Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Cara Lynn Shultz’s Website
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Borrowed from public library
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary 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 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.

My Thoughts:

I really, really liked this book.  In fact, I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.  I read it in one sitting, and stayed up way too late finishing it.

Emma is a fantastic, well developed main character.  Although she has had a lot of terrible things happen to her, there was no “woe is me” business.  She is funny, independent, certainly no pushover, but still vulnerable as well.  I couldn’t put the book down, because I had to know how it was going to end.

Brendan was awesome!  I mean, seriously!  Where were the guys like him when I was in high school?  I loved how protective of Emma he was, but he didn’t treat her like she was incapable of taking care of herself.

Most of the secondary characters were not one-dimensional, which was fantastic.  Emma’s cousin Ashley, and Angelique, Emma’s friend from school, were wonderful to read about.  There were a few characters that were very one-dimensional, though.  Kristin and Anthony particularly.  I mean they were just so bad with no redeeming qualities.  But sometimes it nice to have characters like that.

One thing that bothered me a little bit (but not that much) was how Shultz portrayed the people in Vincent Academy.  It was just a little bit unrealistic.  I mean the way the kids acted.  I don’t remember high school being quite like that.  Not that high school was all candy and roses, or anything.  But it certainly wasn’t that bad.

Also, there were some editing issues, that pulled me out of the story.  I had to re-read some sentences because they would have an extra word in it that would make the statement odd.  That is really more about editing, though, and certainly not a critique on the story.

A few other things I loved:

  • No love triangles!!!!!!  I am not a huge fan of love triangles, so it was wonderful that there wasn’t one in this book.
  • Aunt Christine.  She was awesome!  All those reality TV shows she was DVRing – hilarious!
  • No cliff hanger ending.  Although the second book, Spellcaster, was released at the end of March, this book felt like a complete story.  Series are wearing me out a bit.  I want more stand alone  novels.

Although there are some paranormal elements in this book, this book isn’t a heavy paranormal fantasy.  It is more like a contemporary novel with a few fantastical elements thrown in.

I definitely recommend this one.  If you haven’t read it yet, put it on your to-read list.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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1 Response to Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

  1. fakesteph says:

    This sounds like I have to keep an eye out for it. Fleshed out characters, humor, no love trianle, no cliffhanger ending! I will definitely be checking it out.

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