Kathy Martin's Reviews > Forbidden

Forbidden by Syrie James
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Jan 29, 12

Read on January 28, 2012

This was a very enjoyable paranormal romance that would be suitable for middle grade students as well as young adults. Claire is a junior in high school and a scholarship student at the prestigious Emerson Academy in Los Angeles. She is smart and has a couple of really good friends - Erika and Brian. She lives with her mother. She is hoping that they will be able to stay but she has no guarantees. She and her mother have moved seven times since she was born. Her mother seems to be on the run from something but Claire doesn't know what. All she knows is that her mother is very protective of her. She and her mother have a good relationship despite the secrets.

Strange things begin to happen when she gets her first period at the beginning of this story. She begins to see the occasional vision of past events and maybe even the future. Naturally, she shares this information with her best friends who both believe her, are supportive, and who help her try to find out what is happening. Also, a new boy has begun school and he and Claire find themselves sharing a locker and becoming friends.

Alec is on the run too. He is a Grigori - a descendant of angels - whose job was to track down and kill the Fallen - other descendants of angels who have become evil. Alec has been hunting the Fallen for almost 100 years and he is burned out and suffering from nightmares. He goes AWOL and decides to see what life would be like as a normal high school student. He is immediately attracted to Claire but doesn't know how to approach her. Claire begins by thinking that he is shy and klutzy and hard to get to know - but gorgeous!

But then the trouble that her mom is running from seems to catch up with them. Alec's mentor Victor tracks him down and tells him that he is on the hunt for one of the Nephilim - a child of a Grigori and a human. Nephilim are forbidden because they may have the power of the Grigori combined with human weaknesses. Most of them go bad. Victor tells him that the Nephilim is at his school. He says he won't turn Alec in to the Elders that govern the Grigori if he helps him identify the Nephilim.

It doesn't take long for Alec to realize that Claire is the nephila but he is determined to protect her from the Elders and the Fallen anyway. The two have a wonderful, sweet romance. I really liked Claire and Alec. And I really liked Claire's friends Erika and Brian. I like stories with good kids who are working hard and not afraid to be smart. Even the big man on campus and the object of Claire's long distance crush turns out to be a nice guy.

My one slight concern for the story is the number of references to Star Trek. I am an original Trekkie and got them but I am not sure how many of my students - beyond the full-blown nerds or geeks - would understand them. However, I think the strength of the relationships in the story and the romance will be enough to keep readers engaged. I know I couldn't put the book down and spent most of a day reading it.

I want a sequel! There are quite a number of unanswered questions at the end of this one. And, I liked the characters so much that I want to know what comes next for them.
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