Latest Read: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publication date: Nov. 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Category: Young Adult - Historical fiction
Source: Received ARC via Edelweiss (Thanks!)
Summary: 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. (Adapted

The good
Forbidden was a change of pace I didn't realize I needed at the time. It's this historical, coming-of-age romance set in the Mesopotamian desert. Jayden, the heroine, and her family are part of a desert tribe meaning they are constantly traveling, respecting the old ways and steering clear of cities. It's a life she and her parents embrace although her older sister does not. But there is one tradition Jayden does fight against and it's her arranged marriage to Horeb. Their union will make them king and queen of their tribe but Jayden neither wants the title nor Horeb. However, it will restore position and wealth to her family and she can't deny them that even though it means never getting the chance to fall in love. Except, she does get the chance when a handsome and mysterious stranger named Kadesh finds his way to their camps and ends up helping them travel across dangerous terrain. This is where the sweeping romance part comes in!

So the thing I loved most about this book was the culture's celebration of dance and of women. Dancing is this spiritual experience handed down from mother to daughter and you can feel it in the author's words. How they lose themselves in the dance, how it's a form of expression and the empowering feeling it gives them. I absolutely loved this depiction. In the beginning especially, it's stressed how women and their bodies should be revered for their ability to bring life into the world and what a gift it is. Even though Jayden isn't ready for marriage or children (especially since Horeb is awful!), she does become aware of herself and more importantly, aware of the choices she wants for herself. She goes through huge obstacles and I admired not only the sacrifices she was willing to make, but also the fight in her.

My other favorite part of the book was the romance between Jayden and Kadesh. I was so sure it was going to go down the insta-love route but it surprisingly didn't. The attraction was immediate, as well as their curiosity about the other. But the romance itself was a slow burn that culminated into some pretty intense swoony moments. I suppose the intensity of their love still does happen rather quickly but it felt in line with the setting and the time period.

(Some) Reservations
I think the plot suffered from too many bad things happen. I understand that Jayden had to go through some trials and tribulations but it seriously got to the point where I thought - please just give this girl a break already. The author still could've accomplished the same thing if she had edited out some of the drama, which I don't feel necessarily added to the story. That time could've been better spent fleshing out characters. Ones that I wanted to know more about, like Kadesh. And others who I felt needed more time even if I didn't necessarily like them, such as Jayden's sister and father and even Horeb. Plus don't even get me started on the ending. It felt unfinished, unless there's a sequel I don't know about.**

Do I recommend?
It has a slow start but it picks up speed as it progressed and I found myself very much into it as I continued reading. I'd recommend it but it's a book I would say you should check out from the library.

**Note: When I wrote this review weeks ago, I didn't know the author was planning to release two more books in this series. I just found out a couple days ago. So yay!

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Did you ever take dance lessons?
I actually really wanted to be a dancer at one point. I took jazz and ballet starting in middle school until junior year of high school. So about, 4 or 5 years? I even danced on pointe. I would make up dances, watch music videos and learn the choreography from my favorite music videos. The last dance class I remember taking was in LA right after my freshmen year of college. I was visiting my cousin and she knew how much I loved to dance so she signed me up for an open class with WADE ROBSON (you know, the guy who did all of Britney's choreography!). I was totally out of practice by then and felt like a complete spaz but it was still a lot of fun. 

1 comment

  1. I AM TOTALLY HIGH-FIVING YOU ABOUT THE DANCE CLASS WITH WADE ROBSON! Ahem. Yes. I liked dancing a lot too when I was younger, though I stopped taking lessons before I even reached high school. But dancing (especially when it's silly, fun, all around the room) is always fun!

    Also, I'm glad you convinced me to continue reading FORBIDDEN. It would have been kind of a terrible tragedy if I hadn't! Though I'm not overly fond of the angst and drama (since it got to be a bit too much, as you've said), I still wound up invested in Jayden and Kadesh's romance and this story. And I'm really, really curious about what will happen next!


with love,