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Posts by Emma Carbone

The Boyfriend List: A Review

The whole mess started with Finn. But it started a while ago. Before Finn was all cute and tall and athletic. Well, technically it might have had more to do with Kim. But Finn is definitely involved. So is Jackson. And his four ceramic frogs. Tommy Hazard, as usual, is blameless. Angelo and Noel aren’t really involved. But they might have helped make everything worse. When it’s all said and done Nora, Cricket and Meghan are all not speaking to her. Kim isn’t either but that isn’t really a surprise.

And that’s almost all before fifteen-year-old 

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"Shiver": A Review

Years ago, when Grace was attacked by wolves, Sam saved her life. He has been a presence in Grace’s life ever since, always lurking on the periphery each winter in Mercy Falls, watching her, protecting her.

Yet they have never spoken.

Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn’t remember her name, he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what he was.

No matter how Grace and Sam might feel about each other, there is always one insurmountable 

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Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters: A Review

The Sullivan family’s Christmas began in the traditional way that year. The six Sullivan siblings opened their gifts. Daddy-o made pancakes for breakfast and Ginger contributed her signature dish to the feast (sliced grapefruit halves sprinkled with Splenda).

Christmas would take an unexpected turn at the Sullivan’s annual holiday dinner with the family matriarch–unaffectionately known by family, friends, enemies, and most of Baltimore as “Almighty Lou.”

One of the Sullivans has deeply offended Almighty.

Subsequently the entire 

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Heist Society: A Review

Katarina Bishop grew up all over Europe, but she isn’t an heiress. She has a Faberge egg, but she isn’t a Romanov. Kat is used to looking at a room and seeing all the angles, but that was before she stole a whole other life at the Colgan School only to walk away from it months later without a trace.

That was before everything went sideways.

While Kat was busy trying to steal a new, legit, life the family business prospered. When a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection goes missing it isn’t all that surprising that 

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The Talking Dead: A Book List

They might not always be walking, but in the books on this list the dead are always talking. Ten books, in no particular order, where the dead sometimes walk, sometimes talk, and always play a huge part in the story. Books with that perfect eerie feel to get you in the mood for some candy... er, for Halloween I mean—obviously.

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

The dead are walking in Oakvale, Connecticut—at least 

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A Little Wanting Song: A Review

Charlie Duskin lives and breathes music. At least, she does when she’s alone or taking lessons. She’ll talk music with people, but playing guitar or singing in front of them is impossible except for her mom or Gran even though she is not entirely without talent. Charlie doesn’t mind so much because music can be enough most of the time–especially during a summer in the country surrounded by old ghosts and locals who want nothing to do with her.

But Charlie also wants more. She wants a friend. She wants someone, maybe Dave Robbie, to look at her the way 

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Green Witch: A Review

Green used to think her story was written. The day her beloved city was burned to the ground seemed to be the end of things. Her mother, her father, and her beautiful sister were gone. The boy she loves is far away searching for his own family. The past is filled with dangerous memories and the future seems like a distant hope. So Green tries to focus on the present.

As her village tries to rebuild, Green tends her garden and collects the stories of the survivors. When Green sets out to find the Enchanted–women the village calls witches–in the hopes of 

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Green Angel: A Review

After a disaster destroys the city she loves and kills her family, fifteen-year-old Green is left with nothing; the life she once had turned to ashes just like the ashes covering her once lush garden.

Shocked by the loss and destruction, Green turns inward. Her clothes become armor. She closes her eyes against the loss and the rebuilding taking place all around her. She closes her heart to love or friendship.

But, little by little, love and friendship make their way into her life. As she struggles to survive Green finds unlikely friends, love, and 

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Wildwood Dancing: A Review

In the wilds of Transylvania, set on a high spur of rock next to the Wildwood, rests a castle named Piscul Dracului. The castle itself is unexceptional, old and crumbling as it is. Looking at it, you would never know it hides a portal to the Other Kingdom.

Each full moon five sisters travel through the portal into a magical glade where they dance with creatures rarely seen outside of fairy tales--fairies, dwarves, trolls and other creatures only whispered about back home.

For nine years of full moons, the sisters have gone dancing in the Other Kingdom.

Until 

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Princess Academy: A Review

Fourteen-year-old Miri wants a lot of things. She wants to be useful to her family. She wants to be taller and stronger. She wants desperately to work in the quarry and understand quarry speak the way everyone else on Mount Eskel does.

What Miri doesn’t want is to be a princess. At least, she doesn’t think she does.

