Published by Harlequin Teen on 6/21/2011
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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.\r\nBut 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.
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is an interesting twist on yound-adult, paranormal romance. There is certainly something fun about a book that details reincarnation with an ugly, prophetic curse. Shultz does a good job investing you in her central character, Emma Connor, who has come to live with her Aunt after losing her twin brother, her mother and very nearly, her life. Her life starts over at Vincent Academy (Vince A for short), where she immediately makes friends and enemies. It takes awhile to understand the paranormal element in Spellbound, but it certainly is unique. I won’t spoil the book by detailing what it is, because much of Spellbound is wrapped up in that very specific thing, and including that in my review would probably ruin it for you. But that is probably the only unique thing about Spellbound. Otherwise, it draws heavy comparisons to Twilight and Vampire Academy. I bet if I’d ever read Gossip Girl (or even watched the show), I’d be able to compare it to that, as well. How It Compares To Twilight: Emma leaves her home and school to live with another relative and start over. So does Bella. Emma meets a tall, dark handsome classmate. So does Bella. Emma is from a modest background. So is Bella. Emma is humble. So is Bella
How It Compares To Vampire Academy: Emma attends an elite, expensive private school. So does Rose. Emma meets a tall, dark handsome guy. So does Rose. Emma has to deal with malicious gossip from her classmates. So does Rose. Emma is in a near-fatal car accident. So was Rose (alright, she technically died, but that is just a pesky detail).
I could continue on both tangents, but you get the picture. Overall, Spellbound is a solid book with great, snarky writing, and there are certainly interesting characters within its pages that I’d enjoy knowing more about. The paranormal element was fun to read about and learn, specifically the passages detailing the history. Emma is a likeable, if somewhat whiny, protagonist with a sarcastic bent (something that really tickles my fancy). If you enjoy a paranormal romance (and hey! No love triangle in this one, folks!), you’ll like Spellbound.
The slick smile was back on his face as James Blond spoke directly to my shirt’s third button. Great. My first day and I attract the attention of the biggest manwhore I’ve ever met.
About The Author
(courtesy of bio on author’s site) Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter. She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at PEOPLE.com. Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people. Spellbound is her first novel.