Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz

Pages: 325
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
I bought It
Release Date: July 2011

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 her new posh Upper East Side prep school? 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, who is also the richest kid in school. 

Even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps shatter whenever she walks by, 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 think I really started off on the wrong foot with this novel. I had high expectations and wasn't keen on the names of the characters (I happen to know people with those names). This novel did surprise me, but also felt really immature and unrealistic.

The main character of the story Emma, is likeable and gutsy. She isn't your typical heroine. Instead of being one of those whiny characters who wished that she was more beautiful, Emma was more worried about how "rich" she looked compared to the other kids at her school. She didn't try to act rich though, So she wasn't a try-hard. She was just aware of the fact.

Told in first-person the writing style was really opinionated and funny. There were all these thoughts and afterthoughts in italics that really showed the reader where Emma stood. I thought that this did bog me down a little bit when I was reading, but without it the book would have been really cliche. I think that the vocabulary lacked a little bit.

The idea of this curse and reincarnation that took place was different from other stuff that I have read, but it didn't feel genuine. Emma took the whole curse thing a little bit more lightly than what she should have and the dreams didn't seem very descriptive or gothic like i supposed they would be. I guess I expected there to be a bit of scare at some point in the novel. It wasn't that the parts weren't that scary, but it somehow felt less threatening and more romance-y.

I did like that the hero in the novel was of normal human strength. This meant that he was vulnerable at times and strong at times, which you don't see in a lot of YA heroes. Brendan was also very rich and good looking, which I thought was very superficial and unlikely.

The villains in this novel were very over the top. I thought the writer really took jealous people to a whole new level. Maybe it was the effects of the curse, but some of the kids were really way too nasty and took it too far. I have met nasty people before and jealous people, but I don't think even they would act like that. It went from "She dobbed on me" to "I want to kill her", and from "She stole my crush" to "I want her to die of hypothermia". Seriously?!

Overall I give this book 3.5 Stars. For a little while I wasn't sure whether or not to rate it as 3 stars or 4 stars.  There were some things I really liked about this novel. I thought it was funny, quirky and cute. I just really wished that the writer had managed to include more emphasis in her work so that the reader could have the best of both worlds. I think there was a little bit of a scare there, but it didn't feel as scary as it should have. I definitely think this book is worth a read though, but not all the hype it was getting. I recommend this to girls who normally read Contemporary Romances and would like a change.

Which Cover do you Prefer? I think I like them both. The black one is definitely more effective, but I think the first one tells us more about the story. The whole thing with the lights blowing out is definitely what got me interested in the novel to begin with.   And is it Just me or is her last name spelt different on each cover?                                                                    
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