Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest 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? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

About Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Cynthia Leitich Smith is the acclaimed author of TANTALIZE and several other books for young readers. A member of the faculty at the Vermont College MFA program in writing for children and young adults, she lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, author Greg Leitich Smith.
Published February 20, 2010 by Candlewick Press. 336 pages
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tantalize

Kirkus Reviews

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In this retelling, illustrated by the capable Doyle, readers are privy to teenage werewolf Kieren’s viewpoint, whereas the original novel was told through the eyes of his love interest, Quincie.

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Kirkus Reviews

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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.

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Publishers Weekly

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Kieran is an Irish-Mexican–American honors student at an Austin, Tex., high school who also happens to be half werewolf in this graphic novel addition to the teen supernatural romance genre.

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Tantalize

Publishers Weekly

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Quincie's story hews closer to the campy Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes (e.g., " 'You ate the police?!' I exclaimed") than to the elegant romanticism of Stephenie Meyer's books, but horror fans will be hooked by Kieren's quiet, hirsute hunkiness, and Texans by the premise that nearly everybo...

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BC Books

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Adding to the things she has to deal with, Quince’s boyish uncle is remodeling the restaurant to have a vampire flare and flavor – they’ve renamed it Sanguini’s – A Very Rare Restaurant.

Mar 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Tantalize


Each and every character,from Quincie to Henry Johnson,the new chef,brings the story to life as Quincie races to train Johnson in time for the grand re-opening of Sanguinis.

May 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Tantalize

The Bookbag

Following the death of her parents in a car crash, fourteen-year-old Quincie Morris has to run the family restaurant with both it and her left in the care of her Uncle Davidson.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Tantalize


Teenagers, Quincie Morris, a human, and Kieren Morales, a hybrid werewolf, reside in this world.

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Love Vampires

The premise for the story is that restaurant profits had fallen since a new Italian restaurant opened near by, leading Quincie and her uncle to decide that Sanguini’s needed a re-Vamp, with a capital ‘V’ for Vampire.

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I recommend this book because from the second you start reading you get drawn into the book and all of its characters.This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, from the beginning to the end.

Jan 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Tantalize

Youth Services Book Review

book,” and therefore is not as formulaic as some paranormal books can be.

Feb 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Tantalize

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