Release Date: March 27th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
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.
So. This book. I don't even know where to start. I liked it a little, but definitely not a lot. There were things I loved, but there were things that also made me roll my eyes and snicker. I loved Spellbound. Well, okay, I didn't love it. But I liked it a lot, despite its flaws. To me, this book kind of just magnified the flaws even more. Because the plot was...well...not fantastic. Here I go.
First of all, the infodumps? Glaringly obvious. I know the author tried to retell what happened in the first book quickly, but man. There were pages AND pages of infodumps in the beginning. Where was the editor on this? Off dropping the ball somewhere I presume. But seriously, what happened there, huh? How did that even get through the filters? You want to refresh readers' memories, not kill them with boredom. That brings me to my next point.
The book was way too long. Way. Too. Long. First of all, the plot reminded me of a Christopher Pike or Richie Tankersley Cusick thriller from the 90s'. And yet it went on for over 300 pages. Sometimes there were chapters where almost nothing happened. The book was just way too wordy. I just found myself a lot of times not caring at all. This book could have easily been knocked down to like 220 pages. But it wasn't.
Then there were the issues I had with the characterizations. After reading over 300 pages, I still felt like I didn't know who Brendan and Emma were as people. After reading a book that long, how does that happen? I can't figure it out! The character development needed a lot of work. I just didn't feel that the characters were growing or evolving in any way. Emma thought Brendan was hot and he was in love with her. They have been soulmates since the year 1200. I get that. How may times do you have to repeat it? I need more than his eyes are green and his black hair hangs in his eyes and he's always running his hands through it. Geeze louise!
I did and still do love Cara's writing though. Her sense of humor makes me giggle. There were parts of this book that were laugh-out-loud funny. I just wish the plot wasn't so shallow! Let me reiterate. It was all about how hot Brandan was, how bitchy Kristin was, how slutty Kendall was, how witchy Angelique is, etc. It was all very surface and it hardly went deeper than that. I also found the characters to be quite stereotypical. Cisco and Kristin, mostly. Ashley was the stereotypical bimbo, but I loved her anyway. She was the one character that I fell in love with. So adorable. And then there was the dialogue. Some of it went way overboard with the cheese. There were a couple of times when I caught myself laughing or rolling my eyes. And those weren't supposed to be funny parts.
Compared to the first book, I just found the plot of this one insignificant. It felt tacked on and like this book wasn't necessary. I still kind of think this book shouldn't have been written. Spellbound wrapped up nicely. It should have been a standalone. And yet, I had to read this book because I liked the first one so much. I guess I was just hoping for more. But all this book ended up being was a thriller about a vindictive witch. Meh. If the author wanted to write this book, she should have wrote it as another standalone with different characters. I think I would have liked it better.
Things I loved:
Things I didn't love:
Especially now that Angelique reminded me that she and Randi, two much more experienced witches, failed at a binding spell. Who are you to think you can pull off something like this? That's like Picasso not being able to paint something, so you bring in some kid that draws a bitchin' stick figure.