[Review #41] Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound
Series: Spellbound
Book one
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz

Published: 21st June, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: ♣♣♣

[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]


What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death?

Life hasn’t been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she’s irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can’t stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma’s been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else. 


The opening line made me smile:

“It’s always embarrassing to have someone take you to school. Your dad, your mum, someone with hair rollers in.”

Then this line came a paragraph later and it made me chuckle:

“.. I knew that juniors did not hang out with the lower classes [freshman]. It was like hanging out with a bunch of vegetarians and wearing a bacon necklace.”

Then this line, a few paragraphs away, made me laugh out loud:

“…leaving me with Henry, my step-father whose blood alcohol content hovered somewhere between “wasted'” and “How is he even alive?”.”

I must have a warped sense of humour if I laughed at the last line. Obviously I was not laughing at the content, but more at the way it was worded and came across.

The first page was written with this dry sense of humour, and a dry sense of humour is exactly what I have. So after the first page I was really hoping that I would enjoy this book. It felt like the writing was going to be quirky and interesting.

When I read the summary of this book it sounded to me like a predictable love story. But it also sounded like a story that had a lot of potential. Unfortunately for me in the end I found this plot to be rather predictable and easy to figure out. I was hoping for a twist that I wasn’t expecting to happen near the end. The only thing is, I didn’t find a twist ever happening. If there was one then it didn’t really stick in my memory. I felt like this was why the book was so predictable.

On a whole this plot idea sounded like it had a lot more potential than came to be but I did enjoy it. Less than I thought I would but still, at the end of the day, I did enjoy it.

I found Emma to be… predictable and a little boring. Although I was very glad she wasn’t extremely stubborn, that on top would have annoyed me a lot more. There was really nothing about her that I thought was very special though. Nothing that made me really like her. She was polite to her aunt whom took her in, I was grateful that she was polite and wasn’t rude and selfish. She was surprisingly yet also a little annoyingly up front and extroverted, even though she was trying to stay low and not let anyone find out why she had transferred schools. But I didn’t quite gel with her. Or perhaps I just never really connected with her. I never felt for her, I never got [emotionally] attached to her while reading this book. I just simply ‘liked’ her.

Brendan sounded like one sexy guy. He was constantly described as good looking, handsome and sexy. I found him to be more interesting than Emma, but I also never found myself really caring for him. I liked him. I thought he was pretty cool at times. But I never felt for him. I liked that he was protective over Emma and I don’t think that ever strayed to the ‘Okay dude, time to back off now’ vibe, which was veryyy good. I liked that he wasn’t obviously ‘in like’ with Emma from that start, it drives me up the wall when that happens. I like to see a struggle with romances otherwise it’s too easy and it feels like it drags on and gets boring because you’re wondering why they haven’t hooked up yet since they obviously like each other and have acted towards each other as such.

So I did like these characters. But I found myself not really getting attached to them or finding myself investing in them. I simply read them, read about them and that was it.

The writing was quirky the whole way through, but after the first chapter to be honest it started to get on my nerves a little. I started rolling my eyes and feeling like the dry humour was being forced more than anything. It started to make Emma sound more like a child rather than a quirky young adult.

That didn’t stop this book from being an easy read though. Everything flowed, connected and made sense in the writing sense I think. I didn’t stumble over sentences, I found there to be enough description to see the image in my head, what was even better was I found I wasn’t thinking about the descriptions at all, the pictures just formed in my head without me figuring it out. I was simply just enjoying what I was reading.

The way this book was written worked well.

Soo the romance. This was a huge plot line of the story, well it was the main plot line, which I usually get bored with since there’s nothing else driving the book.

It wasn’t quite insta-love but I did find it annoying that Emma couldn’t stop thinking about Brendan before she had even talked to him. I guess I wanted more of an interaction to happen so there was a logical reason Emma couldn’t stop thinking about Brendan, even though there was a sound reason that she couldn’t stop thinking about him. It still annoyed me.

After the beginning stages, after all the awkwardness and the ‘Does he like me?’ thoughts, it got pretty good. There was chemistry and attraction there that I think Shultz was able to portray well in the writing, meaning it wasn’t cliché nor was it boring or overbearing. I do wish that the beginning or the relationship had been more solid though.

This book was nice to read, it was an interesting idea but I also find myself not that bothered with it. I don’t really have a strong opinion over it; which I think isn’t a good thing. A strong opinion, whether it be good or bad is really better than a nonchalant feeling about anything really. I mean at least you know what you think. With this book I really don’t know how I feel about it. It’s like I’ve barely registered that I’ve read it. This could come down to the mood I was in when I was reading it though, although, my mood was a good one, it just wasn’t very enthusiastic and this book didn’t change that non-enthusiasm.

Overall I came away from this book feeling indifferent from before I started to read it. I had really wanted to like this book more, I was really hoping to get butterflies for the love interest, to be pulled in and unable to stop reading, to really care what Emma went through and to what was happening in the book. Instead I read the book, took note of what was happening, finished the book and then found that I really didn’t engage with anything I had just read.

I liked that there was a lot of chemistry and attraction between Emma and Brendan. I liked that it was easily readable. I liked that Shultz has obviously done her research so she knew exactly what she was writing about because the most annoying thing is reading a book that is vague on the main topic that it is supposed to be about. I liked things about this book.

So this book wasn’t what I had been hoping but it was a little of what I had expected. I guess it didn’t quite meet my expectations for the idea I had formed in my head from the summary. But it was still an entertaining book at times.

What are your thoughts?

Miss J


4 thoughts on “[Review #41] Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

  1. What a thorough review! I haven’t read this book, but I think I can understand how odd you might have felt when you kinda liked the story but couldn’t quite find yourself investing in the main characters. But overall, I’m glad that you find some parts of the story entertaining. :)

  2. Pingback: What I’m Reviewing #6 | Miss Book Reviews

  3. Pingback: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz « Off The Wall

  4. Pingback: Another month gone bye | Miss Book Reviews

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