Entangled (Spellbound #1)

Entangled (Spellbound #1) - Nikki Jefford Although I had to spread the reading of this book over two days, it went fast and smoothly, and turned to be highly addictive. The first chapters may have been a little slow—what was needed, I suppose, to set the backdrop for Gray and Charlene's 'ordinary' life, and thus contrast Gray's sudden death against it. But past that point, I was hooked. Firstly because of the themes tackled throughout the story: revenge, deception, resentment, grief, death, how do people cope with it and to what lengths would they be ready to go if they had a chance to have a beloved one back... Secondly, while those themes are of the dark kind, the narrative itself doesn't feel desperate nor gloomy, therefore making for a lighter reading moment no matter what. Last but not least, because I wanted to know how things would unfold, all that simply (already suspecting the kind of outcome the author would come up with didn't detract from my reading pleasure: it's the kind of predictable I appreciate).

The characters were both archetypal for that kind of novel (the popular bitchy sister, the nice and hard-working one, the boy with a bad reputation but a heart of gold, the sidekick ready to do everything for the one he has his eyes on...), yet at the same time convincing enough. They behaved with the kind of intensity in feelings and actions that tend to seem fitting for teenage characters, and there were often some darker, secret areas to their personalities. After all, when the girl intent on snagging her boyfriend back is also a witch, can things really go as normally as they would if she wasn't? When she's jealous of someone, and want to hamper that someone's efforts, why stop at just feeling frustrated? And yet, some of those traits may also become understandable: I can understand how suddenly having her dead sister snatch her body one day out or two, putting a regular dent in her life, may feel extremely hard to bear for Charlene. (Alright, this said, she was still an absolute bitch who deserved to be slapped around with a trout full of long, pointy nails. Seriously. Borderline psychopathic much?)

I also liked that the story followed not only Gray, but Raj as well. He was by far my favourite character, being an actual good guy, respectful of others, even though he kept entertaining a facade that in the end hurt himself the most. (And Adrian. Why, Adrian, always full of smiles: I hope you do realize that you're so creepy, man! And that I love it.)

What I was less satisfied with in "Entangled" was some unanswered questions. The reason to Gray's death wasn't so clear (not to mention that it was pretty stupid, to the point of little old me wondering if the 'culprit' didn't act so dumb on purpose, knowing that of course it was just but an accident waiting to happen). And I admit I didn't really understand what happened with Raj and his mother at the end—well, I *think* I understood, only that part went too fast for me to be certain I really did; more details about that (and the role of the Zippo lighter) would have been appreciated.

Nevertheless, I liked this book, and definitely want to read the next installment.