Thursday, June 30, 2011

ARC Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz

Author: Cara Lynn Schultz
Publication: Harlequin; Original edition (June 21, 2011)

Description: 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: This was a great young adult romance with something for the lovers of the paranormal too. It begins with Emma starting a new school. She has moved in with her godmother in New York City. She left her home in New Jersey because she couldn't live with her stepfather anymore after he involved her in a car accident caused by his drinking. Emma is a wonderfully snarky character. I laughed more than once while reading her descriptions of things. She has had a hard life being abandoned by her father, having her twin die of meningitis, and losing her mother to cancer. But she is resilient and courageous.

Her new school year doesn't start out really well. She is hit on by a guy named Anthony who is certain that he is God's gift to women but who gives her the creeps. She makes an enemy of Kristin who wants to be Anthony's girlfriend and who is constantly spreading rumors about Emma. But she makes friends too. Angelique is a witch and something of a social outcast but is friendly to her. Her cousin Ashley is a good friend and support too. And then there is Brendan...

Brendan is hot and seemingly disinterested in the girls at school. He takes one look at Emma though and falls for her. She looks back and is just as interested. But their relationship is complicated. It is particularly complicated by a 1000 year old curse that would have them fall in love and then lose each other. It is also complicated because of the jealousy of Kirstin and the erratic, violent behavior of Anthony.

This story was wonderfully romantic and had moments of sheer terror too. Both Emma and Brendan need to explore the depths of their souls in order to win through to happiness.

I think this book would appeal to romantics and lovers of the paranormal. The writing is crisp and often humorous. The story is compelling.

Favorite Quote:
This guy had more lines than loose-leaf.

"Oh, it was all my pleasure," Legally Bland said, leering at me. I'd always heard the phrase "mentally undressing someone with your eyes: but never had I actually seen it in action. This dude's eyes could perform a freakin' CAT scan, they were so thorough.
I got this one at NetGalley for review. You can get your copy here at Amazon.


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