Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Temptress Four by Gaby Triana + Book QnA


Four best friends, one graduation cruise, a week of partying.

Eight days of strife and storms . . .

It's supposed to be the best eight days of their lives.

Bonds will be broken...

But when a fortune-teller predicts trouble the night before their trip,

One of you will not come home...

Fiona, Killian, Alma, and Yoli are left on edge, wondering what it could all mean.

Gaby Triana gets right to the heart of that thrilling, nerve-wracking, exhilarating, terrifying, amazing time that comes right after graduation, when the big question is: Where do we go from here?

Grade: B+

Thanks to Gaby and Elyse for this book!


I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I adore books with Latina protagonists. A review on GoodReads asserted The Temptress Four was a good book if only because of its four strong main characters. Now, it must be said that I have also always fantasized about going on a cruise, so that’s yet another thing to admire from afar here.

First, though, let’s talk about these characters. One thing to keep in mind about this book is that it deals with the summer after high school and before college, for some people the last time they really get to be with their hometown friends. So the girls here are all trying to enjoy their time together while also harboring the notion this may be it for them. I thought all of them came through really well and well-rounded, and all had relatable qualities.

But, in seeing the development of the other three girls through Fiona’s eyes, it left a minuscule amount of room for her to grow throughout the book, too. She did evolve, she did change, she did mature her idea of her long-time (seemingly dead-end) relationship with her boyfriend at home, and she did eventually find herself in this trip. However, at the end, she had to do something to prove all these things took root in her mind—and then her final decision (I won’t tell you what here) came out of left field. It felt forced, I suppose you could say, and it wasn’t exactly the most mature or savvy decision she could’ve made.

Pushing that aside, I found every facet of this book likable, be it the humor (very nice), the characters (as mentioned above, very nice) or Gaby Triana’s writing (very, very nice). The Temptress Four has a lot of things going for it, a lot of layers to shape its world, to classify it as a memorable read. If you’re looking for an entertaining, top-tier beach read, light but still endearing book, I’d recommend this one for you.

What’s a shame, is that you can’t find this book without searching for it on HarperTeen’s site. That probably limits the people who know or will know about it by a lot. Personally, I think this book deserves more than that.

Recommended by me. You can be sure this won’t be my last Gaby Triana book—or the last time Gaby’s name pops up here.

Book QnA (with Gaby!)

How did you get the idea for The Temptress Four?
I wanted to write about a group of high school graduates the summer before splitting up for different colleges. I wanted them to have a great time somewhere on vacation and see what kind of trouble I could get them into. It turned out to be about Fiona’s life mostly and how her three friends’ lives influence her decisions.

Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, where did you go and how did you like it?

Yeah, I’ve been on a few, mostly in the Caribbean. But my favorite was in the Mediterranean. It started out in Greece and went to Rhodes, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. It was beautiful and the sun was way hotter than any tropical Caribbean cruise you could ever imagine. I had 2nd-degree blisters on my skin (no sunscreen) by the 2nd day because I thought I was a tanning pro. Luckily, I got over and was able to enjoy the rest of the cruise.

Do you believe in fortune-telling? Have you ever had any formidable experiences with fortune tellers, like the girls in The Temptress Four did?

I’m fascinated by it, but I’m not sure. I totally think it depends on who is doing the fortune telling. I don’t think tarot cards alone say anything. It’s the tarot card reader and their ability to perceive things and tap into their intuition that means everything. No, I never had any “wow” kind of fortune telling experiences, but one recently told me I would get good news this summer. Let’s see if she’s right…

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Alma was a challenge. She’s says so little, but I wanted her to be like some people I knew that, when they actually spoke, they floored you with what they had to say. So it was hard making sure readers would remember she’s there when she’s so quiet. Killian was fun to write about too. She’s a free spirit. She’s the girl I wish (and Fiona too) I could be sometimes, the girl who doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her and just loves life.

Did you have a group of such close friends like when you were in high school?

I did, but we’re not the tight-knit group we used to be. I still keep in touch with them, though. This is inevitable, so be ready. People change. You will change. But new friends will come into your life, and the old ones will still have a place in your heart, though you almost always will outgrow them.

What message, if any, do you hope readers take with them when they finish your novel?

The one above, but also that letting go of your fears and trying something totally spontaneous sometimes leads to the biggest and most important self-discoveries in life.


Anonymous said...

Great review, and I enjoyed the QnA with Gaby. So glad you enjoyed the book- I loved it too!

Amee said...

Great review! Sounds like a fun book. :)

What do you mean, though, that people can't find it but on the HarperTeen website? I searched and found it on Amazon.

Steph said...

Hey y'all, thanks! Ambeen, to answer your question, I meant that if you go on the HarperTeen site, you can't see this book displayed anywhere. You have to search for it to find info on there, and unless you KNOW of its existence, you won't do any searching. ;)


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice review! It sounds like a good book. I really want to read it. That's a bummer it's hard to find unless you already know about it...i hate when that happens to books. They could do so much better if people were just more AWARE!

Loved the Q and A. never been on a cruise, but i never could. being on a boat that long would freak me out. i'm not big on that stuff...nor planes either, but that's a bit better for me I guess b/c the plane isn't really a big part of the trip..just the traveling part.

I've never been to a fortune teller or anything but my grandma did once and apparently she told her that my mom would have a baby entering her life soon. nobody believed it, b/c my mom wasn't going to have another baby...but she ended up meeting this lady soon after and babysitting her son, who was a young you know, sometimes I guess those things work. I dont' know. I thought it was cool though.


alison ashlee said...

That was another great review! It sounds like a good book, and yet another to add to the TBR pile!

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