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Upper East Side prep school meets fairy-tale-romance escapism in Shultz's debut.
In the wake of a series of family tragedies, Emma Connor escapes her wicked stepfather to live with her wealthy aunt in New York. She's the new girl at a small, posh private school. Having already had her fill of drama, Emma is content to remain invisible—until she lays eyes on rich, handsome Brendan Salinger. Emma crushes on him as only a teenage girl can, desperate for signals that he returns her feelings. But stranger things than the hottest and richest guy in school paying her attention are happening—streetlights die above Emma's head, and she dreams a warning from her dead twin brother. With the help of a classmate who is a practicing witch, Emma learns that not only are she and Brendan fated to be together, but they are also doomed by a curse. Aside from dealing with vicious cliques, lies and rumors at school, Brendan and Emma must find a way to break the curse before it claims her life. The 1,000-year back story of the curse is more fairy tale than historical, but then again, so is the love story. Emma's witty, charming narration makes her engaging and easy to relate to.
The familiar characters and tropes reincarnated into this story make for delicious brain candy for romantics.(Paranormal romance. 13 & up)
But for my first day as a junior at my new school—a ridiculously expensive private school on New York's Upper East Side—I was being walked to school by my baby cousin. A freshman.
It really wasn't that terrible. Even though we grew up apart, Ashley and I were email buddies. She was a sweetheart, there was no doubt of that, but if my knowledge of the inner workings of my familiar old New Jersey public school, Keansburg High, meant anything, I knew that juniors did not hang out with the lower classes. It was like hanging out with a bunch of vegetarians and wearing a bacon necklace.
Talk about unwelcome.
But it was important to my aunt Christine that I got to school early and she was afraid I'd get lost. My great-aunt had taken me in over the summer, and I'd learned quickly that when she got an idea into her head, you were better off just going along with it. I didn't want to argue with her—I owed her everything. My life, really. She'd been asking me to live with her ever since my mom died a year and a half ago,
leaving me with Henry, my stepfather whose blood-alcohol content hovered somewhere between "wasted" and "how is he even alive?" But after he nearly killed me last June with his particular style of driving (i.e., blasted), I stopped resisting Christine's offer.
Going from my aunt's place at Park and Sixty-eighth Street to the school at Park and Eighty-sixth Street is fairly basic: walk eighteen blocks left. But since she had been pretty cool about everything—stepping in, giving me a place to stay and leaving me with a "You'll talk to me if you need to" instead of hovering over me—I didn't press it.
Ashley was a bundle of excitement as soon as she stepped inside the door of Christine's three-bedroom co-op, her pink cheeks flushed, red curls pushed back by a black-ribbon headband. She's several inches shorter than me—I wouldn't put her past five feet. And that's giving a generous allowance to her curls.
"Hi Emma! Yay, first day! Are you excited? Do you like your uniform?" I smiled back. Her joy was infectious. You couldn't help but like Ashley—the girl never said a mean thing in all of her fourteen years. Then a black thought crept its way in: What if no one did like Ashley, and that was why she was so happy to have an ally? What kind of evil place was Vincent Academy, where someone could dislike a sweet little munchkin like Ashley? Calm down, Emma, you're going to give yourself a panic attack.
My smile got weaker, and I smoothed out my long-sleeved white Oxford shirt and black, blue and green Scotch plaid skirt that mirrored her outfit.
"You tell me, how do I look?" I asked her.
"You look fine," she chirped. "But why the long sleeves? It's soooo hot out. It's going to be like, seventy billion degrees today! Don't you have any short slee—"
Ashley looked at the ground and blushed, her red cheeks now matching her flame-colored hair. "Sorry, I forgot about the scar."
The blazing scar from the car accident had made wearing short sleeves an impossibility. Thanks, Henry. You're a champ.
"It's okay. I'm okay," I reassured her. "Don't worry about it. Really!" I added when I saw the expression in her eyes.
She had always looked up to me, even though she lived in the city and I lived in the country, so to speak. Being two years older had its advantages.
And now the city mouse was taking the country mouse under its paw.
