Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Taste by Kate Evangelista

Goodreads Summary:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

My Review:
I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to disclose that I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I want to mention, though, that the author didn't approach me. She posted the book giveaway info in a forum- no spammy behavior from the author. Just posted and let it be. I saw the post, fell in love with the cover and had to read it. Now "cover love" has failed me at times- I've read quite a few mediocre and awful books because of a wonderful cover. This is not one of those times... 

I'm prepared to cut debut authors a bit of slack, but this first book didn't feel like a debut novel. A first book usually seems to have a number of flaws- pacing, telling and not showing, etc. But the author has put quite a bit of thought into this book. It shows even in the details. For example, one of my big pet peeves is the "invisible parent". A parent that inexplicably lets the children under their control do odd and dangerous things. However, in this book the combination of the boarding school and the backstory on Phoenix's parents explains their absence. Another major issue first authors have is pacing- not just in action, but also in the "reveals". As much as action propels the reader along through the pages of a book, so does the desire to learn more about the book's characters and world. This book managed to balance keeping enough mystery to keep you eagerly reading and timing the reveals well enough that the book didn't drag. Quite a feat for any author, let alone a first time author.

I think one of the main things I use to determine how much I like a book is readability. Just the ability of a book to make you want to read it. To make you choose it above all the other books you may have going. The way some books compel you to read it in any free minutes you can snatch while at work. This book did all of those things. I finished it in about 8 hours-during a day I was working. (Or supposed to be working, good thing my husband is the boss and firing me would make his home life too difficult) So, this book is highly recommended to anyone who loves YA books.

Overall rating: 3 1/2 stars (remember, I'm stingy with stars. I only gave "Water for Elephants" 3 stars)
Genre rating: 4 1/2 tombstones 

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Book Trailer for Taste:


  1. Just got this review.. hope I like as much as you did :)

  2. What a fantastic review! I think it is great that the cover was just as good as the book. It sounds like a fantastic read with a lot to offer. I loved Water for Elephants, so if you gave this one more stars- that sounds pretty good to me!


  3. Very thorough review. I like that you analyze writing style as much as plot flow and readability. Taste is on my to-read list, which happens to be growing wickedly long, but I think I'm bumping it up to the top. Thanks for a terrific review!



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