Monday, June 11, 2012

Forbidden by Syrie and Ryan M. James

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Copyright 2012
HarperTeen - Young Adult/Paranormal
412 pp.

I wish I was on HarperTeen's mailing list. I managed to win my copy of Forbidden from Alyce of At Home With Books and it was such a pleasant diversion.

16-year-old Claire Brennan has never lived anywhere for long. It has always seemed as if her mother is running from something. But, she's been attending exclusive Emerson Academy for two years and she loves her school. When Claire begins having psychic visions, she's afraid to tell her mother. What is her mother running from? Why are strange things suddenly happening to Claire?

Alec MacKenzie is a Watcher, an angelic being whose job is to eliminate the Fallen when they become too dangerous. But, after over 100 years of doing his job, he's weary and just wants to give human life a try. He's had many years to learn a lot of information, so a school with a reputation for excellence seems like a nice place to hide and play at being normal. But, trouble follows. When Alec's godfather says there's a dangerous Halfblood roaming around Emerson, Alec agrees to help locate the Halfblood only if his godfather will guarantee not to turn Alec in.

Claire has a terrible crush on Alec and the feeling is mutual. But, Alec knows their love is forbidden. Is there a way for Alec to do his job and continue to spend time with Claire? Or must they be separated for eternity? Even worse, could their romance end in death?

What I loved about Forbidden:

I've been in a YA mood, lately, and Forbidden was just what I needed. It's got danger, forbidden romance, a dubious character or two (or four), and enough suspense to make the pages fly. The writing is also light enough for someone who is in the middle of working on preparing to buy a house and move. Haha. Had to throw that in. I do have a little trouble focusing on more intense reading material when I've got a lot going on, so young adult novels are particularly wonderful for such times.

I liked the characters and was swept away by the dilemma, the romance, and the paranormal elements. The lightness of the writing was very pleasant, since I've got a lot on my mind.

What I disliked about Forbidden:

Apart from answering with the word "Aye" instead of "Yes", Alec's dialogue does not make him sound like a Scot, but he is from Scotland. He pretty much sounds like everyone else in California and is most distinguished by the fact that he's lived a monk-like existence and has only eaten extremely healthy food. So, pizza and other foods are a shocking joy to him and, actually, his new food experiences and special abilities set him apart more than any attempt at a believable accent. I don't think that's a terrible thing, though, as a lot of authors overdo their attempt to make someone sound authentic, which ends up distracting the reader from the storyline. So, Alec's lack of Scottishness is a minor complaint.


Loved it! Recommended to paranormal fans who like a clean, light read with plenty of romantic tension, solid writing and a nice plot. This is only the second book I've read with angels in it so I can't say how it compares to others but I enjoyed Forbidden. It can be a tiny bit sappy, at times, and there is a smidgen of love triangle -- which, of course, has become a bit of a tired, old thing in YA -- but I liked both of the male characters and very rarely thought, "Oh, come on!" That may be because I haven't read much YA, this year. Forbidden swept me away and entertained me. That's all I care.

And, the latest news:

Things seem to be progressing rather quickly with the house purchase. Those who know me well will understand when I say I'm most excited about the fact that the neighborhood we're planning to move into has sidewalks and the city has leash laws. The absence of both has been really frustrating because we both grew up walking and riding bikes in neighborhoods where dogs were fenced and not a threat to active people (and dogs were not threatened by cars, which I believe is equally important). I cannot wait to ride a bike in my own neighborhood!

The cats are going to probably be peeved, though. I just have a feeling. Cats aren't really thrilled with the concept of change. We shall see.

Happy Monday!

Bookfool, who is trying to stop admiring all the improvements she's made to the house she's planning to sell.

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I'm here to comment so that you don't have to "fling yourself upon a sword" ;)

    Anyway, the book looks really interesting. I've never read any YA with Angels, so this might be the place to start. Definitely adding it to my TBR pile.

    1. Aw, thank you, Kimberly. I appreciate your comment!!!!

      I love the fact that YA is not taxing on the brain but I really did enjoy the plot in this particular book. I do think it's a pretty good starting place for angel reading. Hope you like it!

  2. Oh dear Nancy. It had to be this book, huh? I guess I shouldn't be so hard as I don't think I've truly attempted a paranormal young adult novel. For some reason I see these and immediately run the other direction. Maybe because it seems they're every where these days?

