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TANTALIZE, by Cynthia Leitich Smith
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?
“To me, being a teenager seemed a lot like being a monster. A shape shifter with my changing body. A vampire tasting the forbidden. Sometimes wanting to fit into a pack—and sometimes wanting to escape it. Overwhelmed by a hormonal rage. Fearful of what might happen next.
“Adolescence and gothic fantasy… They’re both explorations of our fears and desires, of the horror and heaven of opening oneself to new, redefining possibilities. They’re both about deciding when to walk a line and when to cross it—sometimes with life altering, even fatal consequences.
“TANTALIZE is a genre bender that draws its inspiration from the old-school gothic masters but with a contemporary and southwestern twist. It'll be a draw for that emerging YA/adult crossover audience, mystery and suspense lovers, romantics, and those who like their blood served with a splash a wit. It's the book that speaks most to my own adolescent AKA the monster within."
Hear Cynthia read from the first chapter in this Candlewick audio clip.
Feb, 2007 | 0-7636-2791-7 | Candlewick Press | Hardcover | YA Novel/Fiction | Interior Design Elements | 310 Pages | Ages 14-up
Available also from Listening Library, Editions Intervista (France), Scholastic Book Club, Walker (UK), and Walker Australia and New Zealand.
Look for this title in hardcover, paperback, e-format and audio