Review: Spellcaster (Cara Lynn Shultz)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen (March 27, 2012)
ISBN: 9780373210503
Source: ebook ARC from NetGalley
Read in 2 1/2 days (5 hours total)



Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

As much as I hate to admit it, I actually (slightly) enjoyed this one. Alright, don’t beat me down yet… let me explain my previous statement. Usually, books with super mushy characters that are all “in love forever” at the tender age of 16-17 irk me. There is just something about that that drives me nuts. Yes, I do realize these characters are reincarnated soul mates, but still… A person’s brain isn’t fully formed until early adulthood, so there are some things I just can’t swallow and accept in a book. The “I love you forever you big hunk of sex meat” is one of them. Forgive me.

With that being said, however, I did find things to enjoy in this book. Did it rock my socks off? Not really, but I did laugh out loud a few times from the witty banter. The author did a great job making the characters believable (minus the relationship factor) when they spoke and interacted with one another. There were some great snippy one –liners in this book. I appreciated the snarky value of each and every one. Here is a small sampling of the sardonic writing goodness: “With the amount of boobage she was showing off, she probably could have hidden my math textbook in there. And my math teacher” (271). I seriously snorted when I read that. I found it to be hysterical. Every page of Spellcaster had at least one little snippy jewel waiting to be discovered. I loved that. Of course, by nature I’m a rather sarcastic person, so of course I would enjoy this.

I also found the plot mostly enjoyable. I had most of it figured out by page 280 or so, but it was still fun to see how things would play out. I will admit that the final outcome I anticipated did not occur. I really thought someone was going to get knocked off all Godfather style, but that didn’t happen. So, that door is wide open for book three. Oh, and there was a surprise at the end from book one that I didn’t expect either. I’ll be curious to see how that plays out. I’m predicting a skipped jail hearing or something. Pretty vague, huh? You betcha. You’ll have to read the book to find out who/what I’m talking about.

As for my one complaint… Emma and Brendan. Gag. As characters, I like them well enough. Emma is uber strong and independent most of the time. She’s caring and fiercly loyal to those she loves. But when you put her with Brendan, I want to slap her. They took the whole “we’re soul mates for life” crap waaaay too far. It almost became ridiculous for me. I get that they are supposed to have this deep seeded love that lasts for eternity. That was clear in the first book, Spellbound. A reminder on every other page in Spellcaster was overkill. Honestly, it took away from the relationship as a whole because it made it seem fake.

There were characters that I did enjoy—tremendously. Cisco was great, even if he didn’t have a huge role in the plot. His actions at the end of the book solidified my love of his character. But my absolute favorite character is Angelique. I.love.her. She is sarcastic, slightly bitter, and extremely complicated. She seems rough and tough on the outside, but she’s actually very caring once she gets to know you. I loved every aspect of her character! Throughout the book she seems to grow. (Probably the only character that does this.) Originally, she can’t stand Brendan. In fact she loathes him. But then they start to bond over their shared commitment to Emma. Add a little empath skills to the mix, and suddenly Angelique is changing her mind about Brendan. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s running around wearing a Team Brendan shirt, but she learns to see past the man-whore outer shell.

If you enjoyed Spellbound, you’ll love this book. I have no doubts about that. Unfortunately, I had mixed feelings about the first book. Honestly, I don’t remember much about it. As I read through Spellcaster, I was reminded of key events that really didn’t linger in my memory. Not a good sign. I have a sneaky feeling that by the time the third book comes out, I won’t remember much about Spellcaster either. However, I will still read the final book in the series because I do want to see how things play out. This one was a quick read with overly hormonal teenagers forging the way through the plot. If you get annoyed by the quick and serious romance factor in YA books, be forewarned. Otherwise, this is a decent, mostly enjoyable book.


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2 comments:

BURIED IN BOOKS said... .

Always remember who the book is written for-those hormonal teens that are in that book! They eat those books up!

Heather

March 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM
The Flashlight Reader said... .

Good point! But it was still terrible for the rest of us...
March 9, 2012 at 9:26 PM

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