Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Just the name of this book makes me feel excited. Doesn't dating on the dark side feel so intriguing?

Not to mention the cover completely captivated my attention - sexy red flowing dress and not-so-bad-looking vampire date... Although, I would have been intrigued simply by the red dress swirling around her legs.

As books goes, this was entertaining. Honestly, it might have made it to the status of 5 stars, if one important aspect of the book had been different.

Lucius - he is my problem with this book. He just doesn't make ME fall in love. And so when Ms. Jessica ends up with him, I'm disappointed. Sure - she loves him. Sure - it's the only really good ending to the book. And yet, I wish she didn't. I wish she had started a war between their clans or somehow found a way to move past him UNTIL he was worthy of her love. And yet, she chooses the guy who has treated her like a trash because she believes that beneath it all, he actually does love her more than he's showing.

Isn't that our problem as women? We keep hanging on and holding out because we believe, somewhere in our romantic mind, that he loves us despite the fact that he treats us with disrespect and condescension. We believe that the few glimpses of the good guy beneath the jerk are enough. We hold out hope and "hang in there" until he becomes who we want him to be.

But unlike this story, real jerks aren't going to become the hero and love you always dreamed of. Men do not become who you want them to be - they simply are who they are.

What is this book telling us as women? Allow yourself to belive that if a boy teases you, it means he likes you; if he pushes you down in the playground, it means he really cares; and if he's a complete a** hole, well, he must be in love.

I know the author was trying to make it seem like Lucius was in love with Jessica in a sacrificial way - that he'd make himself seem like a jerk in order to protect her from the harm that would come from loving him. And yet, he was just too convincing. I was convinced and it hurt me, as the reader, to watch Jessica killing her heart over a guy who acted like he didn't care just a little too well.

Despite all this, I still find I enjoyed the book thoroughly. While I think the best love stories are the ones where you actually fall in love with the characters, you can still enjoy a book where you simply like them. Just as it would be unwise to fall in love with everyone you meet, so it is with books. Some you fall madly in love with and some are relagated to the status of friends - which can happily be both deep and shallow relationships.

If this book were a friend, I'd go out to coffee with them on a bi-monthly basis, but they wouldn't become my best friend, my soul mate, or my family.

If you liked this book, you may also like:

1. The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

2. Impossible by Nancy Werlin

3. The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong

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