    Ok, judging aside, I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    And I can't imagine people letting their dogs run wild in the neighborhood! Seems like it would be a nuisance/liability. I'm excited for you and your move--you sound so happy about it!

    1. Haha. Well, yeah, I know it's not your thing but I still appreciate you dropping by, Trish. I haven't read that many YA paranormal titles but I know what you mean. When YA first became the Next Big Thing, I was pretty excited. And, then I did avoid them for a time. If you read many, you'll find that they start to sound alike. I mostly read YA when I need something Brain Light, now. They're perfect for times when you can't focus. I do enjoy YA.

      About the dogs: endlessly stressful. I cannot wait to get away from that. We actually have dogs pack up in our neighborhood. Our Miss Spooky was attacked by a pack of dogs and came close to death. Thank goodness, she was able to dive into a holly bush and we heard the dogs so we were able to get to her quickly. That's one reason our current kitties are indoors-only.

      We are outside the city limits and even in the city they've just recently gotten leash laws (which aren't enforced, unfortunately) so that's part of the deal. I think it's crazy. Everyone I know who runs, walks or bikes has been bitten at some point. The military park is the only safe place - it's federal property, so dogs do have to be on leashes. That's where I used to run.

  3. I came on Twitter before the 'fling on sword' comment, so I had to go back and see what the heck was going on! I think right after BEA and Armchair BEA is a quiet time. Other than a couple of my BEA posts you can almost hear a pin drop on my blog...

    Anyway, I am very excited about your new house. Your dog thing makes me think of an incident from earlier. We were driving home and a dog was on a leash with its owner. It randomly started to run out in traffic and the woman did a half-hearted pull on the leash. Anyway, we drove by and then we look in the rearview mirror and there is another dog. Neither of us saw it... We were both looking at the golden retriever (initially because it was using the lawn as its facilities and you always wonder if the owner will clean it up...)

    1. *snicker* It's a matter of honor, Kelly! And, speaking of that, I do need to visit your blog. Yeah, I'm sure everyone's exhausted after both BEA and ABEA.

      Thanks! I'm excited, too. The only thing I can't figure out is where on earth we'll go during a tornado warning because there's not a coat closet (although there's plenty of closet space) and the house is very open. Maybe dive under the deck? LOL

      Just about nobody actually walks a dog, here. Since they're loose, they get plenty of exercise -- or, at least, I guess that's the justification. Sad, because that means people are losing one of the biggest benefits of dog ownership in not getting the exercise of walking them (the other being the joy of companionship). We do have one guy who walks his dogs (seriously, just one guy in the whole subdivision) but he makes up for half the neighborhood by walking 4 dogs at once. It's quite a sight.

      When they roam free, nobody cleans up after them. Ick.

  4. True, true. The two times you love your house the most is when you first move it and when you ready it to sell. (well, not a hard fast rule but since i've done it 6 times, I know more that some.)

    Sidewalks! Leash laws! Thrilling!!! Fiona and Izzy will just have to learn to adjust. Bwha hah ha

    1. I'm glad you understand that, Carrie! What I'll miss most is the solid maple flooring in our bedroom. It's very difficult to acquire, now, and freakishly expensive but wasn't when we bought it. I love my colors, too. And, the brushed nickel hardware we've put in, everywhere. Sigh.

      But, sidewalks!! Leash laws!!! Yep, the cats will deal. :)

  5. I can't imagine dogs running wild, never fun. I mean, I'm from the country where it's common but there also weren't many people and so not many dogs. Fun times!

    As to the book, glad you liked :)

    1. I can understand dogs running loose on farms but in a subdivision . . . that's just bizarre. If everyone fenced the animals, our little neighborhood would be so much more pleasant. It'll be nice to move away from that, although I do have terrific neighbors nearby.

      Thanks! It was a very fun diversion. I'm definitely in a YA mood, right now.

  6. I might give this one a try, Nancy, since you enjoyed it. I like paranormal. :)

    I'm sure we will get some interesting photos of cats adjusting to a new address!

    1. Jenclair,

      I'd love to hear your thoughts about Forbidden. After writing my review, I read a few reviews at Amazon (where it got 4 stars) and found that a couple people thought it sounded too much like some other series. But, since I haven't read that series, it sounded unique enough to me. I like the occasional otherworldly reading experience. Next up is the sequel to Glow: Spark, which took me back to outer space. Fun!

      Yes, I'm sure you'll get to see lots of photos of the cats adjusting to the new space, once they come out of the closets or out from under the furniture. ;)


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