When Claire Brennan begins to get psychic visions and mysterious warnings that she’s in danger at the start of her junior year, she isn’t sure what to think. But the truth is stranger than anything she could have imagined.
Alec MacKenzie has fled his duties as a Watcher angel and come to L.A. in search of normalcy. He never dreamed he would find a half-angel at his school, or that he would fall in love with her.
Romantic, with a touch of humor, readers will be swept away by this thrilling stand-alone novel from bestselling adult author Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen) and her son, Ryan James.
Syrie James is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance, which have been published in 21 languages.
Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” Syrie’s novel “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war and became an international bestseller. Her passion for love stories and the paranormal led to her critically acclaimed and award-winning novels “Dracula, My Love,” “Nocturne,” and the popular YA series “Forbidden.” Her love of English historical romance led to her Amazon bestselling Dare to Defy series.
Syrie’s books have won numerous accolades and awards, including the national Audiobook Audie Award for Romance, and the Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”); Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine ( “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”); Barnes and Noble’s Romantic Read of the Week and Bookbub’s Best Snowbound Romance (“Nocturne”). Her novels have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, hit many Best of the Year lists, and been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks of the Year.
Syrie is also an award-winning screenwriter and WGA member who has sold or optioned numerous scripts to film and television. Syrie's successful adaptations of books to screen include the movie based on Danielle Steele’s bestseller “Once in a Lifetime."
In demand as a speaker across the U.S., Syrie is also a playwright whose work has been produced in New York City, California, and Canada.
I didn't actually finish this, I only reached page 137. It is your average paranormal high school angel romance, enough that I would have finished reading it, most likely, and probably given it a decent rating. So why did I stop?
I have noticed an increasing trend in young adult books using derogatory terms in reference to individuals with developmental disabilities, in this case, on page 137, "Holy crap," Erica said. "We've been so short-bus about this."
Teenagers probably think this is funny and just read it, laugh or not, and go on. As someone who writes and also works with children with disabilities in an elementary school, where we are trying to stamp out bullying and engender understanding, it truly dismays me when I see this happen in books that have recently been published. The children I work with are kind and loving, they are just different. They have autism or cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, in some cases other syndromes. There are some wonderful students at our school who come and volunteer as peer buddies to students in our class, and become their friends and understand their differences better.
Yes, sometimes people with disabilities act differently in public, make strange noises, or do strange things. They are honest, they don't hide who they are. Just because some of them can't speak doesn't mean they don't have things to say, they just need people willing to take the time to listen.
Authors have a responsibility, to an extent. If we put something in a book or story that's derogatory, there needs to be a good reason for it, not simply put it there to make fun of people at their expense. There's nothing wrong with people who are gay, lesbian, bi, transsexual, transgender, bi-racial, a difference race than our own, etc. etc., and if comments were made about anything like that, there would possibly be a stir about it, but often if it's making fun of disabilities, it doesn't get mentioned.
It is not open season on people with disabilities. Authors need to remember this, think about their audience, and remember that what they write sinks in. It encourages further devaluation of a population that doesn't deserve it, and includes some of the best people I've known.
It's truly a shame, because I think this book has promise. I just think that authors, editors, and publishers such as HarperTeen should think about these things a little more closely. Just because someone with a severe disability might not be reading your books, someone who loves someone who is might be.
For anyone who reads great books the name Syrie James should already be on top of all ‘to-read’ lists, as well as categorized as a consistent ‘5-Star’ author on all reviewer’s lists. Whether taking on Jane Austen, vampires, or anything else you can think of, Ms. James definitely knows how to create a story that is the ‘best of the best.’ But this time around she brings two new things to the table: The subject of angels told in a new way that hasn’t already been done six hundred times; and her son, Ryan, who enhances the story ten-fold with his own creativity and a definite ‘male’ point of view. (Which YA has needed for some time).
