Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris. Delacorte, 2011 (review copy provided by publisher)
This incongruous book cover does not begin to hint at the story between the boards. Kate Grable works as the student trainer for her high school's football team. She is smart, knowledgeable and takes her job seriously. She takes good care of the players even though the coach is not as concerned with their health as he is the team's performance.
When she discovers vials of drugs in the coach's office, she suspects he is foisting steroids on his team. When the football players begin falling ill and developing zombie-like symptoms (such as taking bites out of their classmates) she fears it may be something far worse. This is a very clever story and Kate is a smart and worthy heroine.
Cynthia Leitich Smith has one of her excellent interviews with Carrie Harris today at her blog Cynsations. And speaking of Cynthia...
Cynthia Leitich Smith, has extended her story, Tantalize
as a graphic novel, Tantalize: Kieren's Story, Candlewick, 2011 (review copy provided by publisher). This is not merely a redo of the original story in graphic novel format. Instead she tells the story from the point of view of Kieren, the werewolf boyfriend of Tantalize's main character, Quincie. Quincie is the young Austin restaurateur who has unknowingly hired a vampire as her head chef. The graphic novel rounds out the original storyline adding more insight into Kieren who is one of the story's most interesting characters. Ming Doyle's black and white artwork employs close-ups and emotion filled facial expressions that reminded me of the old True Romance comics only with weremonsters.
At a recent author appearance at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Cynthia described the process of working with an illustrator in this kind of storytelling. She described a collaboration which made me think of the relationship between a movie director and cinematographer with each of them sharing both roles.