by Cara Lynn Shultz


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373210305
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 06/28/2011
Series: A Spellbound Novel , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 11 Years

About the Author

Cara Lynn Shultz is the author of Spellbound and Spellcaster. She's a proud graduate of Fordham University and her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press,The Guardian UK, and countless posts on Facebook (Facebook.com/CaraLShultz) and Twitter (@CaraLynnShultz). She lives in her native New York City with her husband, cat, and eight million other people.

Read an Excerpt

It's always embarrassing to have someone take you to school. Your dad, your mom, anyone with her hair in rollers.

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.

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Spellbound 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 163 reviews.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
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.
writingirl_15 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
BBandReveries More than 1 year ago
: 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.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
megtall on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Oh my goodness! Once I started reading Spellbound, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late and woke up early just to keep reading! This is definitely the BEST paranormal YA lit novel I've read so far this year. I loved the seamless meld of action, romance, magic, drama, angst, and the ending....don't even get me started.Brendan and Emma are the somewhat stereotypical teens: he's the brooding baddish boy and she the new girl in town, who everyone seems to dislike at first. But, the story gets so deep, and I actually wondered several times what was going to happen. Now, I've read a LOT of YA lit as it is not only a fun genre, but as a YA librarian, and this is one of the best I've read in quite some time. I really loved Emma because she was strong and independent and had her own personality. Lots of YA protagonists are cookie-cutter, but not Emma. And I think that makes her sort of a role model. I will definitely be recommending this to my patrons and co-workers and have already placed my acquisition request for Spellbound. Really, it was excellent. And, there wasn't a vampire or werewolf to be found, which makes me even happier.
booktwirps on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Emma Conner has had a fairly rough life. Her twin brother died when she was fourteen, and her mother recently passed away, leaving her in the care of her abusive, alcoholic stepfather. When her aunt brings her to live with her in New York City to attend a posh private school in the Upper East Side, the most she can hope for is to get through school without any more drama. That plan is turned on its head when she meets Brendan Salinger, the hottest and wealthiest guy in school. Soon, people are talking about her, and she finds herself the target of the resident mean girl who feels that Emma doesn¿t belong at the school, let alone with Brendan.Even though Brendan¿s attitude towards her is hot and cold, Emma can¿t stop thinking and dreaming about him. Something has drawn her to him, and no matter how hard she tries, she can¿t get him out of her head. The dreams she is having are less than pleasant. Someone (or something) is trying to warn Emma to stay away from Brendan. It¿s up to her to figure out why.Spellbound is a fresh paranormal romance by Cara Lynn Schultz, and one that I enjoyed. I didn¿t know what to expect when I started this book. Lately I¿ve found myself feeling rather indifferent to this type of book, but I was pleasantly surprised here. Schultz has crafted a modern-day fairytale that is well-written, very vivid, and well-executed. The characters are all very strong and believable. I found myself wanting to jump through the pages and protect Emma against the resident bad boy and mean girl. The back-story surrounding Emma and Brendan is very compelling. My only gripe with the book is that the resolution seemed to come too easily. I expected something more. I did notice that this book is listed as a series, so perhaps it was just setting us up for future installments. All in all, I really enjoyed this one and recommend it to any fan of paranormal romances.(Review copy courtesy of NetGalley)
