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Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Published by Candlewick Press

Ages: Young Adult

Pages: 336

Publishers Summary: Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Whoโ€™s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smithโ€™s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

Are you predator or prey?

In Austin Texas vampires and werewolves are a thing of reality. Though, for years now it has been thought that vampires were a thing of the past and werewolves are something of a disgrace amongst society. When Quincie Morris finds one of her only living caretakers dead in the kitchen of the restaurant her parents left her after their deaths, she’s forced to carry on. Struggling between the possibility that her best friend could possibly be the killer and trying to set up for the grand re-opening of her now vampire “themed” restaurant is almost more than she can handle. Enter the addition of a replacement chef that seems to good to be true and her life seems destined for disaster.

Tantalize was an incredibly fun reading experience. It actually reminded me a bit of a young adult version of the True Blood series by Charlaine Harris, which happens to be one of my favorite book series. Quincie Morris is almost completely on her own, with the exception of her Uncle and best friend Kieren. Her Uncle is absent nearly every hour of the day, off flitting about with his latest squeeze and her best friend (and first love) Kieren happens to be a werewolf in transition who happens to be leaving in the near future. Her only stable and driving force is a restaurant her parents left her when they died. In her efforts to make the best of a bad situation she decides the way to instill life into her dying business is to update the theme, vampires; which in the end may be the first in a series of not-so-great decisions.

Quincie’s character was interesting to me, there were things I found completely genuine and typical for a teenage girl. But there were also a few things I found I struggled with. I wanted her to try a bit harder with Kieren, at times I felt she’d given up entirely only to have him pop back up in a chapter or two. Her struggle with the newly hired “Bradley”, dubbed the chef and “Dark Lord” of her newly themed vampire restaurant, was interesting. She was obviously drawn to him and in many ways he replaced an empty spot that was growing as her loved ones disappeared from her life. But there was always something about Bradley that kept her at a distance.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Tantalize. It was perfect for this time of year, with vampires and werewolves on the prowl ready to appear at any moment. I also quite enjoyed the references to one of my favorite locations, Austin Texas. In addition the correlation between Bram Stoker’s “Quincey P. Morris” and Tantalize’s “Quincie Morris” were a nice detail that fans will definitely appreciate. An incredibly entertaining read, I’d definitely recommend Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize to fans of the paranormal everywhere!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 13 and up. No glitter here, this is a fantastic book for original vampire and werewolf fans everywhere!

For the Comments: ‘Tis the season…do you have a favorite vampire or werewolf tale you’d like to share?

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7 Responses to Book Review: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephanie, GMR and Danielle Smith, Danielle Smith. Danielle Smith said: Book Review: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith http://bit.ly/9Zkih0 […]

  2. Yeah! You liked it! I liked this one too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great review! I like how you thought of it as a YA True Blood ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. julie says:

    glad that you liked it and reminded me too of young true blood too.

  4. jen7waters says:

    Never heard of this one before, until now of course. Sounds interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Raquel says:

    I like how Cynthia Leitich Smith takes from the old and makes it new. I didn’t like Tantalize as much as I enjoyed Blessed which ties Tantalize & Eternal together. My favorite scenes in Tantalize were the restaurant ones for sure. Chilled baby squirrels? ::shiver::

  6. thanks for sharing, glad that you liked it

  7. Darlyn says:

    I really enjoy the book. Havent read Eternal yet but i cant wait to read blessed!

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