Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

04 Dec


Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Tantalize. Candlewick Press, 2007. 310 pages. ISBN 978-0-7636-2791-1

Plot Summary:

Quincie Morris and her uncle have taken over the family restaurant and have decided to create a new theme that will catch more attention, vampires. Quincie is working hard to get the restaurant done in time for it to reopen, but a series of gruesome murders, that appear to have been animal attacks, puts things at a stand still. Quincie’s best friend, and love interest, is a half werewolf and may just be the prime suspect for the murders, and he is looking to leave town soon anyway so that he can study how to be a werewolf. When the restaurant’s chef is murdered, it leaves Quincie and her uncle scrambling to find a new chef that can create a new menu and pull off the whole vampire ensemble. The new hired chef, Henry Johnson, seems to be the perfect fit for the job and he plays the role of the vampire quite well, almost too well.

Critical Evaluation:

Taking you back to a more traditional vampire tale, Tantalize will captivate you. You can tell Smith did a lot of research into her vampire and were myths. Told in the first person point of view of protagonist Quincie Morris, this is a love story but with so much more. Smith does a great job with developing her characters, especially with Quincie and Kieren. Quincie is trying to get a grip on the news of soon becoming a vampire, while her best friend Kieren is struggling with being a half breed werewolf and his impending departure to go study with other werepeople. One of the wonderful things about Smiths werepeople is that there are more than just werewolves, there are also werepossums, werearmadillos, and others, all native to Texas. The format of her novel is delectable and creative, with its sections that come from a menu, starting with your appetizer all the way to your dessert and wine. This was very clever of Smith; it fits right in with the main setting of the book, a vampire themed restaurant.  The ambiance she sets is one that makes you feel like you are participating in an elaborate and elegant play.

Reader’s Annotation:

Meet Bradly, Vampire Chef. Try the creamed squirrels, they are delectable. Although, they may have side effects, like turning you into a vampire, but still pretty tasty.


Cynthia Leitich Smith is the author of Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed, and Tantalize: Kieren’s Story. For younger children she has written award winners Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, Rain is Not My Indian Name, and Holler Loudly. Her upcoming book is called Diabolical and is the fourth book after Tantalize. She is an incredibly nice person and has a great sense of humor. She is also a New York Times and Publishers Weekly best selling author.

“Her website at was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer’s Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at was listed as among the top two read by the children’s/YA publishing community in the SCBWI “To Market” column.”(



Curriculum Ties:


Booktalking Ideas:

Clary just found out she is going to turn into a vampire.

Reading Level/Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this book:

Because it is a good book, and we read it in class, so I did not have to do any additional reading. 🙂

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Posted by on December 4, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


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