StoryboundGirl on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Wow! I started reading this book this afternoon and never stopped. It¿s not my usual fair, with the otherworldly, supernatural bits, but the cover drew me in. I¿m so glad I took a glance at the words. The story is, at heart, about a girl finding her way in a new (to her), completely believable place (good `ole New York City). It¿s like reading a contemporary YA and coming across a dash of unexplained magic here and there. There¿s just enough to make it interesting and unexpected, without being a turn off to someone like me (read: a girl who leans toward the real world when she¿s selecting her books). There¿s a centuries long curse and a witch, right alongside high schoolers hanging out on the steps of The Met and sneaking into a bar to listen to a friend¿s terrible band.Honestly, I was hooked after the first sentence. "It's always embarrassing to have someone take you to school. Your dad, your mom, anyone with her hair in rollers." It sets the tone for the main character, Emma, and her voice throughout the book. She¿s funny, smart, and tough, and you¿ll want her to be your BFF.I have to admit, I was completely bewitched (see what I did there?) by Brendan. He¿s rich, privileged, very good looking, and grew up with his own floor in a fancy house in NYC, so it would be easy to be annoyed by him. Instead, he's smart, and sweet and unaffected and just tough enough to be interesting. He¿s one of those classic, insta-fave YA boys, for sure! My only real complaint is that I ended up missing a disappearing friend. Early on, Emma establishes an insta-friendship with a boy named Cisco and he¿s all but entirely absent once THE BOY is in the picture as a full-on love interest (and it¿s not because he was jealous or tossed aside, that¿s not the kind of friendship they had). I missed him and their easy camaraderie and wish he could've been worked into solving Emma's big problem to keep him around. I¿ve seen some criticism floating around about how Emma¿s life revolves around the boy as soon as she sees him, but it¿s not a complaint I share. First, it is a teen romance, so what else is it supposed to revolve around? Mostly, I think her single-mindedness fits with her story. Early on, her crush reads like a typical high school girl. Her super cute cousin, Ashley, swoons along with her while they share play-by-plays of their interactions with their respective crushes and drool over hot boys playing basketball after school. Later, she¿s facing a huge obstacle that could take him, and everything, away from her. Can¿t say I think she should be taking it lightly!This is a must-read for fans of romance, those that like a little magic in their YA and my fellow contemporary fans that are willing to take a chance. I'm actually caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this story, so definitely give it a shot!Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy. I¿m going to have to buy my own when it¿s out, so I can read it again!See more of my reviews at StoryboundGirl {dot} com.
iShanella on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Spellbound has quite a few good traits. The protagonist is witty and lovable. There is no love triangle (whew!). The paranormal aspects are intriguing (strange dreams of past lives and supernatural warnings? Oh my!) but there was something distracting about the narration. There were times that I felt as though Emma was just giving me a list of the things she did and then what she did next. There were also times where she spun the tale so tightly that I couldn¿t help but admire the characters on the pages as opposed to parsing through the words. The conflict of the story felt a little forced and I kept wondering, why they characters were acting the way they were. Perhaps it¿s their life of privilege but there had to be some other reason for their behavior, however, I seemed to have missed that reason. There were times when I loved Brendan (the love interest) and times that he felt overbearing and to me. I understand that this might be due to the circumstances surrounding his relationship with Emma, but sometimes it felt stifling. There wasn¿t subtly to the sweetness, but it was super sweet and this doesn¿t work for my particular taste. The resolution left me feeling a little confused. Perhaps this will be taken up in another story, but it felt as though one of the antagonists disappeared in the end, lost in the narrative. However, I enjoyed the little extra from Angelique¿s point of view and would be curious to see how Cara Lynn Shultz explores this character and that story.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This reincarnation paranormal falls back on insta-love and a lot of backstory to explain the novel, while Brendan and Emma wait for the other shoe to drop on their tragic romance. Opening Sentence: It¿s always embarrassing to have someone take you to school. The Review: The story begins with Emma starting the semester late at Vincent Academy, one of New York City¿s exclusive and snobby prep schools. She¿s moved in with her aunt because of her step-dad and a horrible accident that turned into a press-attention nightmare. To say Emma is not thrilled to be going to school with the Blue Bloods of NYC is putting it mildly. Part of it, I think, is because she hates to be a burden to her aunt. The rest of it is because these socialites-in-training are party-harder snobs with more money than sense. Emma begins to have strange dreams. Dreams where her dead twin brother Ethan is warning her to stay away, but Emma can¿t figure out what. She does know that these dreams are vivid and real and that in all of them she dies. Strange, different deaths, but her brother is always there trying to protect her. Then there¿s Brendan Salinger. He¿s the hottest boy in school ¿ and the most untouchable. Everyone knows he hates Vincent Academy and his fellow students ¿ a classic bad boy who always look like he just rolled out of bed. (But