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Jessica Rules the Dark Side [Hardcover]

Beth Fantaskey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 10 2012

“I should sue the people who designed the My Little Pony Crystal Rainbow Castle I played with in kindergarten. They led me to believe that castles were filled with rainbows and cupcakes and pastel-pink furniture. Not stone and fire and . . . blood.”

Eighteen-year-old Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her new vampire husband, Lucius. But when he’s charged with murder, Jessica’s suddenly on her own. She knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and who she can trust—before it’s too late?


Frequently Bought Together

Jessica Rules the Dark Side + Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
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Product Description

Review

"Will keep teens riveted until the last page is turned."--VOYA "Fantaskey’s grasp of teen obsessions and realistic dialogue will keep readers satisfied."--Booklist

About the Author

Beth Fantaskey lives in rural Pennslyvania with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, and Buzz Kill. Visit her website at www.bethfantaskey.com.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This sequel does not disappoint! May 25 2012
Format:Hardcover
Ever since marrying Lucius, Jessica's been having a bit of a hard time adjusting - she just doesn't feel like the princess she's supposed to be. While Lucius attempts to establish order amongst his people, doubts about Jessica's abilities to rule run rampant.

When Lucius is blamed for the mysterious death of his uncle, he's taken away and thrown into a prison where nobody will supply him with blood. Now, all alone, Jessica must take control and be the leader she was meant to be in order to clear her husband's name and maintain order - before it's too late.

I was so glad to see this one in my mailbox! It seems like I've been waiting ages for the sequel to Jessica's Guide - three years, in fact. After the awesomeness that was book one, the wait for this one felt like an eternity. But you know what? It was totally worth it.

Lucius... what can I say? You're just as dreamy as I remember you were (don't tell anyone, but I always liked you better than that Edward guy anyway). I really enjoyed the shifting points of view - they helped me understand a lot better and get to know the other characters a bit more. I really liked that the plot was so unpredictable, too - there's nothing worse than knowing who did it within the first 50 pages and having to read 200 more before the other characters clue in. This one kept me guessing until the very end!

Without a doubt, my favourite quote from this book was: 'But I know something of suffering, and I learned a long time ago ' both by experiencing violence and by anticipating it ' that fear is the worst kind of grave, because it buries one alive.'

I definitely recommend all paranormal YA lovers pick up a copy of Jessica Rules the Dark Side as soon as possible - if you've read Jessica's Guide already. If not, pick up a copy of both the next time you visit the bookstore! Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first! May 3 2012
By Avery Greaves TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When I started reading this book I had a really big problem with it, that being that Jessica and Lucius's wedding scene wasn't actually included within this book, it was written in a novella-like form on the author's website. From my experience novella's are written for pure entertainment value/ have little to no impact upon the story- typically they just show us a different side of its characters that we haven't seen before, or they elaborate upon something in the plot (like Rachel Vincent's "Reaper" novella, which shows us how Tod died and came to be a reaper). But this was NOT the case for this novella, you HAVE to read it in order to fully comprehend what is happening in this book, otherwise everything is out of context (for instance, "Why does Mindy play such a large role in this book?", "Who the heck are Raniero and Ylenia?", and, "Why does Mindy make a mad dash out of a room whenever Raniero enters it?"). Furthermore, I found the novella to be ill-advertised (I mean, I didn't know it existed until after I read the book and flipped to the front of the it and found in itty bitty writing, "To read about Jessica and Lucius's wedding, go to[...]"). I think that there were better ways to have distributed the novella, like including it in this book, not unlike how Rachel Vincent's novellas are now being included in her "Soul Screamers" omnibus', or having it available for download so that readers could read it on their E-readers (I don't know about y'all, but I LOATHE reading things on the computer, I would much rather read them on my Kindle). Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Really Liked This Book Dec 12 2011
By Dianne Socci-Tetro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is the second book in a trilogy and I recommend strongly that you do not try to read this as a standalone book. To understand what is going on in Jessica Rules... I truly think you need to read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side plus I think you will really enjoy the first book!

