Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: November 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Historical
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Jayden is trapped in a betrothal that could cost her so much. Her husband to be is vicious, handsome and cruel. But she is stuck, in order to save her family and be queen of her tribe, a title she has never wanted. Then she meets a mysterious stranger who she falls in love with. But if she follows her heart, she will lose her family, her tribe, and perhaps much more.
This book is a sweeping romance in a fantastical far away land. There’s a lot to enjoy in Forbidden. I love the setting which was new and original to me. The descriptions of the harsh dessert and landscape, the ancient tribes and customs were mesmerizing, allowing me to fall effortlessly into this exotic and dangerous world. Jayden is young, sixteen, but for the most part acts older. You can really understand right from the beginning why she is torn.
Overall, the story is well paced and keeps a readers’ attention. There’s enough going on with all of the tribe politics, the intimate challenges that Jayden faces, and the outside dangers everyone must navigate. That said, there was a point in the book a little over halfway that I feel like the pace really slowed down. This is also around the time where Jayden became really whiny and annoying to me. For the most part I like her, and I like the story. But for some reason about three quarters of the way through, when things are supposed to really start to ramp up in tension and action, Jayden’s young age peeked through. There were temper tantrums and she started throwing a lot of judgement and guilt. This might not have been a huge deal if the story didn’t feel like it stalled. Staying with it, everything picked back up again and the ending is a cliffhanger, right on the edge.
Also, her betrothed is despicable. And I’m not talking about like Gru in Despicable Me. I mean, really not a nice guy. That said, I feel like he may have gone too far in the evil zone. The guy is so evil and bad, I’m not totally sold that his motivation would warrant that extreme behavior. Basically, we already knew he was evil a quarter of the way through the book. Something he does pushes it over the edge for me and he stopped being a person and more like a caricature.
Forbidden is a really fun and captivating read. My favorite things about the book is the historical bits that are woven effortlessly in and the setting.
I also want to add that I am not sure if this is a series or not. The ending is such a cliffhanger that it seems like another book is inevitable, but it’s still officially listed as a stand alone so I’ve listed it that way here. However, I am totally hoping for a sequel and a conclusion to the story.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy