Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Review} Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

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.
Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Publication: 28th June 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
384 pages

My review

I love this cover, I find it utterly gorgeous and lovely. And, after reading this book, I can say that it's really an excellent choice, it represents and symbolizes this story to perfection. This novel starts quite slowly, I was a bit afraid in the beginning because I wasn’t interested in Spellbound at all - and now I'm a bit ashamed to say this, since at the end I so loved this book -. I wasn't able to relate to the characters, and especially Emma, even if I found her past really tragic. But then, after perhaps fifty pages, I got into the story, I was totally hooked and couldn't put it down. Finally, I totally loved this book and it was an awesome read.

In Spellbound, we meet a young teenage girl, Emma. Life has not been really easy for her, as she has lost nearly everyone, but it seems that luck is turning around - or perhaps not, we can never know. After the first fifty pages, I really loved her character, she is strong, determined and really funny while she could have been depressed and sorrowful. She has some weaknesses, as everyone, but she doesn't let sadness takes over. She is believable and has real reactions. Her mourning is really touching and moving, especially her grief for her brother.

If it was, at the beginning, a little hard for me to find Brendan appealing, I must say that after a few pages he was very close to Prince Charming. He is really handsome, cute and adorable. I think I may have fallen in love with him. Between Emma and him, things build quickly, but naturally. It was really entertaining and delightful to see them discovering each others. The secondary characters are also very well-described, as Cisco, Ashley or Angelique for example. All the characters are important and have something to bring to the story.

The dialogues are often sarcastic and very funny. Emma has a quick and sharp tongue, she is witty and I always love this kind of character. Cara Lynn Shultz's writing is totally pleasant and entertaining. It's smooth and flows naturally. There are numerous references scattered throughout the story and I often smiled and laughed, thanks to these allusions or to the tasty dialogues. After the beginning, a bit slow-paced for me, the plot becomes faster and the twists are abundant. The legend and the historical aspects totally captivated me, I found them utterly interesting and enthralling. The descriptions are also perfectly written, they take the reader to New York and it was really easy for me to visualize the atmosphere of this school. However, they never slow down the plot and are not boring at all.

Even if some moments are a bit predictable, especially because the summary reveals a lot of things - however I've tried to find another way to sum up Spellbound, but I really can't see how - the story is utterly pleasant, captivating and entertaining. In my opinion, it was a wonderful and awesome read. The theme is not very original, in fact you can find this kind of subject in Elixir by Hilary Duff for example, or, as I'm French, in Marc Levy's novels (a French author). However, Cara Lynn Shultz manages to renew it a bit and I spent a very good time with this novel. I think one of the strengths of Spellbound is the dialogues that are totally funny. I love sarcastic and snarky dialogues so I was delighted. Moreover, the story is really cute and the characters are endearing.

To sum up, even if it starts a bit slowly I totally loved Spellbound. Humor, romance, exciting action, twists and a touch of the supernatural: here is what's waiting for you in this novel. Everyone will be able to find one or several aspects appealing for him. I was a bit sad when the book was over, but really happy to have read it. It is a very promising debut for Cara Lynn Shultz and I can't wait for her next books. Spellbound's ending is really adequate, and I loved it, but it seems that there will be a sequel; I'll buy it without a doubt and I can't wait for it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

A copy was provided by the publisher, via Net Galley, against my completely honest review. Thank you.


  1. Great Review Lilie! I won this one on a book tour so I'm waiting for it to come. No worries though I'm still unpacking! I've read many reviews and everyone says they had a hard time getting into the first part of the book, then fell in love with it. I'll go into it with that in mind. I don't think I knew it was a series. I thought it was a stand alone. Good to know.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Thank you Heather for your comment and for my review :D I thought it was a stand alone too but after I've seen on Cara's website that she's working on the second one. It could have been a standalone, I mean no cliffhanger and all but I'm happy and I hope the sequel will as good as this one :) I hope you enjoy it, I'll check your review! And good luck for unpacking :)

    Have a wonderful week :)


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