Favorite Quote: “Do I look like a freaking fairy-tale princess to you?”
Reviewed by Tori
Sixteen year old Emma Conner hasn’t had an easy life. Her mother and twin brother dies, leaving her alone with her abusive stepfather. When he almost kills her in a car accident, Emma goes to stay with her aunt in New York. Soon Emma is enrolled in a prestigious private school and the center of unwanted attention. Pursued by an unstable boy and the object of a jealous girl’s anger; Emma soon wishes she was back at her old school. When she catches the attention of the school’s hottest boy, Brendon Salinger, Emma’s life changes drastically as an old curse comes back to life with a vengeance with promises of a centuries old love and horrible death.
Spellbound is a paranormal romance YA that is short on the paranormal but high on the romance. A light hearted, fast paced story that flirts with a Romeo and Juliet reincarnation theme in a modern day world. I liked the casual realism that Ms. Schultz injects into her characters emotions and relationships. These are high school students; resplendent in their bitchy, cliquey, instant gratification ways.
Emma is a comfortable heroine with her sarcasm and normality. I found myself laughing as we get her insights on the students of the school and her home life. She’s smart enough to know when things are not right and seeks answers instead of just accepting. She also has a strong loyal streak which becomes evident when defending her cousin’s virtue against a nasty boy’s lies.
Brendon is every high school girls fantasy. Handsome, rich, sexy, mysterious, and plays up the bad boy persona. He comes to Emma’s defense the first day and seems to pursue her but then blows her off to her dismay and confusion. As these two maneuver themselves around an obvious attraction, Emma comes into some knowledge that lets her know that she and Brendon have past history and that will keep repeating itself unless they can break the curse.
Ms. Schultz does a nice job of letting their romance develop slowly. Your really not sure until the paranormal aspects come into play if these two will actually become a couple or not. I found that once the romance becomes official that the emotional factor increases but not in an overblown offensive manner. I hesitate to say this, but they are cute together. They have a wonderful chemistry and a delightful banter between them that is appealing.
The secondary characters blend in to the story and our protagonists lives with no awkwardness. They add humor and continuity as they help keep the story’s main plotline fresh and flowing smoothly. We see a lot of them in the beginning but they fade away once the main conflict is introduced and the romance is solidified. I would have liked to see them more involved in the main conflict. Kristian is the perfect uber popular girl. Rich, gorgeous and nasty. I really wish we would have seen more of her POV at the end of the story. Emma’s outgoing cousin plays the perfect foil for Emma’s innate shyness and Emma’s Aunt Catherine is spot on as a ‘first time mother’ trying to raise a teenager. I love the fact she is addicted to COPS and every Saturday night makes a martini for her and her dead husband.
The main conflict is presented in an interesting, matter of fact manner and wraps up fairly quickly with plenty of action but thankfully no cliffhangers. I did feel it ended abruptly though. I would have liked an epilogue of sorts to answer a few lingering questions. I was also little disappointed with Emma towards the end. She really should have known better and though it advances us towards the ending, it felt contrived. I do hope this isn’t the end of the legend stories. I would like to see more brought forward and dealt with in the modern world.