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Friday, September 23, 2011

Spellbound - Cara Lynn Shultz

Released June 21, 2011

Cara Lynn Shultz

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

After her drunk step-father crashes his car with her in the passenger seat, Emma Conner agrees to live with her aunt Christine. She has her cousin by her side so starting in prestigious prep school won't be too bad. AFter one day, it's clear that the popular girl has it out for her, but otherwise Emma's day isn't too bad.

Soon, Emma finds herself falling head over heels for Brendan Salinger, the school's mysterious hottie. As much as she'd like to become Brendan's girlfriend, dreams of her dead brother warn her to stay away from him, and other dreams show Emma in past eras facing horrible fates.  Soon, street lamps explode when she walks past. Are these dreams all a coincident or is there a valid reason that she should avoid Brendan? With the help of the school's "witch," Emma begins to investigate the meanings of her dreams and the other warnings she's receiving.

Spellbound is a fun read. Once you understand what's going on, the story's action really becomes intense. For sensitive readers, themes of abuse and alcoholism (the step-dad) may be a difficult to read, but they are handled amazingly well and in a realistic manner.

The romance between Brendan and Emma is certain to please teen girls, especially those who loved the Twilight novels. The chemistry between the pair is amazing. The bullying that teen girls face is also very clear and extremely realistic.

This is apparently the first novel in the series. The next book, Spellcaster, focuses on Emma's friend, Angelique, from the looks of things. I can't wait to see what's in store for her.

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