Title: SpellboundAuthor: Cara Lynn Shultz
Release Date: June 2011
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Goodreads Rating: 3.91 stars
Review: Emma's looking forward to a new start in New York City at Upper East Side prep school, but there are few friendly faces to be found there, except for one that she finds herself drawn to. Enter Brendan Salinger, the unreachable school hottie who has a few secrets of his own. Even when he treats her coldly and distantly, she still can't keep away from him. But ever since she's met him, strange things have been happening, and strangest of all are the visions she has - visions telling her to stay away from him at all costs. Or else.
As I've said a few times on this blog, paranormal romance isn't my favorite genre in the world, so I didn't have the highest of expectations when I began reading SPELLBOUND. To my surprise, I found this to be a gripping and entertaining read despite my misgivings for the genre, and overall this was much better than other paranormals I have read. The paranormal aspect was intriguing, if not entirely original, and had enough mythology behind it to make me eager to find out more.
That said, as is often the case, the paranormal part was overshadowed by the romance. Admittedly, it was good romance, and though normally I view the love interest in paranormals with aversion, I spent much of the novel rooting for Brendan and Emma to get together even when he held her at arm's length. Still, I did wish that the rest of the plot could be as well-developed as I found the romance to be.
If there's one good thing to be said about this novel, Emma was an excellent heroine. Unlike other female protagonists in books of this genre, Emma was brave, intelligent, and independent, seeking things out on her own and relying on herself rather than being entirely dependent on others. She had a mind of her own and a personality that was more than a flat piece of wood, which is more than can be said of some other books that come to mind.
Overall, SPELLBOUND was an attention-holding and fascinating book for its genre. The romance, while overshadowing some aspects of the plot, was definitely well-written, and the female protagonist was strong, smart, and clearly developed. However, although I enjoyed reading it, it still wasn't something that particularly stood out when compared to other books I have liked in other genres. I strongly recommend this to fans of paranormal romances, but perhaps not so strongly to those who don't like it as much.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This is no way affected the review I wrote.