Book Review: Tantalize, Cynthia Leitich Smith
Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 8, 2011
5 of 5 stars – Loved it! Give it to me again.
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal
Blurb from Goodreads.
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. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?
My Review: Quincie’s first love, Kieren, is a werewolf that is going to be leaving to join a pack once they graduate high school. Even though Quincie knows this, she cannot help but love Kieren. When a new chef is hired at her family’s restaurant, Bradley, she cannot help but have him fill the void she knows Kieren will leave.
Quincie, 17, has always been mature for her age. She is enjoying the way Bradley, 22, makes her feel. He’s always honest with her, and makes her feel like a woman. *Insert love triangle here* What Quincie does not know is that Bradley is a vampire that is slowly feeding her his blood, turning her into a vampire as well.
When Quincie realizes what is going on, she goes to the one person that has always been there for her… Kieren. When she finds him, Bradley is there with an ultimatum Quincie cannot avoid: she must drink from Kieren.
Quincie is excruciatingly torn between Bradley and Kieren, and it’s tearing her heart apart. Bradley had made her feel things she’d never known, but essentially killed her. Kieren was Quincie’s first love, but she knows their relationship cannot go further since he will be leaving after graduation.
Being the gentleman that he is, Bradley realizes that he cannot force Quincie to love him. He makes a deal with her: if Quincie can drink from Kieren without killing him, Bradley will let both of them go and leave town.
Quincie struggles, but manages to stop drinking before killing him.
Quincie is then left as a vampire… and all alone. Bradley keeps his word and leaves town, and Kieren is leaving to join a pack. Total heartbreak.
Huge kudos to Cynthia Leitich Smith for giving me the refreshing, amazing read that I needed! This story takes off at the first page, and just keeps going. It has everything: romance, deceit, suspense, vampires and werewolves : )
Smith builds such a strong lead character that is easy to relate to. I really felt for how alone Quincie feels throughout the story. It was extremely refreshing to read a YA story that was realistic and did not have a happy ending. Thank you, Cynthia. Thank you, thank you, thank you!