Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Source: Net Galley eARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.I started reading Spellbound with little to no expectations but pleasantly discovered that it was a cute, charming and quick read.
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 really liked the main character, Emma. I thought she seemed normal with a healthy amount of spunk (you can never have too much spunk, guys... well, maybe). The deciding factor for me with Emma was the fact that she stood up - a little blindly, perhaps - for the people she loved. She wasn't afraid of confrontation and I really found myself cheering her on as she took on the bad guys. My favourite character, regardless, remains to be Ashley, Emma's cousin. Can you say adorable?
The plot, overall, was nothing unheard of. A lot of the elements have definitely been used before, but I think they worked for the story at hand. One thing I really liked was the mythology aspect (the curse). I could see the characters working through to discover what the visions and such really meant for them at a pace that made sense and I just genuinely found myself interested in it.
I thought Cara did a fantastic job with the climax onwards of this story. I was stunned with one event and then, all of a sudden, the plot sped up like crazy. Towards the end, I was racing through the pages to see what would happen to Emma and Brendan (whom I didn't really get to speak of, but I did like!). The whole experience of the novel was kind of like one of those roller coasters where you slowly inch your way up to the top, feeling pretty comfortable, and then, suddenly, go crashing down unexpectedly, feeling thrilled the whole time.
All in all, a great read! Thanks to Harlequin Teen for the chance to read this novel early.
Cover Comments: I like it a lot actually! I can actually pinpoint where all of those things fall directly in the story which I really appreciate. The font that was used for the main title is really interesting, too - I like how whirly it is.