Review: Spellbound

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: SpellboundSpellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Spellbound #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 21, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 341
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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 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.

Honestly, I really was not expecting much from Spellbound. I imagined it would be a simple teenage romance novel, complete with instalove and completely disgusting couple scenes. Thus, I was incredibly surprised to find that I was wrong (rare though that occurrence may be) and that Spellbound definitely stands above the average teen fare.

While the whole plot of Spellbound does involve what I have termed instalove, it is much better done than in a lot of YA. I don’t want to spoiler anything, so I can’t be too detailed as to why it makes sense in this case. Generally, though, despite the great attraction the two main characters feel to one another, they do try to fight it, in ways that are rather familiar to anyone who has gone through high school. So, while their romance is unrealistic, that’s because this is fantasy and, accepting the fantastical plot, I think it has been well done.

What really made Spellbound an utter pleasure for me to read, though, was not the romance or the sexily disheveled hero of the piece. Shultz clearly loves pop culture and references it constantly. At pretty much every reference, I really just wanted to give her a high five for her sense of humor and her good choices. While I did not love everything she referenced, I think the references were well-woven and fit with the personality of the narrator.

I definitely ended up being quite impressed with this novel. Spellbound is ultimately just a flight of fancy, not a great literary work, but I highly recommend it to anyone looking for fun, romance and magic. There is also a pretty dang convincing horror scene in there, too. Recommended to people who liked The Eternal Ones (or who liked the idea and thought it could have been waaaay better).

 

2 responses to “Review: Spellbound”

  1. The cover of this book looks very interesting! From your review it sounds like it was better than expected. I will put it on my list for when I am looking for something fast and fun!

    ~Jess
    http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

  2. Nori says:

    Want! Sounds like such a good read.

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