Pamela's Reviews > Tantalize

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
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Mar 25, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: bizarre, clunky, confusing, pointless, readforschool, readin2012, series, ya, ya-lit-course
Recommended for: No one. Ever. For real--I mean it.
Read on March 25, 2012

I am so, so confused. I feel like I've just been on an LSD trip filled with strange puns, werewolves, werepossums (?????), and vampires living in Austin, Texas.

Admittedly, I don't know very much about Austin, except that it's a) in Texas, and b) the capitol of Texas. Evidently ... it's a strange place? Smith sets her story here, with the central character being Quincie (Smith's bizarre homage to a character in Stoker's Dracula). Poor, poor Quincie. Her best friend is a Werewolf-hybrid who can't fully shapeshift (boo hoo?), who wants to run away to join a wolf pack so he can ... y'know, find himself, and she hasn't even gotten down with him yet! In between plots to have a little bow chicka wow wow time with Kieran, the predictably gorgeous Were-dude, Quincie needs to figure out the logistics of reopening her late parents' Italian restaurant. Her uncle, loafer and all-around sleazebag Davidson, wants to turn it into a vampire-themed restaurant. Somehow everyone thinks this is a great idea--especially Davidson's vampire-crazy girlfriend Ruby. When the head chef is killed (dun dun DUNNNNN!), Quincie and Davidson must find a new chef before the grand opening! (How is this even a plot?)

Enter, stage left, Bradley. He is in his early twenties, balding, and the most amazing chef ever. Of course he'll save Sanguini's. Can he save Quincey from the crazy lunatic who may or may not exist and who may or may not be attempting to kill her and who may or may not be Kieran? Will Sanguini's be a success? Will Quincey finally have sexytimes with Kieran (her ultimate dream!!!)???

Who cares?

The strangest part about this book, which I read as a "dark fantasy" requirement for my YA lit course, is that it couldn't decide whether it was a straight up dark vampire YA sexy sexy book, or a goofy send-up of vampire novels. Smith goes ultra heavy-handed on the puns--fang shui? FANG SHUI????? The world of her book is one where evidently humans know that vampires, werewolves, and the like exist, but it's not quite explained why. The ending was beyond bizarre, and Bradley's treatment of Quincie utterly reeks of sexual predator. And (view spoiler). Eugh. I feel so dirty and gross and angry that girls think this an appropriate attitude to have. Lust after unattainable, dangerous boys. Skip school. Moon over boys some more. Boys sure define you, don't they?

Is it a comedy or serious? Is there a plot? Why won't the puns stop? Can anyone help me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Katie (new)

Katie For some reason your review makes me read this book out of morbid curiosity, lol.


Pamela Nooooooo! Don't do it! My whole night last night was a dark hole of crazy, reading this thing.
Although it is pretty trippy, and, as far as I know, totally legal.


message 3: by AliceAnn (new)

AliceAnn I had to see what the other reviews were like, and most of them seem to agree with your assessment! There were a few 4's and 5's ratings, but most were 1's or at the most 2's. Although how can you go wrong with a book about werepossums?! I'm guessing this one won't be going on my To Read pile. Hope your next book(s) is/are better!


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