Monday, April 6, 2015

Read This F@!%ing Book (35)

Welcome to a feature I'm going to post on Mondays called:
Read This F@!%ing Book!
This is a feature for me to push my favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention! 
I'm also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like its not getting the play it deserves? Email me to let me know and I'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if its something I haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)! If you're interested email me:

 This week's post comes from our very own: 
Rose Red!

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 33: The Jessica Series by Beth Fantaskey

(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)
The Best Post-Twilight YA Vampire Book You Probably Haven't Read.
Funny story, one of my friends actually bought the first book in this series for me as a gag gift for our college graduation. He bought it mainly because the title has my name in it while referencing a dating guide at the same time. Which was super hilarious to him because he thought I needed one. Also, he gave it to me because it contained vampires. At that time, I was very vocal about hating the trend of romanticized vampire books. Where were the vampire books like Sunshine? You have to admit, that there were some pretty terrible vampire/paranormal YA books published in the huge paranormal YA craze that happened after Twilight made the genre cool again. That being said, this book was an exception and it helped me to fall in love with the genre again. The problem is that very few people know about this hidden gem.
This series was not what I was expecting when I picked the first book up. With the tag line of “The undead can really screw up your senior year” I was thinking it would be more of a fluffy and entertaining read. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute novel but it was definitely darker than I assumed it would be.
The Premise
In rural Pennsylvania, math nerd Jessica Packwood is about to enter her senior year of high school. Her biggest concerns are how to potentially date her neighbor, Jake, have fun, and win some more math competitions. Her carefully thought out plans go down the drain with the arrival of Lucius Vladescu, the good looking Romanian exchange student who just happens to be staying with her family. Lucius also happens to be a vampire. But he’s just not any vampire; he’s a vampire prince who has been betrothed to Jessica since they were infants. Their union would stop a centuries old war between their families. While Jessica has always known that she was adopted, she just never imagined that she was a long lost vampire princess. 

Math Nerd Heroine vs. Vampiric Mr. Darcy 
I loved this newish take on vampirism when I read it! I particularly loved how the guidebook that Lucius presents to his betrothed was integrated into the story. The pacing and the humor in this book were spot on as are the continual misunderstandings between Jessica and Lucius. I devoured this book in one sitting and I’ve reread it several times over the years. Plus, this book has active parental figures in it which is not something you see much of in YA. The plot was great but what really made the story fantastic was the characters!

I loved Jessica! She’s got moxie and buckets of it. She’s smart, capable, and unknowingly a vampire. I found myself really relating to her on a personal level. Jessica loves scientific facts and believes things like Lucius’ fangs to be illusions and cheap parlor tricks. Lucius is an intense and haughty Romanian (think more Mr. Darcy and not Edward Cullen) who has come to America to convince Jessica that they should marry and reunite their warring families. I loved every bit of the interactions and exchanges between these two. Lucius would get all high and mighty and Jessica would put him in his place. Each possessed very distinct voices, which made for some hilarious dialogue! Jessica and Lucius are two of the best YA main characters that I've ever read about and they both undergo a ton of personal growth by the end of the series.

Action, love, mortal danger, family, humor— Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side will leave you grinning ear-to-ear, biting your nails, and reading far into the night. I loved it and I hope you will too! And that's just the first book, book two, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, is just as good as it is different from the first book! Don't forget to read the author's self-published short story, The Wedding, in between the two books!

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