There isn’t much room on Mount Eskel for princesses anyway. The mountain landscape is as beautiful as the linder stone the villagers mine for their livelihood but life there is hard. Lowland traders come to buy the mined linder, but 

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Hex Hall: A Review

Sophie Mercer is a witch. But not with many perks. She has no broomstick to fly, no spell books, no talking cat (she’s allergic).

She can perform magic. But not particularly well. And not without a lot of unforeseen... complications.

Sophie and her (non-magical) mom have lived in nineteen states. They lasted the longest in Indiana (four years). They only made it two weeks in Montana. And most recently, well, that didn’t go too well either.

In fact it went so badly that Sophie’s been sentenced to Hecate Hall; a reform school for 

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Finnikin of the Rock: A Review

A long time ago, before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere. Though only nine, Finnikin knew the dream was not to be ignored.

Frightened for his kingdom, Finnikin convinced his friends Prince Balthazar and Lucian of the Mont to make a pledge with him. They climbed to the rock of three wonders and sacrificed flesh from their bodies and a hair from the head of a weeping princess Isaboe. Balthazar swore to die defending his royal house of Lumatere. Finnikin swore to 

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White Cat: A Review

Hands can become dangerous weapons with the right training. But what if the lightest touch was enough? What if a finger placed on bare skin could change a person’s luck? What if it could make a person fall in love? What if it could transform them? What if it could steal a memory? What if a single, slight touch was enough to kill?

In a world where curse magic is real a bare hand is more dangerous than any weapon.

Working is illegal, of course, but that doesn’t make it go away. Instead, the curse workers are just driven underground, tied to 

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Girl at Sea: A Review

Seventeen-year-old Clio Ford has the perfect summer planned. She’s managed to snag a job at her favorite art store where her dream boy is already employed–the first time her crazy tattoo has been good for something. Working in the art store will give Clio a 30% discount, dibs on returned art supplies, and full access to Ollie. For an entire summer.

Clio has never been kissed but with this foolproof summer, she’s sure her time is coming.

The only problem is she isn’t going to be in the country this summer.

Instead of a summer romance 

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Sea Change: A Review

Many are drawn to Selkie Island. Few know why.

The whirlwind of events that brought sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant to the island, away from her sensible summer plans in New York City, are unlikely but they make enough sense. Her mother has inherited a house that needs to be gone through and emptied. Logical enough. And so much more realistic than any fairytale happy ending.

But Selkie Island is a messy place that quickly blurs the lines between past and present and, more startling for Miranda, between reality and legend. Lore about mythical creatures and her own 

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Jungle Crossing: A Review

Thirteen-year-old Kat has dozens of reasons to skip her family’s summer vacation to hot, boring Mexico. She’ll miss mini-camp and lose her spot as part of Fiona’s Five (reason number 1) thereby completing ruining her chance at popularity and eighth grade in general (reason 33). Her family will drive her crazy (reasons 29 through 31).  And don’t think that’s just whining because Kat has tons of other, totally logical, reasons on her list including falling prey to bandits, the risk of flash flooding, heat stroke, dangerous strangers, and lung damaging jet 

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Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix: A Review

On September 5, 1928 ten-year-old Nathaniel Fludd’s parents are declared lost at sea. Alone in the world with no other close relatives and a governess eager to abscond with her Tidy Sum from the Fludd estate, Nathaniel is sent to live with Phil A. Fludd–a mysterious cousin Nate has never met, let alone heard of in Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by

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The Miles Between: A Review

October 19 is not going to be a good day.

For some people this would be an educated guess. For Destiny Faraday it is a bleak statement of fact. It is also part of why she tries so hard to never get attached. To anything or anyone.

October 19 has never been a good day for Des, which is why she crumples the day’s calendar page before the day has even started.

What was supposed to be a throw away day suddenly turns into something else. Thanks to an encounter with an odd stranger and the sudden appearance of a car, Destiny and three of her 

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How to Ditch Your Fairy: A Review

Welcome to New Avalon, the best city in the world–just ask any of its residents. New Avalon has the most important celebrities, the tallest buildings, and the best slang. It also has the best sports school in the country, but you probably already knew that since it has a reputation for training future famous athletes by the truckload.

As far as fourteen-year-old Charlie is concerned life in New Avalon is just about perfect, especially now that she’s getting to know here totally pulchy and crush-worthy new neighbor Stefan. The only real problem is 

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How to Catch a Star: A Picture Book Review

Once there was a boy and that boy loved stars very much. In fact, he could think of nothing grander than catching his own star to call his friend in How to Catch a Star (2004) by Oliver Jeffers. (Also be sure to check out his beautiful website.)

Jeffers's whimsical first picture book blends easy to follow text with sharp, clean illustrations to create something remarkable. Everything 

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