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 livesvisions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: June 21, 2011
I really wanted to like this book, you guys. I really did. I heard a lot of people liked it, which is why I ended up checking it out from my library via OverDrive. I guess I just felt like this concept was way overdone to the point of it being boring and redundant. Girl with a secret about her, a love interest who's standoffish and mysterious--possibly "for her own good," supernatural/paranormal/magical-realism elements that didn't stand out as uniquely as I had hope. It's not that I wouldn't give Shultz other reads a try--it was just that this one didn't make the cut for me for some pretty big reasons.
Reason #2: Characters. For me, these characters were pretty cut and dry. There's a typical mean girl, a strange but loyal good friend, a somewhat of an insta-love love interest with a secret, and Emma's aunt (her guardian) is very, very unrealistic. I mean, how do you take in a teenage girl and NOT know what time to set as her curfew? She just seemed too lenient and unbelievable. I didn't exactly care for Emma because she seemed too worried about Brendan, and I didn't feel the real spark of chemistry between them. Overall, it was particularly bland for my taste.
Reason #3: Dialogue. Oh my gosh. This is a huge reason why I almost put this down. The dialogue is just so, so not there. For instance, Brendan practically says "Emma" after everything he says, ie: "Yadda yadda yadda, Emma," and "Emma, yadda, yadda, yadda." NOBODY IN REAL LIFE DOES THIS. This book really needed a good dose of name cutting and then it would have been a little bit better. Then there were some instances where the dialogue just went on and on and on about unimportant things that could have been summarized instead of said, and I found myself spacing out at those points.
I won't be continuing on with this series because I couldn't find myself to care about these particular characters and plot, and Shultz's writing just didn't cut it for me. However, if you're a fan of YA paranormal/supernatural/magical realism reads with a hint of romance and a mystery, then I have a feeling you'd like this one.
- Here is a better review of Spellbound for those who want to see something more positive.
- Here is Wendy Darling's snarky review of Spellbound which describes my feelings about this one in a little more detail.