|Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: June 21, 2011
My Source: NetGalley/Publisher
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. -(summary from amazon.com)
My Thoughts: This book was a lot of fun to read. In fact, I stayed up really, really late reading it. I got sucked into the romance between Emma and Brendan in a big way. While I thought it started a little bit slow for me, it quickly picked up the pace and I found myself really wanted to see what was going to happen with this girl!
At first, I really thought this book was going to be very witch-y. That made me a little bit nervous because of all of the types of paranormal books, I tend to like the witch ones the least. But this book was really about much more than witches.
The author spends a lot of time on the story of the romance between Emma and Brendan and how intensely and quickly it develops. It is important to lay this as a foundation because if you understand this, you will completely “get it” when the author brings in the backstory about the legend/curse of these two lovers. And then you will find yourself cheering for them out loud. And squealing at times. And maybe giggling too.
I love the way Ms. Shultz allowed us to see what Emma was thinking. It really gave us insight into her character, and it was really quite funny. She felt like a bit of an outcast at her new, upscale school and it is through these thoughts (in addition to what she is saying) that let us really understand what it must have felt like for her. The same applies with her relationship with Brendan. She spoke…and also thought…her feelings, and so we were able to see just how her feelings developed. Allowing us to peer into Emma’s thoughts gave us, as readers, an extra sense of the depth of who she was. I loved it.
I also really loved the dreams that Emma had. As you read this book, you will understand that Emma begins to have bizarre dreams that usually end…well, badly. In these dreams, Emma is always dying or something bad is happening to her. I loved these dreams almost as much as I loved the story because they were so vividly described and the imagery was wonderful. It was almost like I was dreaming them myself.
I highly recommend this book to YA readers and to adult readers who enjoy YA books. The romance part of it will appeal to those who love a good love story, and the paranormal aspect of it will appeal to those who love a good paranormal story. If you love both, you’re in for a real treat.