Monday, August 15, 2011


Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
HarlequinTeen, 2011
324 pages
YA; Paranormal
3.5/5 stars

Source: Received a free e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought the idea of reincarnation and soul mates sounded interesting and a bit different from the usual paranormal YA so I requested this from Netgalley, eager to give it a shot.

For the most part, I enjoyed the story. Main character Emma has had a hard life. Her father left her family when she was young, her twin brother died, and her mother died a year later leaving Emma in the care of an abusive alcoholic stepfather. After he almost killed her, she moves to New York to live with her aunt, attending a ritzy private school and immediately attracting attention, both positive and negative.

The negative comes from a mean girl who senses a threat and while for the most part, she is only vicious with her words, she does have a darker side. The positive comes from two jocks; one is Anthony, who's a total player and whose attentions are most definitely not welcome. The other is the enigmatic Brendan.  As the book progresses, Emma falls even more in love with him and together they must confront a dangerous and mysterious past.  Additionally Emma has her adorable younger cousin Ashley, a friend named Anthony, and a witch-friend named Angelique who provides important help in solving the reincarnation curse. One last aid is the ghost of her dead brother who seems to be warning her...about something.

I really loved the reincarnation aspect and all of the mystery around it; centuries ago, the fate of Emma and Brendan was set by selfish people in an epic fate.  Together they must act selflessly to chart a new course. However the language used to describe their love is familiar to regular readers of YA paranormal romance and bored me.  The reincarnation helps explain their immediate attraction and enduring connection and they do spend time together talking and getting to know each other. But they become a couple almost overnight and it was way too fast for my taste.

One final note is that the book is concluded and is not going to have a direct sequel. It seems like Angelique might get her own story set within the same universe but dealing with something entirely different.

Overall: A fair YA paranormal romance with a spunky heroine and some good action bits. Recommended for people who like PNR but hate cliffhangers and dragged out stories.


  1. I'm happy to hear there's no cliffhanger, but that instalove is annoying (even if it is reincarnated love). I've heard the MC is good though, so I think I'll be giving it a shot at some point.

  2. I liked this book, and was actually glad it didn't have a cliffhangar for a change. But the instalove thing is annoying, I agree. Here's my review:

  3. Great review- I'm dying to read this one! I really like a good love story and a spunky heroine, but like you I'm not a fan of the instant attraction thing. So glad to hear that there isn't a cliff-hanger!

  4. Yikes! I have been looking forward to reading this one but I HATE instalove. =( So sad that this one included that in there. It sounds good other than that. =) Thanks for the review!!


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