Author: Kate Evangelista
Published: April 2012
My Rating: 4/5Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
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.
First of all, I’d like to thank Kate Evangelista for providing me with an e-copy of this amazing book (this in no way affected my review). I truly enjoyed it, Kate, so thank you.
Now to the actual review…The subject of matter in Taste was a first for me. For starters I had no idea it was about these amazing creatures (I realize I didn’t read the description quite so thoroughly), and granted I was hesitant after I found out, you would be too when you hear the words flesh eaters, but as it turns out it was rather fascinating as the story progressed.
All the magic takes place at the Barinkoff Academy –and beneath it (wink) –where only one rule is not to be broken: no students are allowed to be on school grounds after sunset. A rule not broken in the hundreds of years of the Academy’s existence, a rule not broken until a girl fell asleep in the library.
Meet Phoenix McKay. The girl that fell asleep in the library, a rebel in body and soul. Phoenix is a tough girl, she’s strong, witty, and extremely curious. Curiosity being her best friend and worse enemy at the same time. She can be pretty reckless because of said curiosity, but breaking the one rule the Academy imposed wasn’t on her plans, rebel or not.
Despite her I-don’t-have-a-care-in-the-world attitude, she didn’t want to get expelled from Barinkoff (expulsion being the consequence to breaking the rule). But what’s done is done, and now she needs to find a way back to the dorms and face her future. Only someone gets in the way. That someone being a group of student with weird clothing (aka the Night Students) that threaten to taste her flesh.
Taste? Um… yes! Taste! So what now?
Meet Demitri. The swoon-worthy, black hair, black eyes, pale skin boy that saves her. Demitri is strong, rather sexy, mysterious and cold. Cold to the point that Phoenix refers to him as being a robot. But there are reasons behind the distance he puts between himself and Phoenix, one of them being he’s a prince, he’s the prince of the Zhamvy people, the flesh eaters.
No reason he warns her to stay away, right? But do not despair. They don’t actually eat flesh, or at least, they don’t do now, as it is forbidden.
While Demitri does everything in his power to save and protect Phoenix from herself and keep her away from his dangerous world, Luka (another night student) is willing to reveal their every secret to her. Being the curious person that she is, Phoenix grabs every chance she has of find out more about them.
The thing is, Zhamvys are dying. And when offered the chance to help save them –along with getting a first-hand glimpse into their lives –Phoenix can’t help but say yes. Only by doing so she doesn’t realize what she’s getting herself into. Demitri is determined to keep her at arm’s length, ignoring the strong bond that now ties them, and Luka in set on winning her over.
Needless to say, I fell head-over-heels for Demitri. He was mysterious and dark. He was sexy and he had the power to leave Phoenix
and me weak on the knees with one kiss. One smoldering kiss at that, but still. But despite his cold exterior Demitri couldn’t hide the burden on his shoulders from Phoenix. He had a lot to look after, and having her distracting him wasn’t really helping, but the bond between them was stronger, no matter how hard he tried to push it away.
Phoenix was pretty hilarious. She had me giggling several times, but there was a particular conversation between her and Luka that had me laughing out loud. So funny!
“Luka, the king-”
“Hail the king!” he playfully interrupted.
“Why does everyone say ‘hail the king’ every time I mention Darius?”
“Tradition.” He winked at me from over his shoulder. A grin stretched my lips.
“So, if I say king-”
“Hail the king!”
I tried again, “King?”
“Hail the king!”
“Hail the king!”
And Luka, well… I learned to like him. Why yes, I admit I didn’t like him at first. Not one bit. He was Demitri’s “competition” therefore he was the bad guy in my eyes. But as it turns out he wasn’t so much of a bad guy after all. Even though he did try to take Phoenix away from Demitri.
Taste was full of twists and interesting tales. It had me on edge a good part of the book. And when things went south I was miserable. I longed for a happy ending and when it didn’t come fast enough I was getting a little desperate. I wanted everything to be okay, and to be okay soon. Plus Demitri’s constant secrecy and changing moods were killing me, I couldn’t for the life of me gather how this book would end. And it killed me. I was suffering, alright? I even considered reading the end right away, but –thankfully –I resisted.
There’s not much left to say. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read Taste. I only wish we had a little bit of a longer view of what the future would hold for them. I long to know more, and who knows, maybe I’ll get it? What do you say, Kate?