Monday, August 27, 2007

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

I recommend this book for: high school vampire fans

I've decided that I shouldn't read vampire books. I read this one because I read a review that recommended it for fans of Stephenie Meyer, and I definitely fit into that category, but Tantalize was definitely not for me.

With that said, it's a very well-written book. The plot is intriguing - in a world where vampires and werepeople (Wolves, Cats, even Armadillos!) are acknowledged (although not accepted by any means) members of society, Quincey and her uncle D work to open their family's vampire-themed restaurant. I loved the idea. I loved Quince's quasi-romance with her smoldering half-werewolf best friend, and the building excitement as murders begin to pile up. Kieren (the Wolf) is one of the prime suspects, and Quince feels distant from him as she spends more time with Brad, the new chef for the restaurant who feeds her growing need for companionship and red wine. I was completely wrapped up into this story through the first 3/4 of the book, which I devoured like the tasty pasta dishes Brad creates in the kitchen.

What didn't I like? The nasty change that comes over Quincey at the end of the book, the almost complete lack of resolution (romantic or otherwise) - I read the last page and shouted "Are you kidding, that's it??", startling my husband. And, it turns out, I'm a huge wimp and couldn't sleep after reading this book. But as an avid Stephenie Meyer fan, I had to ask myself why, and here's what I came up with. I once heard Meyer's books described as "vampire books for people who don't like vampire books", and I think that's apt: they're high school romance with interesting characters, some of whom happen to be vampires who don't feed on humans. So, if that's what you're into (like me), Tantalize probably isn't for you. However, if you're into the eternal youth/black leather/feeding on blood elements, this book might be a great choice. Just don't expect an ending, particularly a happy one.

But then, I'm just a wimp: what more courageous reviewers thought.

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