Author Beth Fantaskey injects a little humor into the vampire romance genre with this critically acclaimed debut novel. High school senior Jessica Packwood is a down-to-earth mathlete who's not sure what her future holds. What she definitely doesn't see coming is foreign exchange student - and vampire - Lucius Vladescu showing up at her door. According to Lucius, Jessica is actually vampire royalty, and they've been betrothed to one another since infancy.
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From the title and genre, I thought I had this book figured out. Just another teen vampire romance novel to go along with all the others. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It starts very similarly, girl meets boy vampire, boy vampire tries to hook up with girl, girl denies him but secretly likes him, yada yada yada. What’s different? This book is hysterically funny and the characters are fantastic.
On the first day of Jessica Packwood’s senior year, in walks mysterious and slightly creepy, foreign exchange student Lucius Vladescu (It’s so fun to say his name) from Romania. Lucius informs Jessica that she is a vampire princess and the two have been betrothed since birth, you know, minor details that Jessica’s parents failed to mention.
At first Jessica is repulsed by Lucius and disgusted at the thought of being betrothed without her consent. But, as time goes on, she sees the good in Lucius and begins to care for him. However, in the time it took Jessica to realize her feelings for Lucius, he seems to have gotten over her and their betrothal. Lucius begins to rebel from his family’s arrangements and expectations and pushes Jessica away. In his rebellion, Lucius turns dark, almost evil, and Jessica must fight for him back or lose everything connected to her birth family.
The narration was fabulous and I'm actually glad I listened to the book instead of reading it. Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite narrators and I loved the narrator for Lucius. Hearing Lucius’ Romania accent made this book for me and let’s face it accents are fun. The book alternates between Jessica and Lucius’ point of views, although Jessica’s is the primary perspective. Lucius’ perspective is introduced in the letters he writes to his uncle about his experiences in courting Jessica. His letters are an important part of this book and without them I’m not sure I would have liked Lucius.
Although Lucius’ dark side pulls at your heart, I enjoyed his unexpected change in feelings because it compelled me to keep listening. When Lucius rebels from his family, his character changes drastically, more so goes through a metamorphosis. Lucius’ change in character also forces Jessica to go through some changes of her own. I love character growth so I ate this up with a spoon.
Many people gave this book a not so great review all stating that they’ve read this book before. I have to disagree, I thought this book was different and had a lot of originality. This book was funny, dramatic, romantic, and so much fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun a read.
I got this on a whim after reading the summary and figuring it would be a spoof on the whole YA vamp craze, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it-so much so that after it ended I listened to it again that same day. My only reason for giving it 4 stars is this: it is a campy but funny take on the vampire dating scene-he's a Euro vamp living with an American family of vegans, he drinks blood from Orange Julius cups while at school, and the heroine is funny and appropriately eye-rolls everytime he insists that she's his vampire bride. Its all very funny and sarcastic. But then the second part of the book hits and it gets dark and serious, and I no longer regarded the characters as just the cast of a clever farce, but I came to genuinely care what happened to them. So basically I loved the first half for being comical and somwewhat flippant, and I love the second half for the tragedy and the love story and the darkness. But somehow I cant help but wonder what happened between part one and two. And yes, Katherine Kellgren is amazing, but she does give the male an over-the-top Euro accent that lends itself to the comedy at first, but after hearing the male narrator (and hitting the darker second half) it sounds just a little off. But still, I loved it, and will listen to it again. Neither of these issues distracted me from enjoying this audiobook at all.