Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Tantalize is by Cynthia Leitich Smith. The vampire romance is set in an alternative Texas. A world where werewolves and vampires coexist with humans. Teenagers, Quincie Morris, a human, and Kieren Morales, a hybrid werewolf, reside in this world.
Quincie narrates the werewolf love saga. She is a seventeen-year-old orphan who lives with her uncle, Davidson Morris. Her parents bequeath a restaurant to her. Three years later, the restaurant is in the red. Uncle Davidson decides a restaurant with a vampire theme will end their financial woes. Quincie gives 99% of herself to make it a success.
Things go from bad to worse, Vaggio, the restaurant chef, is found murdered. There are claw marks on the mutilated body. Is Quincie's dear Kieren responsible? The police and everyone else believe so. A mysterious chef, Henry Johnson, arrives to work in the restaurant. Uncle Davidson constantly leaves the restaurant’s reopening details to Quincie. He prefers the company of his new girlfriend, Ruby (a vampire enthusiast). Kieren with werewolf problems, begins to distant himself from her. Quincie finds her desired neck deep in tomato sauce.
The young adult (12-year-old and older) chapter book flows well in the first half. Ms. Smith peppers the book with current teenager lingo. This may appeal to this age group. A Buffy the Vampire Slayer script in book form. Things turn choppy or should it be said, bloody, in the second half. There are various twists in the plot that confuses the reader. There are not only werewolves, but werevultures, wereopossums and werebears. In homage to Texas, there are werearmadillos. Don’t be surprised, if you reread the last chapter. I cannot rate Tantalize very high, but I look forward to a sequel. The book is a page-turner.
Once Tantalize is read, try the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. It is another popular vampire love saga. Forks, Washington is the setting. A human high school girl(Bella) meets a vampire(Edward) and romance rises with the moon. Ah, Jacob (werewolf) lurks in the background.
Midnight Sun (Twilight told from Edward's point of view)coming soon
Dr. Seuss Books
Don Freeman's Books
Stan Berenstain's Books
Magic Tree House Books
Chronicles of Narnia Books
A Series of Unfortunate Events Books
Note: Tantalize by Cynthia Letich Smith review book is from Candlewick Press. It is available as e-book.