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Book Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 28th June 2011
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Thoughts:
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. I'm going to be honest, I requested the book because I like the cover... ;) And then I read the synopsis, and I still wasn't sure I was going to like it. But, I'm happy to say I really enjoyed it.

The scenario was quite a new one (for me) and I thought it worked well. Emma's life so far has been tough; first her brother dies, then her mother dies and leaves Emma alone with her awful stepfather who almost killed her in a car crash. So she moves in with her aunt and attends a new school in the Upper East Side of New York - where students wear Christian Louboutin heels and carry Prada bags to school. There she meets Brendan, a gorgeous and exciting boy, and Angelique, the weird and wonderful school witch. Together, the three of them work out that Emma may have past lives with Brendan, but she's having odd dreams that are warning her to stay away from him. Which will she choose to follow? Her heart or her head?

I really liked Emma. She seemed very down to earth and I like how she was very 'normal' compared to the other kids at the school. She seemed like any girl you would find in a regular high school, not necessarily the most prestigious private school in New York. She was hard working and clever, and though people made fun of her and called her names, she didn't let it affect her too much, and she looked over the immature actions of the girls in her class who were jealous of her.

Brendan is also a good character in the book. He was written perfectly, with just the right amount of everything needed to make him the person everyone wants. He was cold and hard at times, and sweet and caring at others, and even though he could have been a rich snob who thinks the world of himself, he was definitely not. It was easy to see his love for Emma in the way that he handled all the difficult situations that they found themselves in, whether he was fighting for Emma, or looking after her after injuries... :)

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked from the first page. At the very beginning it is easy to work out who is who, and there isn't any long and boring world building at the beginning of the book, though there is just enough to grasp what the situation is without having to rack your brains to work out what is going on in the story. We find out who the goodies and the baddies are very early on in the book, and although perhaps the story would have been less predictable had these characters not been revealed for who they really are so early on, it was still enjoyable to read about. The end of the book is very predictable and the story ends quite abruptly, but I think it's nice for once to have a book that could nicely finish at the end of the first book, so we don't have to wait a year or so for the next one (though I could quite easily devour a second book...)

Overall, I enjoyed Spellbound much more than I thought I would, and it was a lovely surprise. I would definitely recommend it to all fans of young adult paranormal, especially those who like paranormal that isn't vampires and werewolves, as Spellbound is about magic and witchcraft. If you're looking for something fun and quick to read, then Spellbound is perfect. It comes out on June 28th, so go to your local bookstore and get yourself a copy because it is well worth the read.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for granting me access to this e-galley free in an exchange for an honest review. This in no way has affected my opinion of the book or the author.

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

2011 Debut Author Challenge #18
2011 eBook Challenge #13
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #30
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #52


  1. I am reading this now, and am about halfway through it. I am really enjoying it as well! Great review!! :)

  2. I wasn't sure if I'd like it either, but I seem to like similar things to you so I think I'll give this a go.

  3. I had high expectations and I wasn't disappointed. Spellbound was a really good read and I am glad you enjoyed it,too. Thanks for the review:)


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