Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, Witchcraft
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Format: E-book
Spoiler Level: Barely there to Mild

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.

Have you read Fallen by Lauren Kate? Or any past-life romance type novels? If so you pretty much know the basic story line of Spellbound. Even with the similarities I was still completely absorbed in this book. Shultz creates beautiful writing and characters that I absolutely fell in love with. And, she definitely creates her own story in this paranormal genre.

Trouble and drama seem to plague Emma. Her father left when she was young. She lost her brother and mom, and her alcoholic stepfather almost killed her in a car accident. After her near death experience Emma decides it's time for a change.

The book begins when Emma moves to New York to live with her Aunt Christine which was the best thing this girl, with a little dark cloud of a life, could have done. She attends an elite private school, which unfortuneately houses some elite snobs. Then she meets Angelique, the school witch (who helps her figure out some things about herself and her life), and develops a major crush on the untouchable bad boy. Said bad boy, Brendan, plays his emotions hot and cold from one day to the next and Emma can't figure him out. What she can figure out though is that she likes him, a lot.

Going into the book I didn't realize what it was going to be about. As I said, the likeness to Fallen is there. It didn't really bother me, a lot of books are alike. But, that said, I know some people may have a problem with the similarities, so I'm just pointing them out in advance.

I really liked this book. I love the age old lovers angle, and enjoy I always enjoy supernatural books. It definitely has both elements. Emma and Brendan's relationship speeds on through, and once we understand the history behind the story this romance makes a little more sense.

One aspect of the story I'm not sure how I feel about yet was the seemingly fast resolution. It's a curse and a blessing in my opinion. While I loved knowing how the story plays out in one book, I also felt like Ms. Shultz could have had a killer series on this story of Emma and Brendan. Making the suspense keep us coming back for more.

If you're looking for a good summer read from a wonderful author I definitely recommend this one. Emma's a tough cookie, which we all know I love strong female leads. She holds her own thanks to Cara Lynn Shultz and I can't wait to see what else this great writer has in store for us in the future!

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  1. Great review! Just found your blog from a link on Twitter. I reviewed Spellbound the other day & agree on a lot of points. I was surprised by the negative reviews I keep seeing of it, since it's generally a pretty fun, interesting, easy read.

    What do you teach? I just went back to school to get my teacher certification, so I can't resist asking!

    Following your blog now, so I'll be back. (I'm over at StoryboundGirl.com & am @StoryboundGirl on Twitter.)

  2. Thanks! I really liked it!

    I love teaching! I'm certified to teach up to 8th grade, and am currently dabbling in the Pre-K area, which is fun but I really miss the older kids that I can talk about books with! I'll be in Pre-K this summer and next year and then we'll see!!

    I'm heading over to your blog now! Thanks for the comment!!

  3. thanks for sharing your thoughts about this book! i have been wanting to get a copy of this and your review really helped me decide... to look for it! :D

    i'm a new follower!

  4. Really want to read this one. That cover just looks so haunting for some reason.

  5. I really want to read Spellbound now! The cover's amazing and I'm dying for some romance...

    New follower :D

    Felicia @ A Novel Paradise