Previously published on my blog: http://fictionfervor.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/review-spellbound-by-cara-lynn-shultz/
If you've got a foothold in the book world, you'll know that Spellbound has been all the rage lately. Book bloggers keep on reviewing it and giving it five stars, and it's currently the second most requested book on NetGalley.
But if you ask me? I don't see what this hype is about.
Yes, Spellbound was a nice break from vampires and werewolves. Yes, Spellbound had a cute couple. Yes, Spellbound had interesting characters. Yes, Spellbound had an interesting plot.
But that's not enough to reel me in, trust me.
Sure, Spellbound isn't about vampires and werewolves. Lots of books aren't these days, thankfully. (Otherwise I would give up on books, honestly.) But Spellbound is based on something that's getting slightly old. Reincarnation. I've already read a few books about that.
Sure, Spellbound had a cute couple. Emma and Brendan are just adorable for each other, and they really do have chemistry. But honestly, their love for each other doesn't seem real to me yet. Even with that ending of how to break the curse and how Brendan was willing to sacrifice himself for Emma, their love isn't realistic. In fact, the ending made me even more convinced that their love isn't realistic. That's classic. It's cheesy.
The characters? I wasn't lying when I said that they were interesting. But I didn't mean the main characters. Because in addition to their un-real romance, they are both un-real characters. Emma is a Mary Sue. Seriously, coming from a tragic past? Pretty and kind of smart? Has a rich and powerful aunt? And even though I love her for standing up for her younger cousin, Emma is not kick-butt. Snarky, yes (and I do admit that I love snarky protagonists), but not kick-butt. Did she kick Anthony's butt? No. She had to be saved by the hero of the day, Brendan.
And Brendan? He's DEFINITELY a Marty Stue. Without a doubt. Smart? Strong? Athletic? Incredibly hot? Devil-may-care attitude to everyone except Emma? It's completely obvious. And I know it was necessary because Archer wanted him to be reincarnated as handsome and strong and smart and all of those things, but does it really have to be that obvious?
And the plot. It was definitely interesting watching Emma and Brendan trying to get past the curse, but it was completely predictable at times. I definitely found out about the reincarnated love far before Emma read about Archer.
And at times, the plot reminded me of Twilight. Pretty girl going to a new school, where she gets new friends and finds true love in a hot guy she meets? And this hot guy is different from all of the others because of whatever improbable reason? Yes, Spellbound was a tad bit Twilight-esque.
Now that I've got all the negativity out of my system, I'll talk about the good things. I loved Angelique. Angelique is Emma's best friend. And Angelique is a witch. A good one, that is. Angelique was amazingly considerate and supporting of Emma, trying to help Emma break the curse and convince Emma to get in touch with her inner witch.
I loved Cisco too. Though it was obvious from the moment that I met Brendan that Emma would end up with him, I half hoped that Emma would end up with Cisco . . . until I learned that Cisco was, unfortunately, not interested in females. But Cisco was realistic and friendly and everything I hope a friend could be.
Overall, Spellbound was a predictable book with unrealistic main characters, but I highly enjoyed Emma's snarky attitude, Angelique's witchy-ness, and the romance between Emma and Brendan.show more