actually more attractive than real boys who have just rolled out of bed.) Brendan is the most attractive boy she¿s ever seen ¿ and after a great night at a concert he refuses to acknowledge her existence. Not that he doesn¿t know she exists. He ignores her, deliberately and without provocation. It isn¿t long before Emma realizes there is more to Brendan ¿ more to Brendan and her than meets the eye. If they are going to have half a chance of surviving what¿s coming, he needs to stop playing hot-and-cold. The largest problem I had with Spellbound was the massive amount of exposition and info-dumping the author used to set up the story and explain every situation. If that¿s not the sort of thing that bothers you, then Brendan and Emma¿s romance is sure to make you swoon. For me, it seriously cut the tension and made the book lag. My other problem with this book is that Emma¿s new life at Vincent Academy is based completely on the idea that her friends aren¿t going to Google her. Now, I haven¿t recently googled any of my friends, but when you give a heroine an archenemy you expect that sort of underhanded tactic. I let it slide because this book is populated mostly with stock characters and the focus is solely on Emma. Hopefully, Vincent Academy will become more fleshed out with the sequel, so I can fall in love with characters other than Brendan. (He¿s pretty hot. And filled with angst.) I¿m very intrigued with where the series is going, because I think it¿ll be in a direction very different from what I first thought. Spellbound could easily have been a stand-alone novel. This makes me worried about what Shultz is going to put Brendan and Emma through in the next installment! Notable Scene: Wordlessly, Brendan bit his bottom lip and a mischievous look crossed his handsome features. He quickly reached out his hand and grabbed my kneecap, pinching it between his thumb and forefinger. ¿Hey!¿ I yelled. I wasn¿t hurt¿just surprised. I flicked my pen at him. It bounced off his shoulder and he laughed. ¿Tsk, tsk, Emma,¿ Brendan admonished, wagging a finger at me. ¿Starting another fight. Has anyone ever told you that you¿re an instigator?¿ Before I could reply, he leaned in and in a low voice, said, ¿By the way, I¿m out tomorrow, and leaving school right at lunch, so please try to not provoke any wars or attempt to take on the entire junior class.¿ ¿I was just going to fight a few freshmen,¿ I retorted. ¿I can take them. They¿re little and weak.¿FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Spellbound. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribe
WilowRaven on LibraryThing 8 months ago
My thoughts:While at times I felt that the story was a little drawn out, overall I enjoyed Spellbound. Suspenseful and engaging with a cast of characters I found easy to like, I didn't love every aspect of the story but it was a enjoyable read. Emma is s strong character that stand up for herself and the people she cares about. She's a very real character. She's scared and self conscience but she also knows what she wants and isn't afraid to fight for it. Her swooning over Brendan was a little over the top at times but her feelings for him did seem genuine. The background mystery of Spellbound was a little far fetched. Soul mates and ancient curses and natural born witches. At times it was a little hokey but again, overall it kind of worked for the story. A few 'what were you thinking' moments, a few unrealistic social settings and a lot really sweet moments. Emma and her family, Emma and Brendan - there were more then a few sappy scenes but I really liked them all! Final verdict:A paranormal tale with heart. Nothing too over dramatic and very enjoyable to read, Spellbound has a few very important things going for it. Realistic characters that I felt connected to coupled with a storyline I couldn't help but be drawn into. AND as a bonus, NO love triangles! I really feel like Spellbound would be perfect as a standalone. Meaning, I'm not sure I'll read book 2. While I like this world, I wasn't completely draw into it. We'll see though!
bkwormblogger on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Synopsis: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.Review:This is one of those confusing ones where you really enjoy it even till the end, but then when you analyse it, its not so great. The author must have held me in by the writing which flows well and is exceptionally emotional.The evilness in this story comes in two very churly and horrible school mates. When I write mates that just means they go to the same school. But apart from bad attitudes and a whole lot of nastiness there was not a great deal of bad bad bad stuff.Ok, I get it that the two main leads are both reincarnations of the historical figures but I just couldn't help feeling that half way in, we got lost in all the gossip, bickering and he-said, she-said stuff. I really did loose focus at this point.Then the big climax is just not that huge, in my opinion. Sure, Brendan got thrown off a cliff and was rescued by Ethan but I just couldn't get fired up about the intrigue. There wasn't even that much witchyness either.One good point is that the romance is good. Very dreamy, very wish-he-was-my-boyfriend like! Sigh!
