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TANTALIZE by Cynthia Leitich Smith


From the Tantalize series, volume 1

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7636-2791-7
Publisher: Candlewick

Smith takes readers inexorably from the commonplace (a teen who cuts classes and performs restaurant kitchen prep) to the fantastical (wine that’s more than just the color of blood and a host of were-creatures) in a clearly recognizable Austin, Texas. It starts in sunshine: Quincie and her uncle are about to reopen the family restaurant with a vampire theme. But someone or something kills Vaggio, their beloved chef. Quincie’s best friend Kieren—werewolf on his Irish mother’s side—falls under suspicion. In waltzes Brad, willing to replace Vaggio; he’s deeply into the food and, it seems, Quincie, who at 17 is discovering both wine and desire. Sunlight gives way to darkness: Quincie must make a terrifying choice in a heart-pounding climax that will have teen readers weeping with both lust and sorrow. The storytelling is straightforward but elegant and will hold infinite appeal to the vampire-loving crowd. (Fiction. YA)