Now that Jessica is married she is trying to settle down in the castle in Romania and before she can find her niche, her husband is accused of murdering one of the Elder Vampires. Jessica hasn't made a very good Princess up until now, but her anger eventually gets the best of her and she learns what she has to do to become the regal Princess we always knew she could be. Thankfully in Jessica's time of need Mindy and her hair salon on wheels enters the picture and plays a big part in helping Jessica to become the strong young woman and Monarch we knew she could be.

This book has an excellent mystery going on and while I admit that I did suspect someone right off the bat, it really floored me when a secondary suspect comes into the picture. This was an excellent way to misdirect on the part of the author.

The secondary story that follows Lucius's best friend Raniero and Jessica's best friend is priceless. I would love to see a series or at least one standalone book devoted to them. I mean a surfer Vamp? How funny is that?!

This book has well fleshed out characters a great story line, is romantic but not overly-saccharine sweet and I loved the way the narrative played between each character. With each chapter (and they are very short chapters) written in a different persons point of view, it kept the story fresh for me.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it just as much as the first book! Jan. 10 2012
By Amanda Welling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First Impressions: I adored Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and I was screaming with joy when I found out I would be able to review this sequel! The first book was one of my favorites of the year when it was released and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. I love the cover art on both books, too! I actually didn't realize there was going to be a second book until I was creeping around on the author's website one day and BINGO! There it was! I'll even admit I was a little scared to read this book because so often the sequels are never quite as good as the original.

First 50 Pages: One of the first things that I noticed with this book is that it was immediately much darker and less teenagerish then the first book. In the first book, there was so fluff and I couldn't really find that in this book. Everything is much more serious this time around. It's in Jessica's hands to save her husband from his execution, so there was a level of suspense right from the start which I really enjoyed. A woman that has to save a man? That's a big change from other books with similar plot lines! I love strong, dependable female characters!

Plot and Characters: There are alternating Point of Views in this book between Jessica and Mindy, a feature that I really enjoy, but not everyone will. As for the plot, Jessica has to be able to stand on her own two feet and adjust to live as a ruler of vampires. In the first novel, as the reader we are left with many unanswered questions and this book fills in those gaps. Once again, Jessica does a complete transformation throughout this book that I just loved reading about.

There were a few differences that I noticed between this book and the first. For one, there isn't as much romance as the first book. I'm okay with that, even though the romance in the first was one of my favorite things. There is a good explanation why the romance was sizzled down, since you know, it is really hard to have romance when one character is imprisoned for a good part of the book. When you do find the romance, it's electric! You know how people say that with time, the heart yearns more? That's a pretty good way of describing it. I love the romance between Jessica and Lucius, although I'll admit, it is rather odd to find a married couple in a young adult novel!

It was also really nice to hear more from Mindy and Raniero in this book. Their POV's were also added into the mix, and while I didn't care too much for Mindy in the first book, I actually liked her character in this one. They are more of a side plot then an actual part of the storyline but I don't think that they detracted me in any way from the main storyline. I enjoyed their parts on this book and their romance made up the slight lack of romance between the main characters. I thought they were very interesting!

Final Thoughts: This book didn't disappoint me at all. It is on par with the first novel and I may have even liked it a bit more because of its darker themes. It felt like an exchange. While the first book was loaded with romance, it didn't have much suspense and action. While the second book doesn't have a ton of romance, it makes up for it with suspense and action. I think Beth did a great job with this book and I can't wait until I see what she comes up with next!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, this could have been so much better! Nov. 29 2011
By YA book lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This could have been so, so much better if the story had a different focus!

There is a reason why romance novels end with a wedding, sometimes followed by a few pages of honeymoon shmexing (don't expect it in "Jessica Rules the Dark Side," it's a very young YA novel). When the lovers are bound together for eternity, when there are no more misunderstandings and tension, how do you continue writing about this couple and keep things hot and dynamic between them? Only a few authors can pull off a relationship that is as exiting post marriage as it was during the dating phase. Unfortunately, Beth Fantaskey is not one of those authors.

