By Holly Black
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011. 325 pgs. Young Adult
In book 2 of the Curse Workers series, Cassel is trying to avoid Lila, even though he's crazy about her, because his mother, an emotion worker, has cursed Lila to love him, and Cassel doesn't want to take advantage of her. However, when she enrolls in his boarding school, it makes it hard for him to stay away. Meanwhile, after his oldest brother is murdered, federal agents approach Caseel, pressuring him to give them information, and Lila's father, the head of the Mafia-like curse-working family, is pressuring Cassel to join his "family".
Intrigue, romance, and adventure make this a hot new series. Cassel is an appealing character, not in the sense that he is always likable but in that he is really struggling to figure out who is and trying to do the right thing even though he has the opportunity to do things that are really, really wrong. A good choice for readers looking for an alternative universe to delve into or a non-paranormal fantasy.