Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Published: November 4, 2014 by HarperCollins
Length: 397 pages
Source: HarperCollins (ARC)
“In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.”
What I loved most about Forbidden was the author’s descriptions of the Mesopotamian desert. While I was reading the book, I felt like I was with the main character, Jayden, and her family, traveling across the desert. Sometimes the author could be very descriptive though. Her writing style was really good because her words flowed smoothly, but at times, there were awkward sentences, or there were scenes that are self explanatory yet she explains them which makes it redundant. I thought I was going to be bored with this book, but there were quite a lot of suspense here and there which kept me reading.
The characters were very realistic. Jayden starts out as weak, but as the story progressed, she slowly gains confidence and determination. She values what her mother has taught her which is to not worship any idols. On the other hand, her sister Leila, is tired of being a desert girl, and instead wants to live the life of a priestess which means worshipping different idols and dancing in front of many men which is frowned upon by her family’s tribe. The character that I hated the most was Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed and future leader of their tribe. He is hungry for power and would do anything to achieve it. Although I despised his character, I am amazed because if I was able to feel so much hatred for him, then that means the author did a very well job writing his character. Kadesh, Jayden’s other love interest, was too perfect. I liked how he was very caring, strong, and true to his word, but the author made him flawless which was kind of disappointing.
There is a love triangle here, but it worked! The author pulled it off and I actually enjoyed the romance. I really like the scenes where Kadesh and Jayden were together because they were just so cute! What I also like about this book was how it was rich with culture. I loved learning about the tribes’ beliefs, their differences, and where the different tribes were located. Overall it was a great story and I recommend it if you are looking for a unique read with forbidden love.