Author: Cara Lynn Schultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Paperback; 324
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note.
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Those looking for a sweet, simple, story.
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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.
Going in to Spellbound I truly had no idea what I was in store for. I rather like going into a book with little to no knowledge about what's inside. I feel like it makes the book that much more of an experience. So, when I opened up to the first page I had no expectations other than to read a good story.
As a character, Emma is a sweetheart. Really and truly. She wants to blend into the background, but her bubbly personality just won't let her. As a result she attracts a lot of attention, both good and bad. Emma is spunky, outspoken, and just a lovable character. The fact that she isn't afraid to stand up for herself made me dance around the room. A female character who isn't a shrinking violet? Yes please! Add in her friendship with her younger cousin, and you have a character that I really fell in love with.
Sadly, that's where the love affair ended for me. Emma's interactions with the characters around her were fun, but those characters were kind of one-dimensional to me. Even Brendan, who she is inexplicably drawn to, didn't really come to life. In fact I sometimes found myself annoyed with him. I won't spoil, but the way he reacts to their attraction rather bothered me. I just felt like their story was so contrived. Girl meets boy, is inexplicably drawn to boy, unforseen circumstances keep them apart, cue ending that I won't spoil. That's it.
To be honest, I think I was just expecting a little bit more from these characters, and so Spellbound was a "just so" book for me. I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with it. Like all books that fall into this category for me, it just didn't have that spark that will keep me coming back. I'm fully willing to admit I might be a bit jaded due to all the books in this genre I've read lately. I can see a lot of people falling in love with Emma and Brendan's story.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.