After Aunt Christine had slipped me a twenty-dollar bill "for emergencies" and sent us on our way, I drew in Ashley conspiratorially and asked, "So what's the real deal on this school? I know the basic stuff, like how practically everyone goes Ivy League after graduation. But what's this place really
How I hoped, prayed, that it was like all those shows about rich, fashion-obsessed, drama-crazy New York teens who dressed like they were twenty-five. All the easier to stay in the background. I just wanted to get through the next two years and disappear to college. Preferably somewhere far away. Maybe Siberia.
"They like to say it's exclusive but that's just a nice word for it being expensive." Ashley giggled, toying with her oversize hoop earring. "It's the most expensive coed school in the city. There's a few girls-only or boys-only schools that cost more. So we're like our own little, I don't know, island, in the middle of it all. Everyone at Vince A more or less stays together."
"Oh." I tried to not sound disappointed.
In my head, I began rehearsing what I would say about the reason behind my move. Ashley didn't understand why I didn't
just say I moved from Keansburg, but then I told her how my high school paper insisted on doing a story on the dangers of drinking and driving, pegged to the incident with Henry. The editor was hoping to use her hard-hitting story as her one-way ticket into the journalism program at Columbia. I figured it doubled as her ticket to Hell. Those who hadn't heard about Henry through the gossip mill read about it, front and center in the Keansburg Mirror.
Google me. Google Keansburg. Guess what your first hit
Alcohol Turns Home Life Tragic and Ride Home Dangerous for Sophomore Emma Connor.
So moving from Philly was the story.
Ashley gave me a cursory rundown of the school and some of the things I'd come to expect from high school. The principal wore horrible suits. The uniforms were itchy in warmer weather. The cafeteria food was comically terrible, but you were allowed out at lunchtime once you were a junior.
We crossed Eighty-fifth Street, racing against the yellow light and slowing our walk as we headed to the entrance.
"Here we are!" Ashley announced, throwing her arms open with a flourish.
I regarded the gray building in front of me. It was an old mansion that had been converted into a high school, and it sure looked the part, with cool stone walls and windows hugged by lavishly scrolled molding. Vincent Academy wasn't too tall— just five floors, no taller than the stately, old-fashioned brick-and-marble buildings on either side—but to me, it seemed massive and imposing, like it was some bully crushing his way through a crowd of old ladies.
I was suddenly very, very nervous. Maybe the devil I knew was better than the devil I didn't know? Should I have stayed in Keansburg?
We were early—frozen in an ornate entrance hall where, off to the right, was the office I was supposed to check into as a new student. There were a few kids around—students who looked like they were posing for the Vincent Academy brochure. Girls strewn about here and there, draped over high-backed chairs while they studied from thick textbooks. There were a few boys too, in dark pants, white shirts and mostly undone ties, lounging on a wooden staircase with a scrolled banister, or carrying a basketball and pushing open the double doors in the rear to what looked like a fairly large quad.
Vincent Academy was one of the only coed private schools in Manhattan, a fact, as I looked around, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be happy about or terrified of. As I looked more closely at the girls, I saw that they matched their pristine uniforms with heels and expensive-looking boots. I looked down at my black tights and scuffed Mary Janes through my overgrown bangs—which were cursed with a cowlick—and grimaced. Big diamonds glittered in the ears of a long-haired, fake-tanned blonde, who was scrutinizing a calculus textbook and managing to look glamorous while doing so. In my ears? A row of three tiny imitation-silver hoops that I got at Hot Topic. On sale.
I decided to be happy. I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, since they tend to do pesky things like asking about your life and all that. I just wanted to be anonymous. And if this chick was any indication of what my classmates looked like, I was zero competition for any of these girls, who probably spent their morning putting on makeup and arriving at school in chauffeur-driven cars.
Ashley walked with me through the palatial hall to the office, her eyes eager to see a little bit of the hero she used to worship when we were kids. I smiled weakly and made a
lame slit across my throat with my index finger. She laughed and I headed inside.
