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Starting over at a new school, in a new town is tough, but make that a tony private school in New York, with only one person to count on, this is an enormous first day for Emma. But Emma sees this as a chance to start over, without the tragedies in her past, which included the death of her twin brother and her mother, her father's abandonment, and then a drunk driving accident caused by her stepfather, and she begins her day with a lie. When her lie is backed up by a handsome boy in her class, Brendan Salinger, Emma falls headlong into an intense crush. But Brendan blows hot and cold, almost kissing her one minute and ignoring her the next. Couple her romantic problems with school bullies and an inexplicable series of electrical events that her new, witchy friend Angelique considers to be warnings from the spirit world, and Emma finds herself not only head over heels for Brendan, but in way over her head.

Slightly stereotypical with new school and malicious rich kid angst mixed with a tale of reincarnation, doomed lovers and a curse, Spellbound is a pleasant fairytale romance. Emma attempts to tackle her problems with research and rookie magic and she is always willing to stand up for herself and her friends, so she is no Cinderella waiting for her prince to come and fetch her. However, the plot is slightly predictable and most readers would have met these characters before in both romance and fantasy, so this is the book to go for for the reader who wants curses, magic and true love with a dash of New York glamor.

Book Blurb for Spellbound

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?

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.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2011 4.00