Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
© 28 June 2011 by HarperTeen
When Emma moves to NYC to escape an abuse step-father, life should be looking up. She's got a new school where she can blend into the background for her last two years--where no one knows about her step-father...or her brother...or her mother. Then Emma meets Brendan Salinger...and he notices her. As Emma and Brendan unlock the secrets of their attraction, her fatal destiny may pale in comparison to the rumors and ridicule she faces at school. So much for staying in the background.
Emma is a character that I felt like I connected with pretty well at the beginning. She had some serious issues to overcomes and I think the reader understands where she's coming from. She's totally snarky, which I love (but maybe I think this is because she often employs the "You're a ____" comeback that I often use myself, lol). Brendan, our token sexy male here, was a character that I was kind of hot-and-cold on. He didn't give off the spark that generally attracts me to my YA guys. However, he grew on me as his relationship with Emma progressed, especially after he got over the "I'm going to ignore you at school even though we spent the weekend together" thing (because that was seriously annoying).
Now, I'll fess up that there is definitely "insta-love" going on this book (as there is is many YA novels that have been published recently). However, the destiny/reincarnated souls angle explained a lot of that for me and I felt like it moved the story along at a good pace. Yes, of course, they fall in "love" faster than is normal, but you have to admit that their interactions the first time they hang out felt very real--the kind of interaction you would expect from a budding romance (the unsure arm around the back, sideways glances, jittery feeling). Despite the "insta-love" thing, I really liked their romance and relationship. I mean, it really sizzled for me.
Probably the most interesting character in this book for me was Angelique. She was a very well-written side character that I wish I could have gotten to know better. I liked the extra story at the end from Angelique's POV and I hope maybe we'll get more about her in the future because I think she would be a really fun MC to read about.
For me, this was really a "spell-binding" read. I couldn't put it down once I started!
*Disclosure: This book was received via NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for my honest review*