Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
Series: Jessica, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (470 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Author Beth Fantaskey injects a little humor into the vampire romance genre with this critically acclaimed debut novel. High school senior Jessica Packwood is a down-to-earth mathlete who's not sure what her future holds. What she definitely doesn't see coming is foreign exchange student - and vampire - Lucius Vladescu showing up at her door. According to Lucius, Jessica is actually vampire royalty, and they've been betrothed to one another since infancy.
©2009 Beth Fantaskey (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"The romance sizzles, the plot develops ingeniously and suspensefully, and the satire sings." ( Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What listeners say about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun Vampire Love Story

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly Surprised

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Loved 50% of it, however....

Yes, there was a lot of laugh out loud moments for me and enjoyed the love/hate relationship between Lucius and Jessica but then the middle happened. So, there are spoilers here, just warning you. What I hated was how Lucius gave up on Jessica and hooked up with the blonde cheerleader! Pissed me off and should I have known I would not have read this book! For a bit, I thought no.....he's pretending to like her but not true. Yes, so at the very end he admitted he loved her the whole time but come on!!!!! So, Jessica was hiding in the bathroom and she overheard the cheerleader telling her friend pretty explicitly things that her and Lucius do together and I wanted to throw up. I detest books that do this!! She explains they do a lot but actual intercourse because her parents want her on the pill and she doesn't want to get pregnant before college. I'm getting angry again just thinking about it! Then she walks in (deliberately) on them getting hot and heavy in his bed and he just lays there with his arm still around her, clothes disheveled while Jessica is hurt and shocked. Ok, I digressed. The author explains more of their makeout sessions than her and Lucius. Seriously, what the hell?! Ugh, digressing again. Anyway, she ends up going to Romania to save him (after she hears he's still alive) and he turns into this asshole. Treats her like crap, but he has a moment, doesn't stake her then bites her. It happens so fast then....the end. I gave it 3 stars because I really enjoyed the humor and the narrators were excellent!! If the author would have just left out Lucius's two timing, cheating hook up wifh that girl I would have loved it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun and Funny!

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A breath of fresh air

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Bleh

A smart, headstrong teenage girl changes everything about herself to please a troubled, potentially abusive man.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique and Well-done!

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cute book

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

This book was amazing... It kept my attention the whole time...I wish there where more books by this author available ... i strongly recomend everyone to listen....

1 person found this helpful