Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction."
My Review: I'm not too big on paranormal romance books anymore. I used to LOVE them (back when I was in my Twilight phase) but now they just kind of make me want to cringe. Moody, broody dark paranormal guy? Yup. Spineless, passive, boring heroine? Always. And that's basically how most paranormal romance books go. So when I picked up this book...I did it with a sigh, expecting the same.
WHOA, was I wrong! Sure, Lucius was a little broody and moody, but he was also very arrogant and conceited, and even though this SOUNDS like a bad thing, I personally found it hilarious. His general concepts on what it meant to be "royal" and his confusion with the aspects of Jessica's "normal" life (such as her love of baggy math-pun t-shirts) were hilarious. He was actually confounded on this normal American life, and his confusion made me laugh. His letters back home were honestly what made this book way too funny. Very sarcastic and bemused, all at the same time! And truly? I liked Lucius. Yes, he was kind of cliche---but he also had some traits that most paranormal dudes don't. He told Jessica again and again that she never needed to lose weight, and that she was beautiful. He wasn't as stalker-ish as Edward was.
I liked Jessica, too. She definitely wasn't as spineless as other paranormal romance heroines. Her struggles with her own self-identity and coming to terms with destiny were very realistic (minus, you know, the VAMPIRE PRINCESS part...) and human. And I liked how Beth Fantaskey actually showed Jessica's progression from hating Lucius to accepting him to loving him. There was no insta-love as there is in books like Twilight and Hush, Hush. And I despise insta-love.
Also, just the whole concept of vampires as a superior, more elegant and refined version of humans was really unique! They weren't just super-strong, super-fast killers...or bloodthirsty monsters...or gothic weirdos (and yes, I've seen all those types in books before). They were like Humans 2.0 Not everything was about the BLOOD---there was almost a culture to the vampires! And I loved that!
I liked the plot. It kept me reading, kept me laughing, and kept me wondering what would happen next. The book was relatively short, but WOW, did a lot happen! At one point, Jessica even ended up in Europe!
All in all? A great, fresh paranormal romance. If you liked Twilight, read this. It's better. If you didn't like Twilight, read this. It's better.
Cover: Forgive me, but I think it's adorable. It's the ONE CASE where having a girl in a sweeping ball gown on the cover actually makes sense! Usually paranormal romance books randomly have some girl swooning on the cover in an ethereal gown and it doesn't even fit into the book. But read this book, and you'll see how the cover makes PERFECT sense! And Jessica's cute!
Overall Grade: A-