Title: Spellbound Pages: 324
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz Source: Library
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Published: June 21, 2011
Series: Spellbound #1 Purchase: Amazon
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?I had not heard a lot of things about Spellbound before I actually read it. I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't blown away either.
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.
I really loved Emma. She was snarky, she stood up for herself, and she actually had a spine, instead of always succumbing to the bullies of the school. I really admired her for that. Now, she did have some issues, that being that her family consists of a dead mother and twin brother, a monster of a step dad, and an AWOL birth father. It sometimes seems over the top just how much tragedy Emma has witnessed, but I appreciate Cara Lynn Shultz not watering down the writing, like some young adult authors do for their "tragic" heroines.
Brendan was alright. Overall he was very sexy and hot, but I could not forgive him for being totally cold to Emma after their first "date." He seemed like a straight up jerk after the date and I definitely wouldn't have given him the time of day again, yet of course since they are star-crossed lovers, that isn't the case. Plus, he has a major hero complex, jumping in to save Emma like every chapter. Once again, though, I did like him in the long run and Shultz definitely knows how to write the romance!
The writing was pretty simple to me, the only thing bothering me was the fact that they fell in love instantaneously, though they are meant to. If taken at face value that they are star-crossed lovers, then the whole falling-in-love-instantaneously thing didn't bother me as much (and provides for some great romance right away, which everyone loves on occasion!).
The plot is probably what bothered me the most, because like Emma's past, it's very over-the-top sometimes, especially the ending. I found it a tad unbelievable, but it was certainly very entertaining. I also thought there was going to be more of a supernatural element than there was. The magic took a back seat almost and I was really hoping for more.
Overall, I did like Spellbound, I just wasn't as captivated as I hoped. It provided an entertaining Twilight-like read - one that is certainly entertaining, but lacking overall depth and believability (for a paranormal romance!). I would recommend this one to fans of star-crossed lovers and Twilight.
Cover thoughts: I like this cover, but I don't really care for the blankness of it. It's unique that they did that, though. I also don't really like how the blurb and the author's name are placed. The blurb is in a weird spot (as opposed to all the way at the top or even moved to the center) and the author name definitely seems off center a bit. I really like the font, though for 'Spellbound'. (and yes, I'm being really picky about the cover!)