Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Published: June 28th 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Library
Grade rate: B

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

My Review

Spellbound was an enjoyable read for me.  The plot was somewhat predictable, but I still liked the story. 
Emma is a character that I liked after reading about a quarter of the book.  She is insecure, but is quite understandable due to her past, a lot of things had happened to her in her short life. Emma learned a lot about herself (I bet more that she bargained for!) so in a sense this was a book about self-discovery.  I am glad that Emma did indeed grow into accepting who (and what) she is.  To me the characters (except for Emma) felt a little one-dimensional.   I wish we could have got to spend more time with both Brendan and Emma’s best friend Angelique.  Brendan is in one word perfect (except for the ignoring Emma part); he is handsome, rich, strong, and the thing I like most, very loving and protective of Emma. (I know, I know, what can I say?  I’m a sucker for romance).  I loved Emma’s cousin Ashley, she was so happy and bubbly that was almost contagious.  And I also liked Francisco and the tasteful, down to earth way that he was portrait.
The plot was a little predictable.  The insecure female character, the hurtful unjustified gossip, the mean beautiful girl, the bully, the handsome ‘perfect’ male character, were all present in Spellbound.  The unique things that make me like the story were the introduction of a paranormal twist, in the way of past lives, witchcraft and even ghosts.  That part was quite interesting and justified the instant attraction between Emma and Brendan.  The writing was easy to read, and the flow effortless. 
If you like the combination of romance, paranormal, and destined lovers, this is the book for you.
About the cover:  I like the cover a lot.  Both the shattering glass and the dark are important parts of the story.  I like the way she (Emma) seems to be floating on space (time) and I like the font and the placement of the title.  One thing I didn’t like was the synopsis of the novel; I think it was a little misleading.

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