"You must be Miss Connor." The woman sitting behind the tall wood counter regarded me with iron-gray eyes. They matched her gray hair, pulled into a tight, no-nonsense bun at the nape of her neck. She was even wearing a gray cardigan. I glanced at the nameplate on her desk.
No. Way. Ms. Gray? I blinked and looked again. Mrs. Gary. Close enough! I bet she was wearing gray granny panties, too.
"Yes, um, yes," I stammered. "I'm Emma Connor." How did she know who I was? "How did—did you know that?"
She smiled, and a very faint hint of warmth crept into those steely eyes.
"You're the only student I don't know, and there's only one new student due today." She smiled. "Let me get your schedule for you."
I groaned internally. I had forgotten how small Vincent Academy was. Keansburg High had 650 students. How could I hide in a school that barely had 200?
"Here you are, dear," the gray lady said, handing me my schedule. "Your first class today is on the third floor."
But my locker, well, my locker was in the basement, in a row of old lockers so out of the way, they were always the last to be assigned, falling to latecomers like me and unlucky freshmen.
"Stay there and smile," the gray lady instructed as I stood in the same spot, scrutinizing my schedule. "Miss Connor," she snapped, her voice sharp.
"Huh?" I looked up, and she was standing behind some large beige contraption. Suddenly there was a flash. It surprised me—it was too bright, and I saw spots everywhere.
"You can pick up your ID after lunch. In the meantime,
please fill these out." Oh, great, that's going to be an awesome picture. So sexy.
The gray lady handed me several small yellow forms, telling me to give them to each teacher as I walked into the room. I realized there was no way I was going to avoid the awkward "Hey, kids, we have a new student here" nightmare.
Please, oh, please, don't make me have to introduce myself. Don't make me tell them something about myself.
Hi, I'm Emma. I'm basically an orphan and my life sounds like a Lifetime Original Movie. My dad left when I was six. My twin brother died when I was fourteen. My mom got sick soon after that, and died when I was fifteen. I lose everyone I love. And this past June, my stepfather wrapped a car around a telephone pole with us in it. So now, I live with my aunt, I have no friends except for my cousin anymore, thanks to my jerk stepfather, and I still keep a journal with all my hopes and fears in it. Also, my favorite color is purple and I think baby animals are cute.
I finished signing my forms and returned to my cousin, who snatched the schedule from my hands, scrutinizing my teachers.
"Your Monday through Wednesday schedule is almost the same. You have Mr. D for chemistry. He has people call him Mr. D because his name is so long. That's good. He's supposed to be fair," she mused. "Ugh, Mrs. Dell. She suuucks," Ashley said, drawing it out dramatically. "Sorry about that. But hey, we'll be in the same class!"
I looked to see which subject she was talking about. Latin. Wait, Latin?
I realized I had been put in freshman Latin.
I never really paid much attention to which classes I'd actually be taking. Christine was on the board at Vincent Academy and pulled some strings to allow me to take the placement exams late—which was why I was starting three weeks after
the school year had already begun. I forgot that the Vincent Academy required students to take two years of Latin. All I knew about Latin was E Pluribus Unum.
I looked down at Ashley and tried to be optimistic about it. "Well, at least I have a friend in class!"
She smiled her billion-dollar smile and showed me to my locker, in a narrow hallway next to the chemistry lab and boiler room. I felt like some goblin, tucked away in the basement dungeon. I would not have been surprised if Freddy Krueger stored his books next to me.
"Okay, now I have to go to my locker." She smiled again, giving me an apologetic look. "It's on the second floor. I won't see you until Latin, which is the last class."
"After lunch," I replied woodenly. "Oh, crap!" I moaned.
"What?" Ashley looked alarmed.
I realized I couldn't tell her that I didn't want to go to lunch alone—and here, each grade took a separate lunch period because the cafeteria was kind of small.
"Nothing," I said, throwing on my brightest fake smile. "I thought I forgot to bring something."
"Oh. Okay, well, I'll see you in Latin. You'll hate it," she promised, then added, "but Mrs. Dell has a moustache so it's kind of funny to watch it move as she says anything that ends in '-ibus.' It truly flutters in the breeze," she added dramatically.