BookSpot on LibraryThing 8 months ago
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?Emma Conner has to move to New York City and start over at a new school after some particularly troubling events happen in her life. Worse yet, she's doing it alone. Moving in with her aunt, Emma is starting over at the fancy Prep school her cousin Ashley, two years younger and a freshman, attends.Desperate for a true fresh start, Emma decides not to tell everyone the true story behind her move to New York (involving her father's leaving when she was young, her mother and brother's deaths, and her unfortunate step-father). But things don't quite go all that easily for Emma anyway.The head mean girl in the school immediately has Emma on her radar. And there's more than a bit of trouble possible from Anthony, the guy who says he's dated (or done otherwise) with nearly every girl and now wants Emma . . .But there's also Jenn, the girl who's sometimes nice to her, Angelique the witch (literally) in her class, Cisco who might be a good friend, and Brendan . . . yes, Brendan. The boy who draws her attention every time he walks in to a room. If only Emma could focus on figuring out Brendan instead of why the popular crowd has it in for her or why streetlights seem to love exploding over her head or why she hears her dead brother's voice warning her in her dreams.Spellbound is a supernatural book where you can't reveal a ton of what it's about without being too spoiler-y, it is a lot different from other paranormal books I have read (YA and adult both). A lot of the story does hinge on the romance, though - it's a big part of the story, after all. For what ever reason, I never felt any connection(/spark/anything extra special) between Emma and Brendan. That seemed to prevent me from really getting into and enjoying Spellbound. I liked the premise of the book, but since the romance was carrying said premise, it didn't really work that well for me.I did really like the relationship between Emma and her cousin, Ashley. Emma had a lot going on - either being the new girl and negotiating that or different things later or - but she always seemed to really care about and love her cousin and watch out for her. It was nice to see a female lead in a novel (especially a YA one) not forget about her friends (even if this one was family) once a guy came along.The secondary characters were all unique and individual. Each of them added something to the story and I liked that while they did help the main characters' story along, they also were interesting in their own right.Overall, this one didn't really work for me, but that's because I didn't feel the connection between the two main (romantic) lead characters - the other parts of the story I did like.(thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley)
jennrenae on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Originally reviewed on YA Sisterhood Blog Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn Published by: Harlequin Teen Release Date: 6-21-2011 The Sisters Say: Spunky, Spicy, Spectacular Spellbound is enchanting¿from the first chapter I was hooked! You¿ve got the Charmed type of witchcraft, the Cinderella type fairy tale, and the Vampire Diaries type sexy guy! Add all ingredients, put in a blender, and what do you get? A book that will truly keep you ¿spellbound¿ until the next installment! I really enjoyed the different characters that Cara Lynn Shultz melds together. You have Emma who, at first is the type of girl who shuns away from confrontation, but then as she is constantly picked on at the posh private school she attends, she begins to break out of her shell. I¿m not sure ¿break¿ is really the word, even, more like lashes out of her shell and charges anyone who gets in her way. It¿s great to see Emma¿s confidence in herself build, and it¿s even greater to see her start to stand up to Kristin (the resident, rhymes with smee-ootch) of the school. Then you have Angelique¿the resident emo witch of the school who I absolutely adore! She¿s so spunky and from the moment I met her, I couldn¿t wait to see how her character developed. Besides Brendan (who¿s my favorite because let¿s face it¿he¿s an overprotective hottie with parent issues¿yum), Angelique is definitely my favorite character. I can¿t wait to see what awaits her next! Okay¿drum roll please¿..Brendan! Give me a moment to form my thoughts¿.because right now, all I¿m getting is: BRENDAN!!!! OH LA LA!!!!! BRENDAN!!!!! EEEEEKKKK!!!!! BRENDAN!!!!! Where to begin? He¿s got dark hair and mesmerizing green eyes that literally take your breath away. He¿s tough as nails¿winning every fight he gets in to, seriously, Cara Lynn Shultz should put him in a fight club¿the only thing that could make this guy even hotter! His parents are practically ¿The Queen¿ type of rich, and the parent issues are obvious from the get-go. But who doesn¿t love a guy that¿s a rebel? What else? He¿s crazy protective¿which I love even more! The scenes where Brendan sticks up for Emma are the absolute best in the book! You know, it¿s not very often that I find a book that quite literally speeds up my heartbeat. I found myself growing increasingly nervous as things became even more dangerous in the book. Even now, thinking back on it, I feel my heart beating a little faster¿and I know how it ends! Now, there are a few flaws. Namely, I wish we would get more details about Emma and Brendan¿s relationship (it¿s pretty G rated)¿there¿s only so many kisses I can read about before I scream, ¿Come on! More!¿ But, maybe Cara Lynn Shultz is saving that for the future. I also wish there would be a few more plot twists (there were some aspects of predictability). As far as content goes, the only thing you might be wary about is the underage drinking (which there is quite a bit), and some violence against women. But truthfully, I wouldn¿t mind my teenage daughter reading this one.
