Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 6.28.2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Yes (Spellbound #1)
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I think I will forever refer to this book as a “sleeper cell book.” I swear this book came out of nowhere. I started reading it on a rainy afternoon, thinking maybe it would be fun, but what I got was a breathless read that left me swooning and reeling at alternating times for next several hours.
I honestly didn’t have high hopes when I began this. I found Emma to be intriguing by the end of chapter one and addictive by the end of chapter 5. I fell in love with this girl hard, and it’s nearly impossible not to. Cara Lynn Shultz created a protagonist so strong and so vulnerable at the same time that I couldn’t not cheer for her. And don’t even get me started on the awesomeness of Brendan. This boy has it all: bad boy, romantic, savior and cynic all rolled into one delicious package. It would have been so easy for Brendan to become a cookie-cutter, YA boyfriend, but Shultz never once made me roll my eyes at something he said or did. Quite impressive.
The only flaw I could find in this novel was the inevitable can we/can’t we be together shuffle that nearly every book has nowadays. The reader and the characters know their love is inevitable, so maybe next time we can skip the angst and go straight to the lovin’? But I suppose it does make the union all the sweeter … Sigh.
This is the type of book romantics will fall for over and over. It’s one of the books I know I will buy and read time and time again when I need a good romance fix. It has one of the best romantic pairings I have ever read. Emma and Brendan are the real deal. Edward and Bella beware: this is your competition.