luscious voice was slightly comical and difficult to listen to at first. Regardless, I loved this book! It has a wonderful story line and very endearing characters. I am very much looking forward to her second novel "Jessica rules the dark side". You will not be disappointed with this read.
I love this book. The hate/love/hate relationship was endearing. My only complaint would be that it seemed to me that the characters evolved from young/innocent/clueless to adult/stubborn/do-the-right-thing a bit too fast. BUT... this is a paranormal book about vampires... so I guess anything is possible in this world!
Overall, I enjoyed it, and am not ashamed to say I cried at the end.
The thing I liked most about this book, is that it was much more than a simple teenage vampire romance. At first, the story runs a predictable course, the tone is lighthearted with a sprinkling of humor. Jessica is at first very skeptical about Lucius' story that they are betrothed vampires who need to wed to ensure peace for their warring clans. She wants to date another boy and tries to resist her attraction to Lucius. I enjoyed the interaction between Jessica and Lucius. Jessica was a down to earth farm girl, who in the end becomes the self confident and beautiful vampire princess she was destined to become. And Lucius, who at first seemed a bit arrogant, proved he could also be noble. This story definitely takes some twists and turns that I did not see coming. I won't ruin the surprise, but there were times when I wanted to shake both Lucius and Jessica. Their inability to tell each other the truth both frustrated me and also kept me from putting this book down. The second half of this book takes a darker turn, and then it gets even darker still. This is a romantic story about honor and duty. But it is also a story about what lengths people will go to in order to prove their love, and to protect the ones they love. A really good read that is hard to put down!
Busy mom and "Nana" so love the audiobooks so I can keep hands free for multi-tasking. Originally from So. Calif., living in Montana.
I loved this book when I read it, and now the audio is even better. It's just plain fun! I think the narrator does a great job with the sarcasm and the humor.
My only complaint, and why it is a 4, not a 5 is the female narrator's Romanian accents are a little over the top, like listening to the old Dracula movies--although I am not sure how it could be done differently. The male narrator's accent is more even and more old world European rather than Bela Lugosi-like.
Overall, I am thrilled to have this book. The humor and dialog are quick and snappy and I find myself listening with a smile on my face.
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