Apr 24, 2014

Review--Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

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.

Having read Cara Lynn Shultz's next release, I decided to backtrack and read her first books. Starting with Spellbound and while reading I could see some her same writing styles as before. I don't say that as a bad thing either. Her characters were lovable and relatable, the humor was snarky enough to my liking and the romance was definitely good too! All great qualities in a read!

Emma has had a rough life lately. Her father left their family when she was young, her twin brother died when she was fourteen and then her mother, sick with cancer marries her skeevy boyfriend and dies, leaving Emma with a drunken and abusive stepfather. She is soon rescued by her aunt and is taken in to live her life.

Emma is grateful for a new start. She doesn't want anyone to know about her past and creates a new identity for herself. But Vincent Academy is rough, and the socialites attending it, even rougher. One bright spot is Brendan. A mysterious boy that Emma can't help but have on her mind constantly. And then when she dreams at night, her brother's ghost is telling her to stay away from him. Such a mood killer, huh?

For awhile the book read like a contemporary, but yet, there were odd occurrences sprinkled over the events. Such as streetlights exploding over Emma's head. The connection between her and Brendan is even mysterious itself. As the dreams Emma has are pretty vivid. But there was a great buildup to the mystery of what's going on between Emma and Brendan. Cara gives you little clues to pay attention to, not that you can really know what they mean, but you definitely know that they are important.

Emma has a good sense of humor too. She doesn't let the bratty popular kids at school get her down. She doesn't really talk smack with them, as I might have done, but she's a good person with a good heart. As she nearly took down a bully who had been pestering her cousin and spreading rumors around the school. She's a courageous girl and you got to give her props for that. 

The way magic was woven into the story did get interesting, but I feel like it wasn't explored too much. Granted there were other mysterious factors that were enough to keep me reading eagerly along, but I couldn't help but feel saddened at the lack of magic involvement. But I feel like Cara did set us up for more to come! I mean there is one more book to this duology after all!

The ending was pretty exciting! My heart was racing throughout wondering how things would turn out for our heroes. As a villain pops up that wants nothing more than to cause trouble and pain for Emma. I liked how the story went on for a little more even after that confrontation. There's a bit of a cliffhanger regarding that and another unexplained oddity that I hope gets expanded upon in the next one! If you're looking for a good read with mystery and magic along with the standard comedy, romance and action, then look no further than Cara Lynn Shultz!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. This sounds like a pretty good book. I've seen it around, but haven't really heard much about it. Emma sounds like a character that I might like :) Great review! I'll definitely considering getting this.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  2. Oooh sounds exciting! Won't lie, I'm a bit disappointed there doesn't seem to be more exploration of the magical elements - especially since it's called 'Spellbound'. I love a good magic novel, and feel like I need to read more of those!

  3. Interesting cover! I love characters that are so funny and entertaining. Sounds like a great book! I'm not a "magic" type of person though. Great review!

    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

  4. This sounds like a good read, and I have heard good things about it. One I need to check out. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  5. Spellbound sounds really good, Jessica! I'm going to have to check out this author. Fantastic review!


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