Claire Brennan is a young girl who’s having a bit of a rough time. All her life her mother has packed them up and moved to a new city or town the second Claire started to feel comfortable in her new surroundings. The one thing she doesn’t want is to be uprooted again, seeing as that she now attends a school called Emerson Academy that she absolutely loves. Her two best friends - Erica and Brian - are always by her side; she is madly in love with Neil, who is a red-hot singer in the school’s choir; and she works hard to make sure that she can keep her partial scholarship to this righteous Academy. The picture of a ‘normal’ American teen, right? Except for the fact that dizzy spells have begun to affect her and strange visions are appearing in her mind, Claire is A-okay. Until…
A new student comes to town by the name of Alec. Not only is he extremely handsome but he’s also Scottish, so that accent pretty much sweeps everyone off their feet. Except for Claire. When she first meets Alec he’s quite distant, and she basically would like him to go away. But soon Claire’s life changes immensely, especially when this strange boy begins to show some seriously superhuman strength. (No, not those guys). When Claire finds out that Alec is actually a member of a very old society that he decided to go AWOL from, her life really becomes a mess.
She is one of the Awakened. Not only that but Claire is a Half-Blood. Her father, who she never knew, had some very special powers in his background and now Claire is paying for the fact that she’s a type of ‘being’ that may one day turn on the world and take people out. Vincent is Alec’s godfather, a man who works for some real ‘higher-ups’ whose job it is to erase Claire at this young age so she can never cause any harm. But Vincent forgets that nothing is more superhuman than the power of love - which Alec has for Claire big time!
I have to say this book is a thrilling ride. From a trio of fallen angels to a battle with a were-creature, this fast-paced plot is extremely adventurous. And the romance? Let’s just say that the romance is so powerful between Claire and Alec that they make old Bella and Edward look like nothing more than ‘good friends.’ This is not just a YA, this is a truly amazing story that, while you’re reading it, you’re also picking out the best actors to play the roles on the big screen. All age groups will find themselves absolutely attached to this incredible novel!
A story of pure fun, fantasy, romance, humor - you name it - Syrie James and her son have brought it! Get this one the second it comes out!
It's a 'I had read better written, more exciting fanfics about angels than this book' 1.5 stars.
Be warned that NOTHING HAPPENS within the first 200+ pages of this novel, the story is filled by the daily affairs of the heroine and her friends from the freaking high school.
(A special thank to Jun Bisque, a dear friend of mine who made this jpg.)
Also, you have to be warned against the dull writing, the cardboard cutout characters, cheesy romance, I'm a special innocent snowflake Mary Sue heroine, I'm evil but I've never done anything scary in the book villains and the mind-numbingly boring highschool melodramas. We also got a 100+ years old immortal drooling all over a 16 years old girl as well. Last but not least, the heroine is rather useless, she needs her love interest, a.k.a the mysterious, brooding new boy in school who really is a 100+ years old immortal to save her life repeatedly.
Not to mention said heroine is all too ready to forsake her life, happiness and future after her love interest left her behind in order to save her life.
Shit, I'd been getting that all-too-familiar Twilight vibe while I read the book.=___=
I don't hate this book, I even like the parts when the authors make fun of Twilight and disco-ball pseudo vampires, the characters aren't hateful neither; but I'm both annoyed and disappointed by this novel and its authors.
I'm sorry if this is all over the place, but this book made me angry.
Okay. Practically everything that I consider wrong with young adult genre is in 'Forbidden'. There are so much nonsense in this book. As it progresses it gets better, yes, but only slightly. The worst chapter is the first one, where we are getting introduced to the characters who are going to annoy be with us for the rest of the 400+ pages. The book is written in two POV's - one is in Claire's (the protagonist) and the other one is in Alec's ( the lover boy). Claire immediately notices how "omg tis guy is even hotter and cuter than Nial, that guy I had a crush on since forever". Author doesn't want Claire to seem obsessed, so she drops a few rude comments in her head, turning Alec's shyness and awkwardness into being "cold" and "rude". I feel sorry for the guy, because well, it is clear from the first two sentences that the author is going to pair them up. But then we get to Alec's POV and it is revealed that he isn't SHY or AWKWARD, he is actually really smooth and charming. Except this time, Claire is so beautiful and just so ethereal that he is totally in luvsies with her in a matter of seconds and that's why he is behaving this way. Basically the whole chapter is the elaboration of she was perfect, he could not stop staring at her. The fact that he just met her doesn't matter at all, because they fall in love after like six chapters anyway.
Despite Alec's deification of Claire, she still comes off as one of those whiny and annoying characters that you would love to slap.
"Claire didn't need anything that upscale to be happy - but every time she walked in through the door and saw the cream - colored walls and carpet (in other words: bland) she was reminded that they never stayed in one place for too long."
