Monday, September 19, 2011

Spellbound ~ Cara Lynn Shultz (eARC) review

Apologies for the fewer posts last week while I wasn't feeling well, but here's a new review:

Spellbound (Spellbound #1)
Harlequin Teen
June 21, 2011
352 pages

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?

Emma Conner has to move to New York City and start over at a new school after some particularly troubling events happen in her life. Worse yet, she's doing it alone. Moving in with her aunt, Emma is starting over at the fancy Prep school her cousin Ashley, two years younger and a freshman, attends.

Desperate for a true fresh start, Emma decides not to tell everyone the true story behind her move to New York (involving her father's leaving when she was young, her mother and brother's deaths, and her unfortunate step-father). But things don't quite go all that easily for Emma anyway.

The head mean girl in the school immediately has Emma on her radar. And there's more than a bit of trouble possible from Anthony, the guy who says he's dated (or done otherwise) with nearly every girl and now wants Emma . . .

But there's also Jenn, the girl who's sometimes nice to her, Angelique the witch (literally) in her class, Cisco who might be a good friend, and Brendan . . . yes, Brendan. The boy who draws her attention every time he walks in to a room.

If only Emma could focus on figuring out Brendan instead of why the popular crowd has it in for her or why streetlights seem to love exploding over her head or why she hears her dead brother's voice warning her in her dreams.

Spellbound is a supernatural book where you can't reveal a ton of what it's about without being too spoiler-y, it is a lot different from other paranormal books I have read (YA and adult both). A lot of the story does hinge on the romance, though - it's a big part of the story, after all. For what ever reason, I never felt any connection(/spark/anything extra special) between Emma and Brendan. That seemed to prevent me from really getting into and enjoying Spellbound. I liked the premise of the book, but since the romance was carrying said premise, it didn't really work that well for me.

I did really like the relationship between Emma and her cousin, Ashley. Emma had a lot going on - either being the new girl and negotiating that or different things later or - but she always seemed to really care about and love her cousin and watch out for her. It was nice to see a female lead in a novel (especially a YA one) not forget about her friends (even if this one was family) once a guy came along.

The secondary characters were all unique and individual. Each of them added something to the story and I liked that while they did help the main characters' story along, they also were interesting in their own right.

Overall, this one didn't really work for me, but that's because I didn't feel the connection between the two main (romantic) lead characters - the other parts of the story I did like.


thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this

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