I giggled, and gave her a hug.
"Thank you," I said into her mess of curls, and gave her a bigger squeeze so she knew how much I really did appreciate it.
She bounced back to the stairwell and turned back to face me, looking older than the fourteen years I knew her to be. "You'll be fine." Ashley looked at me solemnly with her
giant blue eyes before skipping up the stairs, her overstuffed backpack bouncing up and down on her hip.
I eyed the emergency fire exit door and considered making a break for it.
"Don't be stupid, Emma," I whispered to myself. "Just two more years of high school. It can't be worse than living with Henry."
I shoved my notebooks into my locker and slammed the metal door defiantly. Here we go.
Posted May 8, 2011
Spellbound is a beautiful, modern day fairy tale. I was spellbound by this 'lost' love story between Emma and Brendan. Emma Connor, a smart, beautiful girl, definitely hasn't had a fairy tale life. She goes to live with her Aunt Christine in New York, and there she starts a new life at the private school, Vincent Academy-a rich, upper class society. All Emma wanted was to keep a low profile and make it through her last two years, but her destiny walks through the door of her English class as Brendan Salinger, a gorgeous, athletic, rich, and popular guy. Spellbound was an amazing read. I truly enjoyed seeing Emma, Brendan, and all the teen characters acting and talking like the real-today-teens. It pulled me right into their lives. This story had an incredibly strong plot that held me captive. Emma and Brendan's relationship is wonderful. I so love Brendan for how he adored and protected Emma, and Emma for her love for Brenda-to not give up on it no matter what. With the way this story ended, I'm confident there will be a second book to Spellbound. There is also a play list at the end of the book which I really like. You get to see more of Brendan and Emma's personal feelings and emotions for each other in the music they listen to. Spellbound is a must, must read!!! The romance in Spellbound is breathtaking!! Thank you Carla Lynn Shultz for this awesome novel.
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Posted July 16, 2011
Emma Connor was living a fairy tale life. Well, the first part- a.k.a the crappy part- of a fairy tale. First her twin brother, Ethan, dies of meningitis, and then her mother gets sick with cancer and marries so Emma won't be alone after she is gone. Fortunately for Emma her mother picked a real winner *sarcasm*. Henry, Emma's stepfather, believes that all answers to questions can be found in the bottom of a bottle. And let's just say he isn't a nice drunk. After a bad accident and a subsequent newspaper article, Emma feels more alone than ever before.
Finally, the better part of her fairy tale begins when her Aunt Christine asks Emma to live with her. Having no reason to stay with her stepfather, she packs her bags and moves to New York City where she will be attending a very exclusive and posh high school. All Emma wants to do is blend in and make it through her last two years of high school uneventfully. Then Brendan Salinger comes along and things start to get dangerous and interesting. If you think finding your reincarnated soul mate and then promptly dying a horrible death over and over and over again over the centuries is interesting. And that's not even mentioning all the high school drama Emma has to endure.
Spellbound was a really fun read. The plot, reincarnated lovers destined to find each other through the centuries, though done before, was still interesting and intriguing to read about. The romance was sweet (Brendan was so cute!) and the rivalries were bitter. My one complaint was there were some grammatical errors, and although it wasn't that distracting, it is still kind of annoying. My favorite error was "She put her head on her chin." Ha! I laughed at that one.
Overall it was a good read. If you like romance and the paranormal you should pick this book up.
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Posted November 9, 2012
When I finished reading this I kept on thinking about everything thing that happened. I love the characters( ahem BRENDAN) and I like how Cara Lynne Shultz explained everything about Brendans and Emmas past. It felt like I was under this books spell and couldn't get out. Even when I finished. Spellbound is captivating, romantic, and mysterious.