pnh002 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I really enjoyed this book, just like I knew I would. Although the book blurb made it sound like Fallen without the angels something that had been done before, I still wanted to chance it and see what all the hype was about from the other reviewers. So I recieved my copy and began reading it as soon as I could. It was one book I could not put down. There were many things I liked about the book. One of the big things I loved was Emma's sense of humor and sarcastic nature. It reminded me of myself. I also loved the love story. Their love is so real and magical (no pun intended) and Schultz defintely made Brendan swoon-worthy. This brings me to another point. Although romance played a huge role in this book, Schultz does not over do it and they are not instantly in love. There is a kind of "run around" in the initial stages of the relationship and I appreciated that. I love a good fight for the one you truly love. As for things I didn't like, there wasn't many, just one small thing.... With me being an English minor, I caught a few editing mistakes, but I'll just say that was due to it being an ebook ARC.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 8 months ago
We all know the doomed story about Romeo & Juliet, but did these young lovers know how hopeless their star-crossed romance would be? When Emma gets to start fresh at an exclusive prep school after some family tragedies, finding a Romeo was bottom on her to-do list. So, why does the resident hottie Brendan draw her unwilling eye ¿ and why does their dance feel like a tale as old as time? The answer is rather grim: True love, if what they have is true, will end in a curse called death if they are unable to resist each other. Will Emma and Brendan find each other worth the risk? I know the story of Spellbound seems familiar ¿ Romeo & Juliet, new girl & hot-but-oh-so-elusive boy, true love headed down the track of destruction ¿ and you must wonder if this book is worth a gander. My verdict? Spellbound has such an enchanting voice that will make the classic story pop and sparkle like nobody¿s business. Fun and charming with enough dash of mystery, sizzle, and snark that will keep the pages turning. I tend to find something magical in a romance-gone-cursed ¿ and watching Brendan and Emma try to decide between being together or staying apart is heart-wrenching. I am curious to see where the series goes from here.
bookluvrmindy on LibraryThing 8 months ago
What a fabulous book! As soon as I started reading this book, I was Spellbound LOL. From the moment I started reading, I was determined to finish and could not put it down. Yes, my husband gave me a hard time because I didn¿t go to bed until 3:30, maybe even 4 in the morning.When I first started reading and started to get an idea of where the story was headed, I was a little worried that it would be too similar to a couple other books I have read. But I was wrong! It was completely different! Cara Lynn Shultz kept me entertained from start to finish, perfectly! And I truly love the whole premise of the book.Cara Lynn Shultz also did an amazing job developing each character; I either loved or hated each character, not much in between.The main character¿s (Emma¿s) personality fits perfectly with the things she lived through in her past. Her emotions and her personality seemed so lifelike that I thought she was a real, living, breathing person I could know. I cannot think of any other author who has been able to pull that off as well! My favorite parts are when her tough side bursts through in the heat of the moment, but at the same time she would be struggling internally to keep her composure. Throughout the book, Emma¿s past is brought up slowly throughout, and there were several things that happen to her that were so horrible that I could truly feel her pain, and where my heart actually reached out to her!These are the rest of my favorite characters . . . in the order of how much I loved each one: Ashley is Emma¿s little cousin who really looks up to Emma. Ashley has the cutest little teenage personality, and as I sit here and think about her, it makes me smile. Then there¿s Brendan! Wow is he HOT! How many times are these authors going to make me fall in love with fictional characters? Last is Angelique. Angelique totally rocks! OH! Wait! I can¿t forget Aunt Christine! I loved her too! But then there¿s Kristen and Anthony¿grrrrr!!! Do I need to say more?The way this book ended was perfect. No cliffhanger here, but I feel the ending is left open enough to create another book and I really hope she does!
