Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

SpellboundSpellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: June 28th, 2011
IBSN: 9780373210305

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 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.

I remember reading Spellbound because I thought it sounded different. But I've just reread the blurb, and ask myself, "Skye, how could you have expected something refreshingly unique from that?" I sheepishly look down at my feet in response.

Immediately, in Spellbound, you're introduced to the stock characters. There's the inexplicably cruel and bitchy popular girl, and the stupid, aggressive jock who teams up with her. There's the flamboyant gay guy who befriends our lead, and the social-outcast who fills the other friend position. And then, of course, the profoundly attractive, kind, over-protective jock who's destined to become the love interest. They're named Kristin, Anthony, Cisco, Angelique, and Brendan respectively.

And then the protagonist: Emma's the new girl; orphaned, shy, sarcastic, and 'drawn to' Brendan (note to self: if at any point in the blurb the phrase 'drawn to' is used, there will be insta-love.). Her past was traumatic, but that didn't seem to affect her in the slightest. Her future promised to be even more traumatic, but she doesn't do anything about that but ignore the warnings.

Moreover, her relationship with Brendan made me dislike her. Even as he begins to ignore her, the world still revolves around him, and she's as desperate as ever to get back into his good books (See what I did there? No? Okay). Plus, she's flattered by his over-protectiveness.

The writing style wasn't anything impressive, but it was by no means unenjoyable. It evoked the character's voice effectively, although I was constantly confusing the book with other's I've read in the past because of the token character traits.

The plot was...strange. But not strange in the good sense. There's an overall complication that isn't revealed for an irritatingly long time, and once revealed the characters choose to ignore it. Meanwhile, there's a smaller plot provoked by blown-out-of-proportion villains that conveniently ties up the larger plot with it's denouement.

I can best describe Spellbound as the kind of book that's fun if you don't think to hard, or aren't familiar with common paranormal romance tropes. 

I give Spellbound a 2 out of 5.