Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (7/81)

C2007 310pages 3.5stars

Quincie Morris and her uncle are remodeling the family's Italian restaurant into the vampire-themed Sanguini's: A Very Rare Restaurant. She's also trying to take her relationship with Kieren, her half-werewolf best friend, to a new level. One night Quincie finds the head chef brutally savaged. Was it Kieren or someone whose fangs are not of the plastic variety? Can Quincie keep it all together when the revamping gets a little too personal?

This book was either an Amazon or LT recommendation. It fits in a couple of my categories but I'm using it in The Monster Mash. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second. Quincie's in love with her best friend and he's leaving after high school, she misses her deceased family, her restaurant is undergoing a remodel… clearly her life is in flux and as a reader I related to that and I felt for her. Then within a few pages Quincie's dumped her studies and is subsisting on nothing but cabernet and waitressing while wearing a revealing lace dress with a thong and four-inch heels. I'm not saying it couldn't happen in real life, I'm just saying I couldn't suspend my disbelief. I think the timing is flawed. The character development comes too fast and the book just warp speeds to the end. I'm still not sure what the last five sentences mean. On the plus side, this book was very witty and funny and the descriptions of food made me hungry. It's a good story but it would have benefited from a better execution. I've seen Twilight comparisons in several reviews and am tempted to do the same, but I won't. If I had to rank one above the other, even with the flaws I've mentioned, I'd place Tantalize above Twilight.

Perfect for older teens and adults who like YA paranormal fiction.

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