(I hate when writers use brackets to put in something completely unnecessary. So your walls are bland. Man, I feel like my eyes have been opened.)
Their relationship is so bland (HAH) bizarre. He saves her from a car accident with his special powers and leaves a hand print in the car (hm, where have I heard that before?) and all she has to say (after a few days, mind you) "I haven't thanked you properly for the whole saving-my-life-thing". This is where I lose it. I can feel that the book isn't going to get any better.
We find out that Alec is an angel and a powerful one at that. And obviously Claire can't be a simple human, that would be just stupid. So we turn her into a helluva strong half-blood nephilim, first one in 'eons'. What does she get with that, you ask? The magic OF SINGING. OF SINGING. Because Angels have harps and angelic voices and stuff. GEDDIT? They then proceed to sing a lame ballad, both fascinated to no end by each others' 'magical' voices. Apparently Claire screeched like a dying cat before she discovered her fantastic voice and she doesn't get surprised at all when she suddenly becomes the next Adele.
Another thing. Alec is Scottish, therefore he has to say "aye" in every sentence. I think I've never seen him say yes. What is he, a goddamned pirate with a wooden leg?
I don't even remember what exactly happened with the plot. They get threatened by someone from upstairs and our wonderful couple has to break up (sob). Poor Alec is just trying to save their lives, but of course Claire gets all clingy in Bella-like manner, storms into his apartment and puts both of their futures in danger.
We also get a line that could rival Twilight itself.
"You wondered what I am?" Alec said gently, his voice echoing as if they were inside a cathedral. "Go ahead. Find out." he opened his shirt, grabbed her hand and pressed it to his beautifully sculpted chest."
At least in Twilight it made some sense. Edward showed Bella that he could sparkle. What does he show us? HIS BEAUTIFULLY SCULPTED CHEST. Does it reveal anything? NO. Am I just supposed to figure out that all Angels have beautifully sculpted chests? Is it a part of the lore like vampires drinking blood or werewolves turning at full moon? NO. Sigh.
I was SO excited when Syrie wrote to me and told me that I was the first ever recipient of a Forbidden ARC! I read this book back in August, and was very happy when it was requested that I post this review now, rather than wait for the month of the release. Put this on your Christmas lists, guys! I think you'll enjoy it. :)
First off, I really loved the story. The premise was interesting, and I like how I had to keep guessing and trying to figure out what was going on. I liked the tactic the authors used--to not tell us what Claire or Alec are for quite a while. All these crazy things start happening, and people are not who they say they are. I felt like I was just as lost as Claire was, which was exciting. I wish the back of the book did not mention angels. It would have been more fun to not have had any clue at all.
Alec is an amazing character, and I'm not going to tell you what he is. It's fun to discover that on your own. He's a mix of bad boy and sweetheart, which I love. He is so sweet with Claire. He's also mysterious and dangerous, yet soft and romantic. He's at Emerson Academy to escape his old life and create a new one... if that's even possible. He enjoys his isolation. As soon as Claire pops up on the radar as someone the Elders should be investigating, his hiding place is discovered and he ends up having to take drastic measures to protect her from those who wish to destroy her.
I'm not going to tell you exactly what Claire is either, but she's something forbidden. Haha. Her entire life should not even exist. She starts noticing changes and has to learn as she goes, because not many have ever been in her position. There's no manuals on how to be herself. Man, this is painful to explain without spoilers, so I'm moving on! She's sweet and wishes to be noticed by this one guy she's had a crush on for years. Of course, he barely notices she's alive. When Alec comes along, though, she begins to gravitate towards him right as this crush starts to gravitate towards her. She's torn. She doesn't embrace the love triangle, like so many YA girls end up doing in books. (Like... did Bella have to act so upset to be marrying Edward, but fling herself into Jacob's arms when he showed up late at her reception? Sorry... I just saw Breaking Dawn yesterday.). She does a lot of thinking, and follows her heart. She seems smart. She also uses her talents to help people, like a classmate who needed a push in the right direction. Those are two main reasons why I like her. She didn't bug me, which often happens to me with YA heroines. I feel like I'm saying this a lot lately. Maybe authors are starting to write better heroines in general?