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Posted July 2, 2012
Posted August 10, 2011
: Oh. My. Goodness. This book seriously surprised me. Going into it, all I knew was that it was a YA paranormal romance. Boy, was I amazed to discover there was so much more. For starters, Cara Lynn Schultz successfully writes from a teenager's perspective. I never once cringed at the language used. (Don't you hate it when a YA author starts throwing around the word "Yo"). Actually, I really enjoyed Emma's voice. She was nice, funny, and completely relatable. She has insecurities, like every teenager. She worries about her hair, if she will fit in, and what Brendan thinks of her. Also, Emma is not a push over. Especially when it comes to the kids at school who constantly gossip about her. Cue the jerk: Anthony. He just makes Emma's life a living hell at school (and outside it). At first its just a matter of ego, but it soon turns into something much more dangerous. As the story progresses, Anthony's darker side surfaces. He is seriously insane. By the end, I was scared of him.
The second thing that literally brought this book up a full kiss was the fact that it a) has a tragic love story for a base; b) involves soul mates; and c) involves past lives/reincarnation. As you know, I love books that contain even just one of those. But this one contained all three! The tragic love story: Emma and Brendan are cursed to fall in love over and over again only to be torn apart by an untimely death. Something is different this time around. They might have a shot at breaking the curse. If they don't hurry, it could all end, once again.
Poor Emma. In every life she is born poor. This one was especially brutal for her. After her mom and brother die, she lives with her step-father who would rather drink and abuse her then man-up and be a father for her. After getting into a DWI accident with Emma in the car (she gets injured), Emma escapes to her aunt's home in NYC. Going to the exclusive Vince Academy has Emma feeling even more of an outsider with all the rich students (think Gossip Girl).
Yes, it does have a HEA. But, you know, it was still a lot of fun to read. The ending was suspenseful. The romance was lovely. And Brendan was just soooo cute. You can't see me, but I'm crossing my fingers hoping there will be a sequel.
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Posted May 15, 2012
I loved this book SO MUCH!! First off the characters are really great and the dialog very true. Emma is a girl that I could see as a best friend and learns that things are not what she expects when she moves from her home to New York City. Brendan is very drool worthy and the romance that they share is really true love. The mystery that unfolds is one I wasnt expecting and things move along fast enough to keep your attention. This is going to be a great new series and I highly recommend it!!
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Posted August 2, 2011
For being a debut author I felt that Cara Lynn Shultz did an amazing job. This book dragged me in and had me reading it until 4am... when I had to get up only a few hours later. Very rarely do I fall "head over feet" in love with a book, usually I like a book and get sucked in but I wouldn't really reread it again. However, this book has be lining up to buy it when it comes out. I really wish that I was in NYC for the book release and signing that Cara is doing.
Okay on to the good stuff and I promise that I won't give anything away. At first I had no idea what the cover meant. It is rare that you find a book that doesn't have just a posing girl in a ball gown or the typical head shot. So I was intrigued to see that the cover was of a girl (small compared to cover) walking under a bursting street lamp on a bridge. After reading the book it all makes sense since this is a significant (in my point of view) turning point in the book. That is when you realize something isn't quite right. Street lamps don't normally burn out and shatter one right after the other down the street, they just don't do that. So it was a breath of fresh air to finally see someone who put some extra thought into the cover art.
I liked that the story didn't sweat on the small stuff leaving you skimming pages just to get back to the story. Cara Lynn Shultz gave you just enough information to draw a picture in your head without over doing it. However, with that being said there were some parts that I just didn't like. First off, the secondary characters that were introduced didn't really play a huge part in the book after the initial introduction. Like her friend Cisco for instance, he is the first guy that is nice to her and he invites her out to see a band play but then he sort of just falls off the face of the planet. Okay, maybe there are a few cameos with him in it towards the middle to the end but I sort of feel like he was only there to introduce Emma and Brendan and that's it. The same thing can be said about Angelique even though she does appear a tiny bit more than Cisco due to her being a witch and having knowledge about the reincarnation scenario, she still doesn't pop up a whole lot towards the end either. It sort of felt like Cara Lynn Shultz forgot about the other characters in the book. The other thing that I was not really sure about was the insane rage that Anthony has. After a while I started thinking "Maybe he is possessed by the devil?" and then it turns out... nope he is just plain insane. I don't know if this is number one in a series or a stand alone book but I was sort of disappointed at the fact that they introduce Angelique who is a witch and yet there is no crazy spell casting.
