imagesReviewed by Drennan Spitzer

In Entangled, the first in her Spellbound trilogy, author Nikki Jefford tells the story of teen witch Graylee Perez who, through a resurrection spell gone wrong, is forced to live inside her twin sister’s body. Graylee must manage the normal pressures of high school while attempting to solve the mysteries of her death and her presence in her sister’s, Charlene’s, body. Graylee must also negotiate her feelings for Raj, the teen warlock who loves her and who realizes that she’s inside of Charlene. This paranormal romance is written for older teens and while not terribly well written should appeal to a particular audience.

Often, the paranormal genre becomes a simple vehicle for a love story. And this is the case in Entangled. While certainly a paranormal novel of type that is so currently popular, Entangled is really a narrative about the experience of being a teenager, and as such, it examines the themes of sibling rivalry, peer pressures, and romantic relationships. Here, the paranormal is also an opportunity for Jefford to tell a kind of suspense story, as Graylee must confront the mysterious circumstances surrounding her own death. Rather than being a detriment, that the paranormal elements are somewhat incidental lends a more universal quality to the narrative.

Jefford’s writing is not particularly appealing. Too often the narrative focuses on the wrong things: we hear details that don’t necessarily move the story forward, while some moments seem to need much fuller elaboration. The wording too often is either trite or somehow misses the mark. There is much here that simply does not ring true. In spite of this, the novel moves forward quickly, and there is little opportunity for boredom.

Entangled will appeal to a particular demographic. Late teen readers who cannot get enough of the nearly-endless supply of teen paranormal romance stories inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga should find themselves right a home in the world of Graylee Perez.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Drennan Spitzer is a writer and blogger from California who now resides in New England. She writes creatively, blogs publicly, and journals privately. You can find her at http://drennanspitzer.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NetGalley. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.