Book Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
344 pages, Published by Harlequin Teen
Cara's information: Twitter | Website | Facebook
Buy The Book: Amazon
From Goodreads:

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:

This contains a couple of spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is a a fish out of water story about a young girl named Emma who goes to live with her great aunt in New York City. Emma comes from a humble background and has trouble adapting to the fancy private school her wealthy Aunt has her attend. In addition to dealing with a new home environment and trying to find new friends amid a sea of unfriendly sharks, Emma begins having dreams of herself in past lives and has reason to suspect that she is destined to be with Brendan, one of her classmates at her new school.

I love the reincarnation/love curse storyline between Emma and Brendan. Emma is a likable, spunky teen, and she has some truly hilarious comebacks for the mean girls at her school. I also liked Brendan, Emma's love interest. He has that smoldering, sexy loner thing going on. I was definitely rooting for them as I read the book.

My only critique is that I wish the witchcraft storyline were a little more detailed. I would have liked for Emma's natural aptitude for witchcraft to have been showcased in a couple of extra scenes. There are several legends, flashback scenes and dream sequences within the book that help tell a kind of story within the story. I loved these scenes, especially one called "The Legend of Lord Archer." Shultz has a knack for accurately portraying the brutality of high school mean girls (and boys) within the framework of a fascinating paranormal storyline. Overall, I enjoyed Cara Lynn Shultz's novel, and I recommend it.

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