21 March 2012

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Published: 21st June 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Spellbound #1
Source: Own Kindle Copy

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. - From Goodreads

I was not blown away by the cover for this book, and I admit that it took me a while to getting round to reading it and clearing it out of my TBR pile. I picked it up when I received the second in the series from NetGalley! This book was not what I was expecting and in my mind it morphed during my reading of it from a romance to a paranormal romance.

Emma has moved in with her Aunt Christine in New York. After losing both her twin brother and her mother in the space of a year her alcoholic stepfather almost kills her in a car accident. It is at this point that Emma realised that she probably needs to be in a more stable environment. When she starts at the prestigious Upper East side school she meets Brendan, a mysterious guy she can't stop thinking about. As the school year progresses and Emma makes both friends and enemies and finds out that there may be more between her and Brendan than she first thought.

I liked Emma, she is a sweet, funny and strong character who does not dwell on her crappy past. There was the occasional niggle in the back of my mind that if it had been me that lost a twin and my mum that I might be a little more upset, but Emma just gets on with her life. Emma has a quick wit, that I often wish I had myself, coming back with brilliant one liners that often made her extra enemies. Brendan to me felt a little two dimensional. I don't think we get a good sense of Brandon and to an extent he feels a bit like an add on character. Now this is not to say that I did not thoroughly enjoy the scenes with him and Emma, I did, I just wish we knew more about him!

The rest of the characters were your standard characters for a YA paranormal romance. We had the cool and kooky aunt; the sweet and goofy younger cousin; the gay best friend; the bitchy blonde mean girl; the witchy best friend; and the douchey jock! Even though these characters were nothing new and we have seen them in books a thousand times before I liked reading them and thought they added to the story to make it richer and more enjoyable.

The story itself was a star crossed lovers type of story with a centuries old curse which would cause Emma's death if Emma and Brendan were together (not like that, just together! Tut-tut!). There was flash backs to the origin of the curse, for me this lasted a bit too long and I wanted to get back to the main story and find out what would happen next.

I liked this story. It started out a bit like a contemporary romance as there was practically no paranormal activity until a good way into the book and even then the paranormal takes a back seat to the romance in this story. I would be happy for this story to stop at the end of the book. I don't feel we were left with any cliffhangers, however this is part of a series and even though I feel no need to pick up the next book,  I will to see how the story continues next.

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