duchess_mommy on LibraryThing 8 months ago
If what you are looking for is a good story about the innocence of a first love, pick up SPELLBOUND. Debut Author, Cara Lynn Schultz creates a realistic character in Emma Conner. The seventeen year old has suffered tragic losses within the past two years, and is taken in by her Great Aunt Christine to start a fresh beginning in New York. With her Aunt¿s influence, Emma is enrolled in an exclusive co-ed private school, Vincent Academy which is described as something straight out of a Blue Bloods novel. Among making friends like resident-wiccan Angelique, Emma meets Brendan, a tall, gorgeous, and mysteriously evasive. Emma knows, Brendan likes her, even her friends can tell, but he¿s keeping her at a distance and she doesn¿t know why. She also has these weird dreams, so real it¿s almost as if she has lived them in a past life. Emma¿s digging into her past uncovers more than she could have dreamed, and because of it she knows there¿s no way to get over her feelings for Brendan. SPELLBOUND is a fun read taking the reader into a modern-day fairytale with descriptions of character interactions so clear it¿s as if watching them on a TV. I grew quite attached to Emma and Brendan¿s relationship, and wouldn¿t mind seeing a sequel come of the story. It¿s breezy but in a good way. Not hard to fall back into the story again after setting it down.
BrandisBookMusings on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Spellbound (Harlequin Teen) is the tale of a doomed loved. Present day teen Emma has led a rough life. Her twin brother died when she was fourteen, her mother died almost a year later, and she was almost killed in an accident with her drunk stepfather. Emma goes to live withe her wealthy Aunt Christine. At her new private school Vince Academy money doesn't make you a better person. At her new school there is the resident "freaky witch girl", the cool in the closet gay friend, the friend that's always hung over, the mean girl, and the jock who isn't quite right, then there is Brendan whom she is mysteriously drawn to and seems to like her one day but will go weeks without talking to her. Not to mention that the pendant her brother gave her matches the one Brendan has in his locker. What does this mean? Why do strange things keep happening? Why does she keep having flashes of other people's lives? There was good make believe romance in this book. It was just a little cliched. The whole curse on a doomed love has been done a lot. I didn't find that there was anything new brought to the plot. If you are looking for a sweet but sappy destined to be true love this is your book.
jacindahinten on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Spellbound adj. having one's attention held as though one is bound by a spellI struggle with reviews of books that are just plain old good. It¿s pretty easy for me to tell you why I adore a book or why I abhor a book, but just telling you it¿s a good read is difficult for me.The romance between Emma and Brendan is what held my attention through the pages of Spellbound. I loved the relationship they built/had and I always love romance in a book. If the romance wasn¿t there, I wouldn¿t have liked Spellbound.The myth and legend is the book is interesting, but at the same time very predictable. I¿m horrible at predicting how movies and books will end and who is the bad guy and all that stuff, but I was able to figure out all of these points easily. I also heard myself telling Emma out loud not to do certain things because many things she did was scary movie cliché to me.Spellbound wasn¿t a bad book at all, I enjoyed reading it while I was reading it and I read it fairly quick. I think the story as a whole is kind of forgettable and I feel kind of bad for saying that, but that is how I feel. I¿ve seen other reviews of those who have loved this book, so I know my thoughts aren¿t in the majority.
