One of my midterms got postponed! I might have found an apartment! Dude, how awesome is today?
For those who watch Heroes - how awesome was last night's show? I feel like it's getting back on track. And Sylar's new sidekick is uber-creepy. To think I worried he would get hurt when he first showed up onscreen. Obama's address made good point, but why in the world did he have to do it during Chuck?
By Beth Fantaskey
Jessica Packwood thinks she's a normal American teenager. Well, as normal as you can be with two vegan, save-the-world adoptive parents. But now her original parentage is raising its befanged head. Jessica's true heritage is that of Anastasia Dragomir, a Romanian vampire princess destined to marry Lucius Vladescu and bring peace to their clans. Jessica would rather date the nice wrestler Jake. Lucius, raised to be a vampire prince, does not think much of her future as a ruler either.
The best part of the book is watching dark, dangerous Lucius adapt himself to American life. He discovers the wonder that is blue jeans and plays basketball. He quickly endears himself to the English teacher with his love of literature. (She is startlingly undisturbed by his deep empathy for Heathcliff. Heathcliff should scare anyone with reason.)
Beth Fantaskey manages Jessica's relationships with Jake and Lucius well. Jessica's liked Jake for awhile, so there's no reason for her to instantly give him up. That she asked him out? Totally awesome. Even now I would need a push to ask a guy out. But girls doing it on print and on screen are inspiring. After all, the worst they can do is say no and give you the fodder you need to begin dismantling your crush.
As for Lucius, Jessica's reluctant to date a guy who claims to be a vampire. Quite understandable since she only has verbal testimony as to his claim. (Her parents' testimony should be strong given their relation, but really, they kept quiet about it for too long to be believed without question.) Lucius discovers the secret to courting without truly meaning to: he empowers Jessica. He's not always nice, but he encourages her to figure out who she wants to be and then to be that person. He wants her to be more outspoken and to like her body the way it is. And he gives a swoon-worthy speech about the reason guys should be courteous and why it has nothing to do with the female being weaker. He possesses a darker side, but unlike Heathcliff, he isn't a guy a girl should run from as fast as she can.
Now, at the end of the book I don't know if Jessica will be the best ruler. But she's certainly in a better position for it at the beginning, and what is a young adult novel if the protagonist doesn't mature? Fantaskey definitely captures the attitude of an ordinary teenager and I love Jessica's friend Margie as well. Jake too, who will one day discover people who see more in him than nice.
JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE came out February 1st and is Fantaskey's first book. You can find her at her web site.