As you probably remember, "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" ended with Jessica turning vamp and then marrying Lucius in a series of extras posted on Beth Fantaskey's website. So, they have their HEA, what is next?

Next is a conflict related to some conspiracy to keep Lucius from his rightful throne and Jessica's problems with accepting her new royal status. The whole affair is pretty tepid and frigid, if you ask me. The mystery is very one-dimensional, with hardly any suspense. And the hotness of Jessica/Lucius antagonistic flirting is, as expected, gone.

What lightens up this otherwise dull and slightly angsty sequel is a secondary romance between Jessica's best friend from Pennsylvania Mindy and Lucius' cousin Raniero, delivered via 2 additional POVs. Their story should have been the focus of the followup to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

Although Mindy sounds surprisingly hick-ish in this novel, Raniero compensates for her deficiencies with his amusing Buddhist/hobo/surfer attitude. These two have chemistry, they provide comedic relief, they are interesting. Jessica's and Lucius's problems should have been secondary to Mindy/Raniero romance.

I wish someone had given Fantaskey the advise to write a companion novel about Mindy and Raniero rather than a direct sequel to "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side." But alas, nobody did. Very unfortunate indeed. Give this book a go only if you are willing to be bored and skim over all Lucius/Jessica parts to get to more enjoyable Mindy/Raniero scenes. At least this was much better than "Jekel Loves Hyde."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of character growth makes a nice ending! July 2 2013
By Lili's Reflections - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought Jessica #1 the day it came out and to this day it is one of the most lovingly used books on my bookshelf. So I finally picked up book number two with Steph's inadvertent prompting, and I'm really happy I did!

Fantaskey moves us to Romania where there truly is no concept of safety. Jessica is doing her best to prove to Lucius that she can be a Princess, but she's having trouble abandoning her American and vegan routes for a lifestyle of brutality and blood-lust when it comes to being vampire loyalty. She's barely eating and has begun to hallucinate and have frightful dreams from the stress. And then the unthinkable happens. Claudiu is murdered and everyone points their fingers at Lucius. With her husband's trial date inching closer and closer, Jessica is forced to solve the murder mystery before she may have to carry out her first vampire destruction...that of her husband.

I did enjoy the mystery in this one. We were able to slowly watch Jessica bloom into a Princess with confidence instead of a scared girl that doesn't feel like she belongs. While I had the murderer pegged about half way through the book, Fantaskey made sure the tale was entertaining and full of twists and turns that I didn't fully expect. Jessica enlists the help of Lucius's most trusted ally, an ex-master assassin that turned to Buddhism and surfing to qualm his extreme bloodlust, and takes us on a really interesting journey of discovery.

The characterization in this novel is what made it for me, though. It's told between four alternate point of view's: Jessica, Lucius, Mindy, and Raniero, affectionately referred to as Ronnie by Mindy. At first, I thought that this would be really confusing, but Fantaskey handled her unique writing style beautifully and used the alternating views to her advantage by slipping us every possible detail and hunch that she could. Lucius's speech, as always, provided a lot of comic relief, but Raniero's speech was ten times funnier despite his eventual seriousness. Mindy also played a large part in comic relief. Fantaskey wrote her specific chapters in a special voice that not only made you laugh, but had you feeling the intense protection that Mindy felt for her best friend despite the fact that she suddenly became a vampire princess. It was also really nice to witness exactly how Jessica transformed from the shy, questionable Princess to a vampire with so much confidence she practically already looked like a Queen.

All in all, this was a really great installment in Jessica's story. The ending was satisfying, though it did leave me with a few questions. It makes me curious about whether there will be a Jessica #3 on the horizon. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, funny vampire tale that does stand out from many of the rest. However, you must read Jessica #1 and I recommend reading the wedding novella before reading this one. The novella truly helps to bridge the gaps between the two stories better. Jessica's story is truly one of pure entertainment.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok and fun Jan. 9 2013
By Bobi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This was better than the 1st book but the murderer was very obvious! And it took Jessica way to long to get Backbone!
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