Let's talk a bit about Brendan. Really, how could I not? Sometimes YA books can get a little cheesy and sometimes over do the whole "first love" thing but I think that it was adorable. my favorite part was when Brendan opted to drink bottled water over beer because he didn't want Emma to feel weird since she was the only one not drinking alcohol. Of course this is after he gives her his hoodie when he notices that she is cold. Chivalry is not dead in this boy, not in the least.
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Posted January 17, 2014
Posted July 2, 2013
Umm... I never read this book before but from all of the reviews and everything it just sounds like a lamer and less popular version of the fallen series. Not that I got to read that series yet either but yeah, the plot sounds exactly the same. Im just sayin...
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Posted June 22, 2013
Posted July 13, 2012
I have to say, Spellbound was written in a way which kept me wanting more. I honestly wanted to know which big event would happen next, how the story would end. The author did an excellent job keeping me in the story. Great hook, awesome teasers. I think the biggest issue I had with the storyline itself is the wait never really panned out to anything significant. The book seemed to lack a real challenge for the heroine, in my mind. As for Emma, she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. In fact, she even mentioned her own stupidity at one time. I can’t say I was fond of her. Some of the other characters were certainly amusing though. Still, I had a difficult time relating with the characters as high school students. Perhaps high school has changed a lot since my time. It just seemed as if the students acted more like adults than teenagers, while Emma acted like a second grader at his/her goofiest moments. All in all, this was a middle of the road read. Like I said, the book kept me involved until the end. I just expected a bigger bang and characters more high school-like. I received this from the publisher in exchange for a review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2012
If you’ve got a foothold in the book world, you’ll know that Spellbound has been all the rage lately. Book bloggers keep on reviewing it and giving it 5 stars, and it’s currently the 2nd most requested book on NetGalley.
But if you ask me? I don’t see what this hype is about.
Yes, Spellbound was a nice break from vampires and werewolves. Yes, Spellbound had a cute couple. Yes, Spellbound had interesting characters. Yes, Spellbound had an interesting plot.
But that’s not enough to reel me in, trust me.
Sure, Spellbound isn’t about vampires and werewolves. Lots of books aren’t these days, thankfully. (Otherwise I would give up on books, honestly.) But Spellbound is based on something that’s getting slightly old. Reincarnation. I’ve already read a few books about that.
Sure, Spellbound had a cute couple. Emma and Brendan are just adorable for each other, and they really do have chemistry. But honestly, their love for each other doesn’t seem real to me yet. Even with that ending of how to break the curse and how Brendan was willing to sacrifice himself for Emma, their love isn’t realistic. In fact, the ending made me even more convinced that their love isn’t realistic. That’s classic. It’s cheesy.
The characters? I wasn’t lying when I said that they were interesting. But I didn’t mean the main characters. Because in addition to their un-real romance, they are both un-real characters. Emma is a Mary Sue. Seriously, coming from a tragic past? Pretty and kind of smart? Has a rich and powerful aunt? And even though I love her for standing up for her younger cousin, Emma is not kick-butt. Snarky, yes (and I do admit that I love snarky protagonists), but not kick-butt. Did she kick Anthony’s butt? No. She had to be saved by the hero of the day, Brendan.
And Brendan? He’s DEFINITELY a Marty Stue. Without a doubt. Smart? Strong? Athletic? Incredibly hot? Devil-may-care attitude to everyone except Emma? It’s completely obvious. And I know it was necessary because Archer wanted him to be reincarnated as handsome and strong and smart and all of those things, but does it really have to be that obvious?
And the plot. It was definitely interesting watching Emma and Brendan trying to get past the curse, but it was completely predictable at times. I definitely found out about the reincarnated love far before Emma read about Archer.
And at times, the plot reminded me of Twilight. Pretty girl going to a new school, where she gets new friends and finds true love in a hot guy she meets? And this hot guy is different from all of the others because of whatever improbable reason? Yes, Spellbound was a tad bit Twilight-esque.
