Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Release Date: June 28th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I will admit that the first thing that drew me into this book was the cover. I mean come on, tell me you don’t see that and want to know what is going on. I was scrolling through NetGalley, saw that image and instantly stopped and had to read the summary for the book. The summary just upped the intrigue for me and I immediately requested it. I tried to wait closer to the release date to read it (since I have a lot of books to read that release before this one) but it just kept calling to me. So I bumped up it in the “to be read” pile and dove in.
I immediately loved Emma and her internal as well as external dialogue. She was quick to dish out the clever remarks and her references to awesome music such as Paramore. I also enjoyed her random comments about smells. For example her cousin, Ash, sprays her with perfume and she responds by saying:
“Oh, come on, Ash, that smells like a unicorn fart,”
I was laughing at loud multiple times at these random comments and was surprised how easily I fell in step with Emma.
As for her mystery man, Brendan, he was having the opposite effect on me. He was very hot/cold with Emma in the beginning and it was driving me crazy. I was proud to see her call him out on his obnoxious attitude a couple of times. His behavior is all explained eventually, but warming up to him took a little longer for me.
Once the two of them do get together it is an all-consuming love scenario, but this one does have a logically explanation behind it so I did not mind. The dialogue between Emma and Brendan was cute banter and normal teenage stuff for the most part, but when the conversations turned romantic there were a couple of lines in there that were a little over the top for me. It did not take away from the story, but interrupted the pace a little because I was laughing when I probably should have been swooning. Overall though, I enjoyed seeing the two of them together trying to work through their problem and figure out a way to stay together.
I am not going to say exactly what the paranormal element is in Spellbound is because it does not come out until later in the book, but we have seen it before in the young adult world. That being said though, I think Cara still puts her own spin on it and I loved the new ideas she brought to this genre. They kept me interested in learning more about Emma and her world and how exactly Brendan fit into it.
This book does focus on the romance quite a bit, which I did not mind at all. I normally want my paranormal elements to be more prevalent, but I enjoyed the pacing for this book and the natural build for the relationship between Emma and Brendan. I also loved the heart pounding ending. I was gripping my kindle a little too tightly at the end racing to try and see how everything would turn out. I was not expecting to be that immersed in the ending, but I was completely captivated for the last 100 pages and could not part with the book until I knew the outcome.
I have heard this is part of a series, but I know if it did not turn into one I would be perfectly content. The book ends on a good note, there are of course some unanswered questions, but I think it could stand on its own and not necessarily be turned into a series. If there is another book published though, I will definitely be reading it. Spellbound kept me interested from start to finish and even though I have a copy through NetGalley, I will still be going out to buy my own copy! 🙂
FTC: I received an ARC of this book through the publisher and NetGalley.