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.
Oh why weren't there books like Taste around when I was a teenager?! I would have devoted much more time to reading and less time to being, well, a teenager. This is a fun book guys, I'm not kidding. It's definitely got the paranormal aspect which is all the rage today (and should be all the time because paranormal = endless possibilities) but it doesn't overdose readers with too much paranormal activity. There's an actual storyline, there are characters who, despite the paranormal world they're in, are quite normal in some ways.
Phoenix McKay (I love how her first name is so odd but her last name is so commonly normal), is your ordinary teenager with issues. She's headstrong, stubborn and way too curious for her own good. She's also hurt by her father's seeming indifference to her and the traumatizing death of her mother. At first glance, she's a pain in the butt. Rebellious, nosy, a smart alec and very rude at times but all these traits make her a great heroine and they serve her well once she gets thrown in the middle of Demitri and Luka's world. After that, she became less of a typical teenage brat and more of a young warrior. I love that even when she was afraid, she didn't back down and had no problem telling off Demitri or Luka no matter how gorgeous they were.
Told in first person POV, Taste is a walk on the edge of adventure and romance, thoroughly engaging and at times humorous. Phoenix is her own girl, she doesn't sit around waiting for answers to come to her, she goes looking for them, which is probably why she gets into so much trouble, but if she didn't, Taste would be a mighty boring novel wouldn't it?
The mystery of Barinkoff Academy is evident from the very first pages, there is no tip toeing around the fact there is something strange about the academy. Students MUST be off campus before sunset or risk expulsion.
For some reason, I tend to avoid books told in first person POV and I honestly can't tell you why, however, with Taste it just didn't matter. I was absorbed by the world Kate Evangelista created and amused by the characters in it (especially Phoenix). I hold a healthy amount of respect for authors like Kate who don't take forever to get the story rolling but who also don't move the story along too fast as to lose the reader completely. Before I was even halfway through Taste, I became like Phoenix, extremely curious as to what exactly was going on in Demitri and Luka's world because just when I thought I had things figured out, another tidbit was revealed and the mystery and danger became bigger.
I was taken outside of my "normal" world with Taste and its characters and once that happens I'm a fan. Any author who can take me out of my average world and plunge me into a world filled with the paranormal and adventure at every turn is definitely someone to watch.
I know it's all the rage to pick "Teams" when there's more than one handsome male character in a book but let me be quite clear... I don't know who to pick! *whines* Demitri is stoic, mysterious and somewhat of a wounded hero. I love those. BUT then there's Luka, all tall and blonde and gorgeous with his eyes and his own secrets that I'm not going to spoil. I like blonde men people, I really do. So you see my dilemma? I've NEVER had this problem before and it sucks. Whatever, I can love both. *blows raspberry*
I really enjoyed Taste, and I am always surprised when I read a book that I normally wouldn't have picked for myself and I end up liking it. So thank you Kate Evangelista for allowing me to review Taste, if you hadn't, I would never have discovered another great read that I can now nag my friends to go out and get. I can't wait to see what you have planned next!
Bottom line is that Taste is not a book you want to borrow. This is a book you want to buy and keep it close because you're going to want to read and re-read it over and over again, no matter how old you are.
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