Sunday, June 26, 2011
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shulz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Copy: courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
Reincarnation, a love doomed from the start and destined to be repeated again and again over the centuries. Beautiful girl, hot guy, great friends, totally believable bad guy and a lovely smattering of laugh-out-loud humour. Put it all together and you've got Spellbound.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read, that had much of what you expect in a school romance, and a lot of what you don't. Instant attraction between two strangers can sometimes be a little forced, but this time around it worked nicely for me. Emma and Brendan are fated to be together, and have already been so, many times, and I found their relationship to be very believable. Although the attraction is instant, they don't just fall into each other. They are cautious with each other and I loved their interactions.
The minor characters, Cisco and Angelique, while being a little cliched (gay guy and wiccan girl), still worked well and were believable. Anthony was a superb bully, if you understand my meaning, and the progression of his character throughout the story was positively horrifying. Aunt Christine was a little vague, but managed to avoid the trap of being an overly protective 'new' parent, allowing Emma the benefit of the doubt, which was quite refreshing. I must admit to being a little tense towards the end as the 'action' ratcheted up several notches. Well done Ms Shulz, a great summer read.
On a personal note, I'm beginning to think that I really missed out on the education front by going to an all girls school. We had to try and look over 10 ft walls into the boys school next door if we wanted to catch sight of any member of the opposite sex, let alone a hot one!