Thursday, March 22

Spellcaster: Book Review

by Cara Lynn Shultz
Harlequin Teen
March 27th 2012
Young Adult/ Fantasy

Last school year had some super great moments for Emma. She found out she is a witch and snagged the hottest guy in her class. They ride off into their own happily ever after. Perhaps not as happy as they were hoping. Brendan's past comes back to haunt him. Can their relationship survive the assault?
Emma's picture should be next to the definition for insecure in the dictionary. Her Achilles heel is her inability to move past her version of herself as well as her idea of Brendan's past flings. She waxes all weak and pathetic every time this stuff comes up. That doesn't mean I don't understand where she's coming from. Brendon's exploits are vast and many would love to add themselves to the list. Who wouldn't be somewhat affected by all those details constantly thrust into her face? You would have to be really confidant.
Brendan Salinger can be described by these three words: Hot, Rich, and Athletic. While Emma regales us with her numerous insecurities, Brendan gives us an all expense pass to his inner sanctum, revealing a softer side. Apparently, he is more than a handsome face and body. By that I don't mean brains, regardless of his report card.
These two don't have problems with communication, no matter what Brendan thinks. He gets upset when she keeps things from him. Unjustifiable since the information in question isn't more than a day old. More proof of their great communication comes in the form of several heart to heart moments. Being female, I enjoyed all the chat between the two, even if it is unrealistic.
A common theme in YA novels is an inability to seek help from adults. This being no exception, though the characters don't mind using it as a threat. Typical teenage behavior rooted in their belief in their own invincibility.
Karma is a huge factor in the storyline. All those exploits in Brendon's past start to interfere with his current relationship. He gets a real kick in the pants over the past excesses. Ever heard the phrase, "Save yourself until marriage" Consider its equivalent being finding that one person you will spend the rest of your life with. Here Cara Lynn Shultz has provided you with the consequences of not waiting.
a) reputation for your mad skills making women sink to using witch craft to catch your attention
b) ex-one night stand trying to exterminate your girlfriend
c) ex-one night stand trying to kill you for your immunity to her commitment hooks
Let this be a lesson to you, lest you find yourself similarly circumstanced.
The pacing of the books is much like the speed of a train. It takes forever for it to get anywhere. Pages and pages of . . . happy couple, blah, blah, move on please. Enter psycho scene right and things really start to chug. Then Emma switches our focus with her inner demons. Thankfully short lived as the ending comes crashing in. Sadly the end felt a bit anti-climatic. So much pressure and weight is placed on a specific spell which putters. 
Spell = Incapacitated Evil more like Spell = Pretty Fireworks
The evil chick is not to be easily deterred as she is the energizer bunny of psycho land. Top graduate of her villain class.
Brendan was the best part of this book for me. It was nice to get such an in depth view of his character. All together this was a good read and solid sequel.

Swearing: moderate
Sexual content: moderate
Violence: moderate
Main characters age: 17