Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Book review - Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
So I got to work posting *stuff* every day that I thought my friends and family might enjoy in the hopes of building a following.
(Umm... side note, if you're one of those still enjoying my blog and haven't clicked on that little grey "follow" button right down there > > >, please feel free to do so now. I promise you won't get spammed.)
OK, so I'm blogging along, then reality set in. I realized that if I'm going to be a freelance writer for two publications, write books, research agents, and pretend to be a good wife, mother and friend, there was no flippin' way I'd be able to post every day.
So I cut it down to twice a week--Mondays and Thursdays.
Then I noticed something... Unfamiliar faces among my followers. (!) So I scurried over and checked out their blogs and from there I found others. And ultimately, through comments and email exchanges, I "met" other writers who now feel like friends.
It's weird. I told JRM it reminds me of the pioneer days when people could only communicate with letters. But it's also better because now we get to see pictures, read profiles, get daily or weekly (as opposed to monthly or yearly) updates...
So not only have I gotten to know my dear friends and family better, which is wonderful, I'm meeting writers from around the world. Yay--blogging wins!
Problem is now I really do need to get back to WIP before I completely lose the spirit of the book.
But I don't wanna leave! I want to keep reading your comments here and commenting back and then visiting all the blogs I've commented on and going back and re-commenting on the comments made to my comments...
Whoa! Where'd Thursday go?
All this to say, I'm headed into the cave for a few days. Back soon--hopefully with good progress made on even newer brand new novel. (!)
Now for the promised book review + CONTEST!
One of my new blogging buddies recommended Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark side by Beth Fantaskey. And while I said a few posts back that I was feeling a little vamped out, I trusted her recommendation and picked it up.
Here's the cover image. I'm including it because I think it's so pretty. I would have totally picked this up in the store and read the back cover. Bonus: it actually portrays a real scene in the book. (!)
To begin with, the opening scene is of Jessica alone, waiting for the bus when a mysterious fellow appears and calls her Anastasia. She's completely freaked out by it, and by the end of the day her mother's told her she's a long-lost princess (yes, the Romanovs called) and the strange guy now living above her parents' garage is her fiance by an arranged marriage.
It's actually a blood pact, and they're both vampire royalty. The conceit of this tale is that she doesn't fully become a vampire until he bites her, which he almost does a few times. (whee!)
At first, I was a little disappointed by the dialogue. Again, I felt like these were teenagers talking like grad-school students, and I was seriously getting Love at First Bite vibes every time the male lead (Lucius) spoke. But by page 60, that's all completely forgotten. (And he's Romanian royalty, so he gets a pass.)
Once the Jessica-Lucius relationship gets going, it's hard to put the book down. First you have him all insisting she embrace her identity. Then you have him all resolved to protect her by breaking the marriage pact. (She's too sheltered and sweet to rule a bunch of assasination-proned, power-hungry vampires.)
Of course by that time, she's determined that she's gotta be with her sexy vampire future husband. He gives her a toothache.
(That sounds funny, but it works.)
Fantaskey throws in some fun plot twists--for example, a competing female love interest for Lucius--which really heighten the tension, and she gives readers enough insight into the cruelty of Lucius's childhood to prove his point without being off-putting to her target audience.
I also liked the nod to Bram Stoker's Dracula provided by Lucius's letters to his uncle back home, and the ending has an element of ambiguity I think readers will dig.
Other than some very mild language (moms), it's a pretty clean read. So JGTDDS gets an A from me!
If you liked the Twilight books, it's possible you'll like this one even better. I've heard there's an epilogue floating around somewhere in cyberspace... must find that...
Now for the CONTEST!
Post a comment below, and on Tues. a.m. I'll use the random number generator to pick one lucky commentor to WIN either Caleb + Kate OR Perfect Chemistry!* (I reviewed these books in the June 24 post.)
What? You thought I was giving away my copy of JGTDDS?! I said I really liked this book.
1-Comments have to be below this post to be counted.
2-Followers of this blog get bonus points, and are more likely to win. So click the little gray bar up there > > > to improve your odds!
3-Comments must be made by Monday, midnight to count. (OK, if you beat me up Tues. a.m., you'll be counted, but I have no idea what time that'll be.)
If you're having trouble commenting, shoot me an email, and I'll troubleshoot w/you. Google likes to make me enter my password twice sometimes when I leave comments. Like I hit "post comment" and then I have to enter my password again and hit "post comment" again. I'm sure this is to guarantee I really mean it.
*Those guys following for whom YA romance sinks your boat, we can work out an alternate prize. I'll email you and we can discuss. I have a set of ginsu knives I'm trying to unload... and the first three Charlaine Harris books... Oh, alright, and if you really want JGTDDS, we can chat. Especially if you're a good friend who lives near my house... ;o)
I'll announce the winner Tues a.m., so have fun, and thanks for playing. I won't be commenting back til after Tuesday so as not to skew the results.
Happy 4th of July!