November 13, 2014

Forbidden - Kimberley Griffiths Little

Forbidden book cover
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Source/Format: Edelweiss (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This does not affect my review.]

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.

I’ll admit one thing right off the bat: I very nearly set down Forbidden. But I didn’t, and that turned out to be one of the best reading decisions I wound up making for myself this year.

Forbidden starts off slow, real slow, which might deter readers from continuing past the first fifty pages. However, the plot picks up considerably as the novel progresses, flowing straight from one moment to the next in a way that feels utterly seamless. Jayden’s tale is definitely not easy; she goes through a lot of difficult things, one after another, almost as if she’s destined to suffer indefinitely by some god. But, past a certain point, readers will find themselves feeling friendly towards Jayden and invested in her story because she shows so much heart.

Jayden is a girl I could see myself being friends with. Her struggles to be brave, to follow tradition, to love her family and tribe, to do the right thing – these were all things I could personally relate to. It was fascinating to witness her at war with herself many times about many things, and Little handles that real well. She transforms into a completely different woman by the time readers reach the end, and honestly, I only wanted more of her. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she gets to have this sweet romance with Kadesh, a stranger who turns up in the desert from the Southern Lands. (I will say it did feel slightly insta-love-y, but it was hard to resist the pull towards Kadesh…)

Little sets her tale in the Mesopotamian desert, which is definitely something different. And it works. She brings to life what it must be like to be a part of the wandering desert tribes, particularly their traditions and religious beliefs and clothing. She also shows us life in the crowded cities, and sacred temples, coloring in each one with just the right amount of details. It’s impossible to resist the allure of this setting, and readers will enjoy being immersed in something different.

In spite of my initial apprehension, Forbidden turned out to be a pretty decent read. The story magically swept me up when things started happening to Jayden and the people she cared about; while it took a while for that to happen, it’s a good thing that it did happen at some point. Plus, the setting and Jayden herself are pretty great! My only other comment? I need there to be a next book. Because, Ms. Little, you just can’t leave me with that ending!

Did you ever take dance lessons?

When I was three years old, my mother enrolled me in ballet lessons. I took ballet for nearly eight years, making it all the way to beginner pointe classes before I gave it up for good. I took jazz lessons briefly after that, but only stuck around for two years. While I love to dance around my own room to my favorite songs, I much prefer being in the audience and seeing stories come to life onstage via other, much more talented dancers!


  1. Awesome! Perhaps I should check this one out... Sometimes I like a little bit of a slow start to a book. Which is weird, i know. Also, Mesopotamia? I haven't heard that since like middle school! Exciting setting! Great review, as always :)


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