Thursday, September 3, 2009

Throwback Thrusday: Tantalize

Thanks Tashi for coming up with this idea! Reviews of books pre 2007.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith 2007

Rating: 3.5/5

IQ “It was funny, though, the things you didn’t learn about people until after they died.” Quincie Morris

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her hybrid-werewolf first love threatens to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. And just as she and her uncle are about to debut Austin’s red hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef.

Can Quincie transform the new hire into a culinary dark lord before opening night? Will Henry Johnson be able to wow the crowd in fake fangs, a cheap cape, and red contact lenses? Or is there more to this earnest fresh 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. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

This is my first off-color review (although the author is Native American and I believe a major character, Kieren is half-Mexican). There are so many better lines than the above one in the book, but I can’t write them because it would give something away, I’m not big on the whole vampire craze (I despise Twilight, although that’s the only vampire story I’ve ever read no vampire books interested me), but this book just made me a fan (even though vampires are bad in this world). I read it in one day, I could not put it down and to avoid interruption I read it all night (from about 9 pm-2 am). If you don’t like vampires (or werewolves), read this book. I’m positive that you will at least become a fan of the world that Cynthia has created and by extent become a fan of werewolves and vampires. If you already like vampires and werewolves, you’re really going to find this book interesting.

This book was generally unpredictable. I had no idea as to what was going to happen next till the sort-of end (the end itself is a cliffhanger, but the events leading up to the end are pretty predictable). My thinking was in line with Quincie’s about a lot of events and when the truth is revealed I was totally surprised! I loved the idea Quincie’s uncle had for their restaurant, a vampire-theme that included vampire themed décor, menu, staff appearance, etc. It sounds very clever and I probably would go to a restaurant like that. My favorite character was Quincie. She was strong and cool. I don’t think there’s a sequel. Although, I believe Cynthia is going to write a book combining the worlds of Tantalize and Eternal (her 2nd book but not related to Tantalize). However, with all that being said Qunicie annoyed me sometimes (she acted like a jerk to certain people who were just trying to help and at some parts you could sort of see what was coming and she still didn't get it!) and I just didn't love the book, but I'm sure someone else will. 8th Grade & up

The book apparently contains hints and allusions to Bram Stoker’s Dracula as well as authors Mary Shelley, Joseph Sheridan, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Mitchell, Ovid and William Shakespeare. I wouldn’t really know because I’ve never read Dracula or anything by the above authors except Shakespeare and Hawthorne (I’ve seen the movies based off of Ovid’s work; Pretty Woman and She’s All That), so I didn’t notice all of them. If you’re a fan of any of those authors than I suggest you read this book as you may notice and like the references and allusions to the various authors.

Also, I’m currently reading (and loving, it’s definitely going to be higher rated than Tantalize!) Eternal, Cynthia’s 2nd book.

Oh and check out the book trailer for Tantalize :)

*Edit: The author of Tantalize, Cynthia Leitich Smith has informed me that her next book is called Blessed and it picks up from where Tantalize let off. It will include some characters from Eternal. And a graphic novel version of Tantalize is coming out which will be told from Kieran's point of view!

And I just have to let you guys know about two really cool events/blogs I learned about today!

1. Steph over at Hey! Teenager of the Year blog is posting all September long about Books that Changed Lives. Check it out! Here's my list (I'm sure there are awesome books I left off, but I just haven't read them yet!)

2. I just discovered the blog YA Fresh, started by authors Kelly Parra (Graffiti Girl and Invisible Touch) and Tina Ferraro (the ABCs of Kissing Boys, How to Hook a Hottie, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, love the titles!). This blog is so awesome and throughout all of August they had Multicultural Spotlight. I'm bummed that I missed it, but I'm currently reading all the posts. Head over there! They post about new YA books and of course have giveaways!


  1. Good review!

    I gave you an award:


  2. Awesome review! I really enjoyed this too-I love vamps and werewolves. And Eternal was really good too!

  3. You hate Twilight?! Blasphemy! loljk But yeah I like good vampires. I can't help it. This book looks pretty good and I love werewolves too. I saw the post at Hey Teenager. Awesome list! I'll have to snag a few from it. :)


  4. Eternal is the second book set in this particular world (even though it takes place before Tantalize), but it isn't Smith's second book. She's got a number of other books out; some kids' books, some young adult.

    And yeah, I had that OMGDONTBOTHERMEIMREADING reaction to Tantalize, too. :-)

  5. Thanks for reading and reviewing! I don't normally comment on reviews themselves, so just to briefly clarify the series construct: Blessed picks up where Tantalize leaves off with Quincie at Sanguini's. Having shaken off the mood swings and mental manipulations of book one, she has to deal with the consequences and new challenges. Fortunately, some characters from Eternal are on their way. There's also a Tantalize graphic novel in the works from Kieren's point of view. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

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