Thursday, June 30, 2011

SpellboundTitle:  Spellbound
Author:  Cara Lynn Shultz
Series:  n/a (at this time)
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  June 28, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

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.

I liked this story more than I probably should have. It has insta-love, a predictable plot-line (and one that is very reminiscent of another I've recently read), too many pop-culture references, and some unoriginal characters, but I loved it all the same. It was a light, fun read, and probably just what I needed after reading the eerie Imaginary Girls.
The storyline has promise and clearly paved the way for a series, hopefully more intent on exploring witchcraft than this first novel. The curse served as the basis for Emma and Brendan's story, but based on the excerpt at the end of the ARC I read, told from Angelique's perspective, I think we'll probably see less love story and more witchiness in future books.

I enjoyed the main character. She made me chuckle quite a few times and she was gutsy. And who couldn't adore the swoon-worthy Brendan with his mess of dark hair and penetrating green eyes? The characters were all perfectly lovely in their own way, but they just seemed a little stock to me, so hopefully the author will have more of a chance to develop them with future novels. (I keep saying that because I read elsewhere that there was recently an announcement that this would become a series. I have seen nothing official, and it's not listed as a series on Goodreads, but I'm hoping.)

I know it's next to impossible not to make comparisons when reading, but I really try not to. I've seen such comparisons made in other reviews of this book, but I won't do the same because, despite my qualms with this novel, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it and feel that it deserves to stand alone and not be compared to its predecessors. I definitely recommend it to anyone who just likes a good love story, but also to those who can see the promise in a first novel, knowing that all endeavors are made better with practice.

Next up for review:  Misfit


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