I wrote in a post once that YA paranormals are becoming the MillsBoon substitute for teenagers In defence of that theory I present this Stock Image Leaning man grabs Swooning womanAnd this Sto
I wrote in a post once that YA paranormals are becoming the Mills&Boon substitute for teenagers. In defence of that theory, I present this:Stock Image: Leaning man grabs Swooning womanAnd this:Stock Image: Girl in Prom Dress, view from backTragically, most YA PNRs these days show just about the same amount of imagination and innovation in their writing as they do in their covers. But hold on! This is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes.Now let's be honest, nobody expects paperback romances to be ground-breaking, innovative works of literature. Which is not to say that they can't be... merely that nine times out of ten, they tend to be formulaic, clichéd stories about the handsome billionaire and his secretly beautiful secretary. But they still constitute a majority of the publishing industry's fiction sales. Why? Because they provide women across the world with the purest form of escapism. And as a regular romance reader since the age of twelve (I was precocious, blame my parents!) I know the value of a reasonably well-written happily-ever-after. You go into these books knowing exactly what to expect, and emerge satisfied and starry-eyed. Now allow me to draw the analogy a little further. Let us assume Twilight was the first Mills & Boon story for teenagers. It is to be expected that its success would spawn a generation of similar happily-ever-after stories that rely on a proven formula to draw readers and give them what they most wish for - lots of drama followed by a happy ending. And as a variation on the true love theme, Spellbound performs creditably. Yes, like most YA PNRs, it is clichéd; like most YA PNRs, it is pure escapism with no claims to literary merit. And like most YA PNRs, it is a great way to while away a few hours while escaping from the confines of mundane, everyday life. Spellbound has all the elements necessary for romantic fiction. A pretty but awkward teen girl, a hot and handsome love interest, relationship drama, paranormal elements, starcrossed love and a bad guy who's out to get the lovers. I wrote a post a week or so ago about the common tropes used in YA stories set in a high school. Ironically, I read this book the day after I wrote that post, and I might as well have written it with this exact novel in mind. All of the high school tropes mentioned in the post make an appearance in this story.Emma Connor has just joined a posh prep school in Manhattan. On her first day she meets:1. The vicious, mean Blonde Popular Girl who hates her on sight2. A gay guy who's destined to be her best friend3. A Stupid Jock who sleazily hits on her4. A Popular Jock who rescues her from the Mean Girl5. A socially-outcast witch who's destined to be her other best friendEmma feels an instant attraction to Brendan Salinger (Popular Jock), but he runs hot and cold, being nice to her at first, then ignoring her, rinse and repeat. Her run-ins with Anthony (Stupid Jock) increase in intensity, until things become really ugly. In the meantime, Emma discovers that she and Brendan might possibly be the latest re-incarnated victims of a thousand year old curse. They are destined to fall in love, but their romance is also destined to end in pain and death. Oh, and Emma might be a witch who's being visited by her dead brother.The story is trite, but fun. It's not badly-written, and the heroine is quite likeable. In fact, she does sometimes possess a sort of blind courage and manages to stand up to the Mean Girl instead of being the patient, saintly sort, which earns her several points in my book.She does have a few TSTL moments, (view spoiler)[most notably when she allows the Mean Girl to take her to a dark, abandoned basement during the school dance (hide spoiler)], which had me screaming at her and wondering if she'd completely bypassed all those teen slasher flicks! Generally, however, the book proceeds at a decent pace, although it does slow down somewhat in the middle.The good points: The first scene between Brendan and Emma, when they are in a club together, was sexy!!! In fact, one whole star for just that scene, which gave me goosebumps. It was very reminiscent of my teenage crushes and the slow, tentative movement towards physical accord left me happy.The climax scenes are also fairly well-written. The action is fast-paced and thrilling, and my heart was in mouth as I urged Emma and Brendan to KILL the Bad Guy! It was pretty awesome, actually. The rest of the book was pretty standard, but overall, it was a lot more appealing than most of the books of this ilk, like Wings or Hush, Hush. If you're looking for a light fluffy read that doesn't require too much intellectual engagement, and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, this might be a good choice. A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers via Net Galley for review purposes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>The best Spellbound By Cara Lynn Shultz go inside Kindle 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 Connor, 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 SaliWhat 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 Connor, 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.. Cara Lynn Shultz is the author of Spellbound, Spellcaster and The Dark World She has written for Billboard, People, Logo TV, The Dodo, Alternative Press, Teen People, Stuff and The Guardian UK Hey guys I rarely check my messages, so