Friday, 3 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Spellbound

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Genre: YA, Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: PG
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 4*

[Goodreads | Amazon]


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 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.

My Thoughts

So when I really started to get into book blogging and reviewing, this was one of the books that I really, really wanted to read.  I was originally drawn to the cover of the book and that is what originally prompted me to choose to read a synopsis of the book when I was browsing on the GoodReads website. (I confess, the cover is usually what draws me into any kind of book).  In my experience with YA books, they can be very hit or miss.  There is usually no happy medium with them and in my opinion fall into either the good or the bad categories.

Well, let me just start off by saying that Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is a hit and can definitely be placed in the good pile.

What I really love about this book is that even though it falls into the paranormal YA pile, it is not super unrealistic and overly melodramatic.  There is a steady build up in the story and you never feel like you are either being overwhelmed with information or not receiving enough at any given time.

I love that the main character Emma has faced adversity and heartbreak.  What I love even more is that she hasn't let that same adversity and heartbreak break her or crush her spirit.  She continues to soldier on rather than giving up and going all woe is me, she makes the best of the life that she has now found herself in through no fault of her own.  Does it mean that she doesn't experience sadness or upset due to her situation?  No, it doesn't.  Rather she finds constructive ways to deal with her life and what is going on around her.

Cara Lynn Shultz does sarcasm and self-deprecating humor right.  It's not forced, it's not contrived, and it comes across as genuine and a part of the character's personality.  It's used correctly as a tool to illustrate the depth and versatility of the character rather than for comedic effect.  Although, I did find the description of one character's tan absolutely hysterical.  I mean, what is it with this whole tan/fake tan thing?  I mean when did it become acceptable to turn your skin into something resembling cured leather?

The book was an easy read and the characters were likeable, some more than others.  I honestly think that the story works fairly well due to it not being too outrageous.  I mean who hasn't experienced a feeling of deja vu before?  Who hasn't experienced moments of premonition or insight of some sort?  Who hasn't met someone and felt an instant connection to them that they just couldn't explain?

All in all, this was a good book and it was worth the read.

Disclosure: This review was done after reading an uncorrected ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and HarlequinTeen. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don’t do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews for any book/galley/ARC sent to me for review.  I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at


Andrea said...

Thanks for a great review. I've been wondering about this book & you've convinced me to give it a shot!

Scribal Goddess said...

Weekend Review ahoy!

This is a great review, thanks so much. You're right, not many people do sarcasm and self-depreciation right, but when it works it's incredible - that's what I loved about the Hex Halls as well.

This is going on my "must read" pile! Thanks again.

Jamie @ Bookerella said...

I've been hearing about this book everywhere and I think it looks absolutely awesome! I first have to say that I too am always immediately drawn to pretty/interesting covers. The synopsis of this book sounds fascinating and unique, and the fact that you really connected and liked the main character is of course a huge plus for me. I seriously can't wait to read this book, thanks for sharing your great review! Oh yeah, and I came here from Weekend Review Club!

Post a Comment