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Source: Raincoast Books for review
Format: Paperback, 351 pages
Release Date: January 18, 2010
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.
Vampires. Maybe you're sick of these fanged creatures or perhaps you're like me and can't get enough of them, but either way, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side provides a likeable and unique take on them.
I've heard different opinions on the tone of this novel ranging from more serious and probing to light and easy. Really, I'm going to say that this is one of those novels where it's up to YOU to decide how you want to take it. There were definitely some deeper issues about self-worth and coming into your own but if you want to take it at face-value as the wonderfully entertaining read that it is... go for it.
The novel is told in alternating perspectives with Jessica and Lucius at centre-stage. Both of these characters had strong, distinct voices and contrasted nicely with each other. I appreciated Jessica's analytical mind and loved Lucius' dry humour. Getting a chance to get into both of their minds was definitely an element that worked well for this novel.
Both of the these characters make some interesting transformations throughout the course of the novel. For Jessica, this means discovering who she truly is and learning to love herself. For Lucius, it's adjusting to a new life in America (however temporary it may be). In both cases, the characters are forced to change their way of thinking and watching that happen was one of my favourite things about the story.
A well-written novel that succeeded in making me both laugh and think.
Cover Comments: It's cute! Pretty standard but visually-appealing, I think.
4 Golden Crowns!
CANADIAN RESIDENTS: There's still time to win a copy of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side HERE!