jdonnelly14 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
RECEIVED FROM: Net Galley for Review***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***When Emma Conner begins her new life living with her Aunt Christine in New York and attending the exclusive Vincent Academy all she wants to do is fade into the background, finish high school and as she puts it move to Siberia. What she gets instead is the teen mean queen targeting her, the school playboy hounding her and an undeniable crush on the hottest boys in school Brendan Salinger. When she finds he¿s interested in return she thinks thing might be turning her way, that is, until lights start exploding around her and she gets realistic nightmares about dying in past lives. It¿s then that she learns of a thousand year old curse that she and her new love are destined to reenact, a curse where they fall in love only for her to die. Will her new love interest be her blessing or her death sentence? Maybe you can call me sappy, but this is the kind of fated magic love story that I can¿t help but adore. I recently saw a somewhat similar plot about soul mates parted for a thousand years where she keeps dying and he keeps repeatedly losing her. So I can¿t say it¿s totally original. But the difference is here he isn¿t the same guy, but also a reincarnation so it¿s not like he¿s been stalking her reincarnations all that time. And in this portrayal of the idea of star-crossed soul mates it doesn¿t seem creepy in the way it did in Evermore. Why do I think that Schultz did it better even though the love story did happen just as quickly in Spellbound as it did in Evermore? First of all the discovery of the curse was something that both participants learned about on their own. They¿re on somewhat equal footing in that regard. When things finally start emerging about this curse each of them is filling in the blanks for the other. Secondly neither of these characters just goes with the flow on the soul-mates thing. It¿s something they instinctively fight against initially and over time they just stop fighting and decide that regardless of what comes they deserve to be happy for what time they have. Finally Evermore comes across more as a greed tinted kind of love. I mean yes we do have another girl in the picture that wants Brendan and she is the stereotypical high school mean girl. However he isn¿t blind to her nastiness they way Damon is with Drina in Evermore. And while Damon saves Ever from death by making her immortal because he doesn¿t want to be without her, Brendan is willing to sacrifice his own life to keep Emma safe. Damon comes across as greedy and stalkerish at points in Evermore, while Brendan even though he also seems to have it all puts Emma first. Their doomed soul-mate love is more about sacrifice and real caring than Evermore. It¿s impossible not to see the plot similarities between these two book having read Evermore so recently but the ideal of doomed soul-mates is one that has been around forever so I¿d hardly say it was pulled from Noel¿s series. What impressed me so much was that Schultz took a well known idea and retold it with class. It was skillfully written with compelling characters and I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. No I can¿t say everything about the plot is original, obviously. But Schultz did add her own original embellishments and I personally don¿t believe that every story needs to be a completely unexpected, unheard of idea to be a good novel. What matters is not if it¿s been heard before, it¿s how well you can tell the tale and how well you can take that tale and make it yours. Schultz has done that with exceptional skill in my personal opinion. The plot had a logical and interesting flow from beginning to end. Do you know what my very favorite part about this young adult novel was? THERE IS NO LOVE TRIANGLE! I am getting so tired of reading books by young adult authors where whether there seems to be a need or even a real reason for it they have to throw in a love triangle. Yes when well done it can
MrsBoswellBooks on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is one book that I kind of just skimmed the summary really quick before reading it. So going in, I didn't really know much of what to expect. I think author Rachel Hawkins summed up my feelings about Spellbound quite well with her blurb on the cover, "Spellbound captivated me from beginning to end!"Emma has experienced quite a bit of hardship in her youth. Moving from a small and basically unknown town to upstate New York and beginning school at an expensive private school, Emma has her reservations. She wants to remain anonymous, but how can she do that when she ultimately draws the attention of a creep, a mean girl, a witch and a hottie all on the first day? There are certain situations that Emma tends to shy away from, but she's not afraid of voicing her opinion and sticking up for those she cares about. She's a character that most teenage girls can identify with. Brendan on the other hand is like a complete mystery, at first. Some days he's hot and others he is completely cold. You'll find yourself doing double-takes wondering why Emma is so infatuated with him, but then you'll understand the reasoning why.Spellbound is about more than the "just add water" instant teenage love. There is a centuries old history behind Emma and Brendan's relationship. This was what I found most intriguing about Shultz's story. I loved the history of their ancestors, the charm and the curse. I loved reading about what happened in the past and wondering if Emma and Brendan could possibly survive this ancient curse.The writing is ultimately simple, which is perfect. Shultz's does not inundate readers with huge words requiring a dictionary to always be on hand. The story is written as a normal teenager speaks. I could have easily been back in my high school talking to my friends, uttering the same exact sentences. While the writing is simplistic, the storyline is utterly bewitching. From beginning to end I was completely immersed with the story of Emma and Brendan.Overall, Spellbound is a captivating tale full of fascination, intrigue and age-old romance. A very enjoyable read that will keep you engrossed until the very last page.
