After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although
it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a seventeen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the painespecially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close
But something dark and hungry is using Emma's and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in überspells may not be enough to keep them safe or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.
Shultz's debut is an absorbing romantic tale of curses and the power of love. For 16-year-old Emma Connor, leaving her alcoholic stepfather (and family tragedies) to live with her great-aunt in New York City is a relief, but Emma's hopes of flying under the radar at her exclusive new private school are dashed when she becomes the target of snobby mean girls and a skeevy lothario. Yummy Brendan Salinger comes to her rescue, and they instantly click, but strange things start happening: streetlights blow out when Emma's nearby, and she's receiving warnings from her deceased twin brother in her dreams. As Emma puts the puzzle pieces together, she learns time is running out for two souls stuck in a "never-ending cycle of reunion, romance, and then tragedy." Shultz's characters have great chemistry and snappy dialogue, and the author captures the tantalizing energy of a new romance and the ugliness of teen jealousy. The relationship gets rather gooey, and the second half of the story falters until the dramatic climax, but readers should still be swept along by the protagonists' faith in true love. Ages 14 up.