Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ARC Review: Spellbound

First and foremost, thank you goes out to NetGalley and HarlequinTeen for the opportunity to read Spellbound. This, of course, in no way influences my opinion whatsoever.

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Schultz
Genre: YA/Supernatural-Paranormal/Romance
To-be-released: June 28th

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. --Goodreads

What do you get when you basically take Twilight, Fallen, and Beautiful Creatures, and then combine the three together?

You meet Spellbound.

However, I can credit that Spellbound is a bit better developed with a more engaging plotline and a bit of a stronger female character at least.

But due to my semi-dislike of the above three mentioned books, I guess I just couldn't quite get enthused over this one, either. And that, in the end, bummed me out a bit because I had really been looking forward to reading it.

I enjoyed the legend backstory- the main romantic focus of the plot- though. So maybe it wasn't all bad news. It's hard for me to enjoy a lot of romantic focused stories, I get picky really, because they can easily get cheesy, or over-the-top, and I think Ms. Schultz did a very nice job in the romantic aspects of the story most of the time.

The characters often fell flat for me. I like developing a connection, feeling depth, and I just didn't get it here. Emma was refreshing for a female MC in this genre, for this particular style of book and for all that she had been through. I was thankful that she wasn't whiney or "closed-up" to the world. I liked her sarcasm and wittiness the short times I saw it shine. I only wish I could have seen much more from her and particularly Brendan, who I felt I barely knew even by the end of the story.

The action often happened too fast without enough emotion or description. Especially when it came time for the climax and I felt the ending was all over before I could blink, leaving me scratching my head a bit in confusion at first. I liked how the ending wrapped up... I just felt that it was a bit... quick.

I found myself often comparing a lot of instances, styles, etc. to the aforementioned books.
Loner girl moves to a new school (Twilight), meets mysterious guy that instantly makes her swoon (Twilight & Fallen), soon he ignores her (Twilight), only to find out because there's some ancient curse upon them (Fallen & Beautiful Creatures), etc.

In other words, I just felt overwhelmed with the clich├ęs and what I felt was already becoming a quickly overdone storyline-- no matter how entertaining and well written it was. I'm just thankful there weren't any vampires or werewolves popping out from somewhere or it would have probably been too much perhaps.

But as my final statements come to a close here, I want to say something in defense so that I can get an understanding here.
Don't think that I hated the book. Because I didn't.

In fact, I'd recommend it still.

It's better than Twilight, Fallen, and Beautiful Creatures (my opinions, of course, and I don't "hate" those books, either. I just wasn't a big fan of them. Everyone has their difference in opinions, ya know.) It was still an entertaining and engaging fast read- and a bonus plus: no love triangles!

As a side note: I'm also curious if this will be a series. I was originally led to believe it was a stand-alone book, but the ending kind of hinted at a possible sequel. Interesting. If there is a sequel, I'd likely read it out of curiosity, but I hope there won't be. I think it works fine as a stand-alone.

3 stars!



Have you read Spellbound? What are your thoughts? If there's a sequel, are you going to read it?


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