AmberFIB on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I am happy to report that I totally loved this book! I've been putting off reading it because I'm usually not one for witch books. They tend to move slowly, and the beginning of this book did drag a bit. However, by Chapter 3, I was totally engrossed in the world Shultz created. Emma is a terrific character. She's funny, kind, and loyal. You can't help but relate to her on some level and feel sympathy for the bad hand she's been dealt. Her life has been rough, but she's strong, and she prevails. She finds her own happiness, and she fights to keep it. Brendan is another fantastic character. At first, I didn't know what to think of him, but the further I got into the book, the more I liked him. By the end, he had completely won me over. He's just terrific. I also enjoyed Ashley. She was funny and she really stood by Emma, even when it would have been easier to shun her. Angelique is a unique character and added to the complexity of the story. Aunt Christine was there for almost the whole book, and she's a terrific aunt. I really loved her character as well. She's so good to Emma. Of course I hated Anthony and Kristin, but who wouldn't? They were created to be hated. Hey, that rhymed! Anyway, none of the characters were static, filler characters. They all had their unique personalities with their own quirks. I love the detail that Shultz put into the characters. For instance, Brendan never stood up straight. He always leaned against something. Little things like that really make the characters come alive. The plot was intriguing and very different from most paranormal books. There wasn't a ton of magic in the book, so it didn't rely on supernatural elements to drive the story. After reading that in reviews, I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy the book that much because I do love the supernatural elements of a story. The entire story does revolve around a curse, though, but most of the characters don't actually perform magic. Still, the story held my interest until the very last page. There was quite a bit of action, lots of romance, and tons of suspense. The pacing of this book was pretty well done. As I stated, the beginning was a bit slow, but that happens when you're introducing a new world to your readers. Shultz explained everything, and it all flowed rather nicely. For the most part, the explanations didn't slow down the pacing at all, and toward the end, the pacing picked up to lightning speed. The ending didn't feel rushed, though. No elements were left out. It just went by really quickly. The ending of the book wrapped things up nicely, but there is room for a sequel, which is a good thing since Spellcaster will be out soon. I cannot wait for that book! The writing was phenomenal as well. Shultz has a terrific voice, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her. I really enjoyed this novel, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal and YA romance.
alaiel.kreuz on LibraryThing 8 months ago
After her stepdad almost gets her killed Emma finally accepts her aunt's offer to move to New York with her and be enrolled into a fancy school along with her younger and cute cousin she invents a whole more-posh background so she won't feel completely different.But in place like Vincent Academy she is bound to find friends and foes. And she certainly does.First we have Cisco who is gay, popular and friendly. He soon becomes one of her best friends.Then we have Emma's lab partner Angelique who turns out to be a witch. She soon to becomes a marvelous friend and a fountain of information. They two will make the dialogues fun and snarky.Her cousin Ashley who, despite being a little superficial, is sweet and naive. But Emma watches over her and protects her from creeps like Anthony. Why does she need protection from him? Well, he is the big bad wolf... and a very bad one.And then we have Kristin, the popular girl that tries to make Emma's life a nightmare.Finally there's Brendan, the rich-gorgeous-hot bad guy that makes Emma blush and feel... different. Like she can trust him, like he is important somehow.True to be told he is important and their future is so tangled that, if they want to stay alive they will have to find a way to fight an old curse that keeps them reincarnating only to suffer again.And in between they will find a few dramas to solve and some misunderstandings to talk about while deciding if the warnings from Emma's dead twin brother are so important that they have to stay away from each other.Personal opinion:The first thing that I liked about this book was the cover. Yep, as soon as I spotted it in NetGalley I requested it and then, despite not having the time to read it yet, bought it too. Now that I've finished it I can say that I liked it a lot.The plot is maybe a little bit obvious sometimes but Cara Lynn managed to make very believable characters with personalities that made them interesting and originals.And I found Emma's loyalty to her little cousin very refreshing. No spoilers, you know me, but I enjoyed that part a lot^^The love between Brandan and Emma was maybe a little too fast and a little too quick but hey, that kind of relationships really happen in real life too so is not that weird.What I'm really curious about is the second book, Spellcaster. Why? Well, I thought Spellbound was an only book and it did had a proper finish so it was a surprise when I found out about it but since I liked this book Spellcaster will sure have a spot in my pile very soon.
bonbonsandreveries on LibraryThing 8 months ago
: 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.