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Reviewed by April Kirkland

Claire’s mom was staring at her again. She had this way of looking at her like she half expected some dramatic change to occur right before her eyes. Claire chalked it up to her mom’s paranoia, which was one of the main reasons they had never stayed in one place very long. Since they lived in Brentwood for two years and she could not stand the thought of ever leaving her school and her two best friends, Erica and Brian, Claire hoped that their nomadic lifestyle was in the past. But what she didn’t know was that big changes were on the horizon for her that would jeopardize not only her living situation, but her very life.  

As Claire was getting out of the car for her first day of school, she gave her mom a quick hug and something very strange happened. A shudder went through Claire’s body and an image flashed into her mind. This was the first of many visions to come, but even with visions could not prepare Claire for the struggle for life and love that she was about to begin. However, there may be hope for her yet in the new boy at school, Alec, who successfully saves hers and her friends’ lives shortly after they adopt him into their group.

Although there are things about Alec that don’t seem to add up, Claire can’t help but fall in love with him. As they discover each other, they can no longer deny that their love is forbidden. When everthing comes down to keeping Claire alive, how far will Alec go to protect her? Alec’s own secrets may force him to choose between freedom and true love.

Forbidden is hands down the most fascinating book I have read in quite a while. You may think it is just another another novel about star crossed lovers but I assure you it is so much more than that. It has wit, humor, action, mystery, and is filled with just the right amount of tension. As the characters develop and the story unfolds you will find yourself wrapped up in their world, indulging in every kiss and holding your breath with every twist.

The story is quick and flows briskly through the 400+ pages. It took me half the time to read Forbidden than other books half its size simply because the story was so enthralling. I love how more than once I got to hear the story from Alec’s point of view and really got to know what was going on in his mind. I hope this mother and son writing duo – Syrie and Ryan James – team up again because this book was simply magic!

I highly recommend Forbidden to anyone who loves young adult fiction, paranormal romance, or mythological folktales. From the beautiful cover, to the quality writing, and every word within, Forbidden is an amazing addition to the YA genre.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Also by Syrie James: Nocturne

April is a stay at home mom and wife. She lives in a small county in Alabama famous for its peaches. She loves to write poetry, read, and paint, and is also an aspiring author.

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