A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: J #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews

J is for Jessica

Learn more about the challenge here.

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

Focusing on an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list, each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book (I’ve published some new books, so take a look).

I chose the books this year quite randomly from my Goodreads Want to Read page. Some are quite creatively added to letters.

I know there were suggestions in last year’s Reflection post that I skip my TBR and just get on with the review, but I like knowing what I have left to read for each letter (and how far I’ve come with all the reading challenges I’ve done) so things are staying the same. Scroll down to the reviews if you’re not interested in what my TBR still contains. FYI, you might encounter issues with commenting if you don’t tick all the boxes marked as mandatory (especially the privacy one).

Let the fun begin!

If you’d rather check out my folklore post for today, go here.


About the Book I’ve Read

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

The undead can really screw up your senior year …

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.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Just know, the stuff I liked and didn’t like might spoil the plot for some.

The story began well, hitting favourite vampire romance tropes (hot strange guy with good manners, a love of horses, well-read, rich, who thinks heroine is perfect as she is). But then Jessica’s first date (ever!) isn’t even described despite the build-up, it just rushes to the end of the night and her first kiss (ever!) and sort of blazes past that to her not being interested in that guy (Jake?) anymore. Then the horse jumping contest, brutal dealing with a scared horse (I almost stopped reading), her own cavalier attitude towards her own horse (I wanted to throttle her), faux drama with another girl, vampire drama (his family in town and then the town’s attitude), him faking his own death (and some gaslighting stuff that made me start to severely dislike him), and then she goes to Romania – discarding her entire life – to push him to admit he loves her.

A lot of plotlines – like her best friend not talking to her – is left dangling. And everything seems to stop mattering to her except for Lucius. Gag.

I purchased the novella and second novel when I thought this book was going to be awesome, so I’ll read them with the hope that things improve.

An okay teen vampire romance.

Trigger warnings: physical and psychological abuse, death of an animal, murderous mobs, airheads.

3 unicorn star rating

About the Book I’ve Read

The Wedding of Antanasia Jessica Packwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu by Beth Fantaskey

American teenager Jessica Packwood – born Antanasia Dragomir – has moved to Romania and assumed leadership of a clan of unpredictable vampires. But her betrothed, Prince Lucius Vladescu, has more surprises in store for Jess. The Wedding of Jessica Packwood and Lucius Vladescu tells the story of Lucius’s proposal and a ceremony that hints at a future with more twists and turns than the Vladescu castle. A reader-directed romantic bridge between the full-length novels Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

It’s an okay short story with all the underlying drama of uniting two warring clans, mending a friendship, ghosts from the past – and all the sappy romantic stuff vampire weddings are made of.

3 unicorn star rating

About the Book I’ve Read

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is —and whom she can trust— before it’s too late?

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Between the book starting with so much italics that it made my eyes go cross-wise, and the blurb seeming a bit meh (not to mention my mixed feelings about the stories that had gone before), I’ve decided to DNF this one.

1 unicorn star rating

My Book

Writing Journals

I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

You can now support my time in producing book review posts (buying books, reading, writing reviews and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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