if you are trying to contact me, the best bet is Facebook Facebook CaraLShultz , Twitter CaraLynnShultz or Instagram caralynshultz.. Good Books Spellbound The beginning of this book is pretty good. There's a little bit of set up that explains Emma's nervousness over attending an exclusive school in a new city, plus some funny one-liners that make her seem pretty likable. But on page 15, Emma meets Brendan and everything goes downhill from there, because her whole life, including the scant paranormal aspects of this book, then revolves around getting him. Here is a sketch of the story, with some spoilers.Here's what we know about the main characters:The GirlEmma is a high-school junior who lives near Central Park. She likes Brendan. A lot. Immediately after she meets him, she starts obsessing over everything he says and talks about him with literally everyone she knows. When he blows hot and cold, she gets upset. She feels "absolutely crushed" when she walks into a classroom and he's not there.Emma likes music and she likes to run. (This might be a metaphor.) Her daddy left when she was six and her twin brother died when she was fourteen. Then her mom got sick but found a boyfriend to marry so her daughter wouldn't have to be alone. Emma doesn't like to drink because she was in a car accident with her drunk step-daddy, which is why she's now living with her aunt, who gives her money and doesn't set a curfew. Emma is embarrassed by all this so she lies to everyone about where she came from, although she actually doesn't seem very upset that her entire immediate family has been wiped out. None of this actually has anything to do with the story except that it explains why she is living in the most expensive city in America without a whole lot of adult supervision.Because she has a necklace that has the same symbol as something Brendan owns and has a couple of weird dreams, Emma is sure that she and Brendan are soul mates who have been searching for each other for 1000 years. Seriously, 1000 years. But her dead twin brother occasionally pops up and makes the lights go out and warns her that their relationship is cursed. This really, really sucks, but her boyfriend is hot so there's got to be a way to make it work. Oh! And she might also be a witch. Her witchy schoolmate looked up some information online and said so.The BoyBrendan lives in a multi-million dollar home in Manhattan, where he has an entire floor to himself. He is "spellbound" by Emma as soon as he sees her. He is awesome because when they're out, he only does a couple of shots and then drinks water for the rest of the night so that she doesn't feel uncomfortable about only having one beer. He gives her his hoodie when it's cold, which is the sign of a true gentleman. Brendan is also a deejay (cool job) and he buys her a diamond Claddagh ring (generous guy) and picks her up in a limo (generous guy with style). When Emma feels insecure about the sneering, baby-pink-gloss-wearing Kristin who's after him, Brendan says "Emma, don't even compare yourself to them. It's like comparing a diamond to...I don't know...a booger." He's also really suave.The SummaryThis is essentially a book about a girl obsessed with a boy with some convenient "story-enhancing" paranormal elements thrown in. There are cartoonish teenage villains, friends who appear then disappear never to be seen again (and there is no witchcraft involved!), girls who are called sluts, and a drunk, conceited boy who tries to rape girls and hits people, then yells at them for not cooperating.There's also off-kilter adult behavior, repeated references to the title of the book, some really odd mentions of Martin Scorcese (which I'll give you, but...it's weird to also mention Thelma Schoonmaker later on for no reason), an eye-rolling climax straight out of a television movie, and most mystifying of all, the assumption that $20 will cover a night out in New York.If you hadn't already guessed it, in a book like this, whether your crush is ignoring you or whether there are unworthy people trying to get in your pants or whether there are Twilight Zone forces trying to keep you and your boyfriend apart, love will totally conquer all. After all, that's pretty much the whole point of being alive. And definitely the whole point of being a woman.The full text of this review may be found in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
Play Spellbound Washington Post The Washington Post Play Washington Post s Spellbound Spellbound is a fun and engaging free online game Play it and other Washington Post games Spellbound Dec , Directed by Alfred Hitchcock With Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G Carroll A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory. Spellbound Definition of Spellbound by Merriam Webster The children were spellbound by the puppet show She s a storyteller that will hold you spellbound Recent Examples on the Web The adventures of this knight Robert J Townsend and his squire, Sancho Panza Jeffrey Landman , quickly crystallize around Quixote s spellbound Spellbound Definition of Spellbound at Dictionary bound by or as if by a spell enchanted, entranced, or fascinated a spellbound audience. Spellbound Online Game Play Spellbound Online Free Like all of your favorite Arkadium games, Spellbound is easy to learn and play, but difficult to master To play this fun spelling game simply create a Spellbound Rotten Tomatoes Spellbound is a finely assembled thriller which has largely stood the test of time and represents one of Hitchcock s successful pieces of the period For all its melodramatic moments, it