Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

2011, 2011 debut author challenge, Cara Lynn Shultz, first in a series, Harlequin Teen, NetGalley, review, young adult 1 Comment 8th September, 2011

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: June 28, 2011
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Paperback, 324 pages
Series: Spellbound #1
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

I always like a story with a past life that can somehow be remembered. That’s a good way of being immortal. You still die but you’re reborn. Not quite so lonely that way, since you can die with the people you care about, and start the process all over again. Except with Spellbound, Emma keeps gravitating towards Brendan in each life, and always dies. That kind of sucks.

Brendan is definitely a lovable male lead. He jumps in to help her out on her first day with a lie she’s telling, since she doesn’t want people knowing why she had to move. I also loved that he had green eyes, as green is my favorite color and would definitely be sexy on a guy. I could have done without the all-consuming love almost from the beginning, I almost always prefer a gradual build-up to that. Angelique was an awesome friend for her to make, although I didn’t really see any point in introducing her, and then pulling her away from the story for a while. She was there to help Emma, so why keep her out of half the book with the flu?

The danger that could have cost Emma her life surprised me, since I thought it would be something like what had happened in past lives, like a fire she couldn’t escape or something. I always like it when books can surprise me like this, although in hindsight I can definitely see that the author was pointing towards this outcome all along with certain events that happen throughout.

Spellbound is a light romantic read with plenty of otherworldly elements to keep you entertained throughout the story. There is a confirmed sequel, so I’ll be interested to see what Cara does with these characters, since Spellbound wrapped up Emma and Brendan’s storyline very nicely. I’m definitely hoping that Angelique may be the focus of the next book. I would love to see more of her.

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