Series: Spellbound #1
By: Cara Lynn Shultz
Paperback, 324 pages
Published: June 21st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Categories: Paranormal, Romance, Reincarnation/Past Lives, Urban Fantasy, Witches, Magic/Spells, Page Turner, Plot Twists, 4-Cupcakes
Where you can buy it: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo
Author Info: Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
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 Breakdown
Final Score: 17/25 = 4 Cupcakes
Final Score: 17/25 = 4 Cupcakes
My Rating: Simply Delectable!!!
Initial Thoughts: I remember seeing this one when it first came out, and adding it to my Goodreads, but I never got around to it until now, when I found it waiting there on the bookshelf of my library, just calling out, "read me! read me!"
Story/Plot: I love when you pick up a book expecting one thing, and then getting whiplash by a plot twist that you SO were not expecting! That's what Spellbound did to me. I was expecting a typical urban-fantasy, teenage witch type story, but when one of my favorite topics, reincarnation, made its appearance, I was so excited I wanted to jump up and down while shouting, "Woo hoo!"
Characters: Emma is such a wonderful character. Having survived a horrible living situation, and coming to live with her aunt in New York City, Emma's growth and strength is amazing. Brendan's such a sweet guy, and totally swoon-worthy! Ashley, Emma's peppy, but naive cousin is a great character as well! And I definitely love Angelique! Now, character's I hated. Anthony and Kristin. I don't understand Anthony's anger, maybe more back story would've answered that question. I have just never encountered someone so angry. And Kristin is the stereotypical Queen Bee (or Queen B*tch!) I'm curious to see what happens to her after her little prank that nearly got Emma killed.
Writing: Shultz's writing style is great. I really found myself easily engaged; and found her to be a great storyteller. Every aspect of the book is well written with wonderful descriptions and it's very easy to find yourself front and center of the action; able to easily picture everything and nothing feels forced or hesitant. I felt the romance between Emma and Brendan wasn't insta-love but I feel it definitely was very fast. Even though they have the whole past life thing working for them, I think it need just a little more time to get totally serious. I also wasn't a huge fan of Anthony's story lines, only because it seemed very far-fetched that he would attack Emma with the intent to kill her. I'm wondering if somehow Anthony is someone from their past, and curious to see what becomes of him in the future books.
My only other hangup is Emma's abilities as a witch. I kind of wish that maybe Emma reflected back on times in her life where maybe her abilities maybe tried to manifest themselves, or gave any hint that she had them. I'm hoping to see her abilities strengthen as she grows into her power, and to see how it effects her family, or if anyone else shares her powers with her.
Ending: Spellbound has one of those wonderful endings where you're left satisfied, but know there's so much more coming! I think its a good break from the first book, leaving the reader excited for book two.
Cover: I like the cover, but I don't love it. I what I like is the plain blackness with the bridge and the shattering streetlamp. I don't like the girl on the cover; though. I'm not sure why, but I don't. I do love the font though, and how Spellbound is written across the center of the book, big and white.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'm super excited to read book 2 (Spellcaster; which releases 3/27/12). Spellbound is a wonderful, magical tale weaved with true love, and destiny leaving readers desperate for more!