Now that I’ve got all the negativity out of my system, I’ll talk about the good things. I loved Angelique. Angelique is Emma’s best friend. And Angelique is a witch. A good one, that is. Angelique was amazingly considerate and supporting of Emma, trying to help Emma break the curse and convince Emma to get in touch with her inner witch.
I loved Cisco too. Though it was obvious from the moment that I met Brendan that Emma would end up with him, I half hoped that Emma would end up with Cisco . . . until I learned that Cisco was, unfortunately, not interested in females. But Cisco was realistic and friendly and everything I hope a friend could be.
Overall, Spellbound was a predictable book with unrealistic main characters, but I highly enjoyed Emma’s snarky attitude, Angelique’s witchy-ness, and the romance between Emma and Brendan.
Posted May 27, 2012
Posted May 31, 2012
Posted April 23, 2012
Posted April 20, 2012
I loved this book but it kinda lingered too much on Emma and Brendan..and after their first kiss its like every 8 pages they are making out...and that Anthony guy is creepy... overall though it is a very good book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2012
Spellbound is a story that is full of magic. Don't get me wrong, I'm a person who loves reading magic books, but this one had to include the insta love. Spellbound started off as an interesting book. The main protagonist, Emma, moves to live with her aunt in New York. She starts a new school, and meets new people. That's when she suddenly gets this unexplainable pull towards one of the guys, Brandan Salinger.
At first, Emma doesn't know that she's a witch. She doesn't understand the sudden pull towards Brendan. I liked how there were still the beginning awkward moments between the both of them, but as they both realized they were "meant to be", the spark kind of vanished. That's when I got a bit bored, because I just don't think insta love is possible, or even the slightest believable.
Throughout the book, it was Emma learning about her past life, and how she was reincarnated. Emma is a great protagonist, and she didn't annoy me the slightest bit. Brendan was a great guy as well. Rich, popular, and good looking. I can say that I enjoyed mostly everything, but what really bothered me was the reincarnation and the instant love.
Overall, the flow of the book was good. The characters were enjoyable. It got me laughing at parts, and got me really scared in others. If instant love doesn't bother you, I'm sure Spellbound is a book you will fall in love with!
Posted March 7, 2012
The story of SPELLBOUND follows Emma Conner who just moved to New York city to live with her aunt. With several secrets in tow she has to face a new school and new enemies but she also gets the chance to meet many new exciting people.
One of them is Brendan Salinger, he is good-looking, smart and destined to fall in love with Emma. And their love feels just perfectly natural and sweet. Although they are destined to be together, their developing relationship didn't feel forced or constructed for one second.
Interesting about Emma is that she's the girl who has two pasts with secrets that start affecting her new life in New York. On the one hand she's got a in her small hometown. On the other hand something inside of Emma has once lived in the Middle Ages. Now both pasts circling around personal and familiar conflicts and strokes of fate seem to affect Emma and Brendan's love in a very dangerous way that could not only tear them apart but mean death.
I immediately felt attached to Emma and Brendan and it's not only that the couple has some really cute scenes, but other characters like her loyal friends or relatives contribute to a great storyline and extremely entertaining dialogues aswell. One of my favourite secondary characters is Emma's cousin, Ashley, who is such a sweet and supportive person.
Conflicts in SPELLBOUND result from fate and a curse laid on the lovers many centuries ago that still seems to affect them in some way. But it wouldn't be a YA novel if there weren't also the prep school antagonists who can be pretty mean.
Shultz supports her fantastic debut novel with an exciting character cast, a great writing and the striking mixture of a fancy prep school, fashion and paranormalcy. I sense a few more mysteries and secrets being burried in the past that are only waiting to be reanimated in SPELLBOUND's sequel!
Gossip Girl watch out, with SPELLBOUND a strong rival is on its way. The story around Emma and Brendan not only convinces with the realistic and all-day meanings of being a teenager and fashionista in New York City, but is also well-supported by engaging paranormal elements! I consider myself totally spellbound, xoxo Miss Page-Turner
Posted March 3, 2012
Posted February 27, 2012