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Yumi Talks the Talk: Star Sisterz 6    by Tea Emesse order for
Yumi Talks the Talk
by Tea Emesse
Order:  USA  Can
Mirrorstone, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

In Tea Emesse's new Star Sisterz episode, Yumi Talks the Talk, a new star sister receives a dare. While Yumi is known to fans who have read Nova Rocks! and Nova and The Charmed Three, she is new to receiving charms.

Artsy Yumi is on her computer one Saturday when a strange error message instructs her to 'talk to an animal in its own language.' Yumi gets a chance to do her dare later that afternoon when Nova plops a kitten into her arms. Yumi is so unnerved by cats that she attempts the dare in order to get her mind off the orange and white bundle of fur. Unfortunately, the owners of the cat leave Yumi holding it, stuck with an unwanted pet. When she takes it home, her animal-loving mom freaks out and Yumi's life goes into a tailspin from there. She must learn to love the changes in her life before the dare pays off and she earns her charm.

Emesse's conversational writing style shines through in Yumi's story just as in Nova's, even though the two best friends are very different. While the realistic tone is still evident, Emesse shows Yumi's personality by changing subtle things about her writing. For instance, while both girls add in their own thoughts, Nova's tend to come more in stream-of-consciousness whereas Yumi's appear in lists. Also, while the more reserved Nova writes as she would in a diary, outgoing Yumi writes as if she is expecting many people to read her outpourings. Emesse alters her style to fit the protagonist, but she still keeps that special quality that makes her work so much fun to read.

Another thing that makes Yumi Talks the Talk different from the previous Star Sisterz books is that Yumi confides in Nova about the dare and Nova shares a little of her own experiences. And, as Yumi tries the dare early on, the book focuses more on the changes occurring in her life than on her trying to figure out what the strange message meant. It is only at the end that she comes back to the dare, and by this time, her story has thoroughly tugged at the reader's heart-strings (or at least it did to mine). Yumi is a wonderful choice for a new star sister and I hope fans get to hear from her again in the future.

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