Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 352 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Others in Series: n/a
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
This is one book that I kind of just skimmed the summary really quick before reading it. So going in, I didn't really know much of what to expect. I think author Rachel Hawkins summed up my feelings about Spellbound quite well with her blurb on the cover, "Spellbound captivated me from beginning to end!"
Emma has experienced quite a bit of hardship in her youth. Moving from a small and basically unknown town to upstate New York and beginning school at an expensive private school, Emma has her reservations. She wants to remain anonymous, but how can she do that when she ultimately draws the attention of a creep, a mean girl, a witch and a hottie all on the first day? There are certain situations that Emma tends to shy away from, but she's not afraid of voicing her opinion and sticking up for those she cares about. She's a character that most teenage girls can identify with. Brendan on the other hand is like a complete mystery, at first. Some days he's hot and others he is completely cold. You'll find yourself doing double-takes wondering why Emma is so infatuated with him, but then you'll understand the reasoning why.
Spellbound is about more than the "just add water" instant teenage love. There is a centuries old history behind Emma and Brendan's relationship. This was what I found most intriguing about Shultz's story. I loved the history of their ancestors, the charm and the curse. I loved reading about what happened in the past and wondering if Emma and Brendan could possibly survive this ancient curse.
The writing is ultimately simple, which is perfect. Shultz's does not inundate readers with huge words requiring a dictionary to always be on hand. The story is written as a normal teenager speaks. I could have easily been back in my high school talking to my friends, uttering the same exact sentences. While the writing is simplistic, the storyline is utterly bewitching. From beginning to end I was completely immersed with the story of Emma and Brendan.
Overall, Spellbound is a captivating tale full of fascination, intrigue and age-old romance. A very enjoyable read that will keep you engrossed until the very last page.
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