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Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

>>Friday, June 24, 2011

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Format: ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: June 28th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequinn Teen
Rating: C

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 Conner, 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

Why did I read this book? I received an advanced copy of this from BEA and thought it looked interesting.

What I liked: As you can see from my rating, I had reservations about this book. They mostly had to do with the plot. I enjoyed the writing and the pacing and I found that while I did have problems, I sped through this novel quickly and found myself enjoying certain parts. These were often the times the main character, Emma, showed her strong side, like when she stood up for her cousin at school. What can I say? I enjoyed myself well enough to keep reading despite my problems with the fundamental parts of the plot, which is saying something. Oh, and huge props for the author not using a love triangle!

What I didn't like: Basically, I didn't like how the romance was portrayed. Emma and Brendan fall for each other and aren't sure why their feelings are so strong and why weird things keep happening. We're told their love is special (I won't give anything away) and I don't have a problem with that. I have a problem with the fact that their love seemed to be portrayed as any teen infatuation. There was no depth as I expected; I couldn't really distinguish their love from anyone else's, despite the reminder that their love is special. Part of this is because, at least from Emma's point of view, her perception of Brendan was often superficial. He's smart, gorgeous, rich, and nice. Well, who wouldn't fall madly in love with that?

I also thought Emma was given a past that was especially tagic in order for us to give her our sympathy, but her past really never made any impact on herself or the story at all. Why make her life so tragic? Why make Brendan so perfect? Is it for the 'fairy tale' effect? I don't think I like that.

Thoughts on the cover: I really like the font and the black background.

Overall Thoughts 

I'm sort of torn on this. On the one hand I felt engaged and interested enough to read the book quickly and enjoy most of it. The problems I had with it came afterward as I sat thinking about the story and the characters. I began to think I didn't like the idea of soul-mates between two teens which often came across as obsession and infatuation. Perhaps if I could have believed it more, I would have a different opinion. I'd recommend this only if you're really interested in this type of romance or if you are looking for a light beach read.

ARC was provided by the publisher.

1 comment:

  1. I read another review on this one, and it had a similar rating. I might check this out the next time I'm at the bookstore. :)



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