I liked Claire's friends a lot. They looked out for each other, and spent a lot of time sitting and chatting about all kinds of things. Friends usually end up bugging me too. They can so often be petty, catty, etc. I wish I had good friends like them when I was in high school.
There were several plot twists that made me go, "Whoa! I definitely wasn't thinking THAT would happen!" I've noticed that as I read more and more of one genre, books begin to become pretty predictable. I mean, how many love triangles do we see? How many evil villains do we see? How many cliche plot twists do we see. A lot, a lot, a lot. These twists were not something I foresaw. I enjoyed being outsmarted by a genre that I've pretty much figured out.
Of course, the sweet kissing descriptions were just as good as the ones I've read in Syrie's other novels. I love romance!
My only possible constructive criticism… I'm not sure if it's because the book is part of the YA genre (which I've never read from Syrie), or if it was because she co-wrote it with her son, but there were parts of the novel that were totally Syrie, and other parts that did not sound like her. I could tell that two people wrote it. I'm not sure if it's because her writing style and Ryan's were not blended seamlessly, or if it was just that I'm used to reading adult fiction from Syrie instead of YA. In either case, it's not a huge deal… just an observation. If I had not read other works of hers, I doubt I would have noticed anything at all. I've just come to recognize Syrie's literary voice because I like it so much!
I asked Syrie if she and her son were planning to write a sequel, and she said that in their minds, it's a trilogy. However, HarperTeen only committed to one book. They have great ideas for the next two, though, so hopefully Forbidden is well-received, and they can continue the story. I'd love to know more about what's in store for Alec and Clair. Actually, I'd love a prequel, too. Throughout the story, we hear little bits about Claire's parents. I'd love to read about their story as well. It has the potential to be a pretty beautiful story.
I definitely think that the book will appeal to more than just YA readers, and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that the characters are not annoying and certainly don't fit into the stereotypical high school student formula. I think it also helped that Alec had a certain maturity that seemed to influence the other characters, and that brought on more mature conflicts and issues. I'm 24, and a lot of YA novels I read make me feel pretty old. Haha. I know I'm not old, but in a totally different place than most YA characters. I didn't feel like this while reading Forbidden, and I forgot they were all highschoolers. It was refreshing.
In short, it was a wonderful book. I quite enjoyed it, and only took about 2 days to read it. Hopefully this team gets to continue the story! While it can totally stand on its own, there are plenty of ends that are just a tad loose, that could use some tying up!
Claire goes to school at Emerson Academy, and she's hoping that she gets to stay there to graduate high school. She and her mother move around a lot, and Claire wants to stay for a while near her friends and crush for once. Things are changing for Claire, though. She's been having visions and she knows things that she shouldn't ... The idea of possibly being psychic scares yet excites her at the same time.
Alec is new at Emerson Academy, but friends and grades are the least of his worries. He's run away from his duties watching out for the spawn of angels, and making sure that those who have turned dark stay in line. He doesn't plan to meet Claire, or to fall for her. But with the possibility of imprisonment if he's found, and his sudden new mission to track down a Nephilim, meeting Claire, and discovering what she is, complicates everything.
It had been a while since I'd read a book about angels, so I figured I'd give this one a try because I'd picked it up so long ago. I was very impressed with the story and the characters, and I thought the romance was really sweet.
I enjoyed the author's use of angel myths, including the Nephilim. While forbidden romances can be cliche at times, I thought that this angel romance was forbidden in the best way possible. It wasn't too far fetched of a conflict, but I thought the problems that the characters faced were sufficient enough that their worries and fears truly made sense. This book had the perfect balance between conflict, romance, and everything else.
Alec's rebellion against what he'd spent his life doing was one of the best parts of this story. I love when characters rebel or go against what they've been taught to believe, and Alec really fit this criteria. His courage to take a stand for himself and try living a new life at Emerson Academy was admirable, and his feelings for Claire were sincere. Alec was my favourite character because he was just so interesting, he had such a complex past with so many hopes for the future.
I also find Claire a likeable character, and I enjoyed reading about her powers and visions and how they developed. Claire's friends played an important role supporting Claire in this tough time of her life, and I appreciated that they didn't abandon her when things got really crazy. The characters in this novel were very enjoyable to read about, and that's what made this book so special and interesting.
However, I truly wish that this book had been longer. It doesn't seem that there's going to be a sequel, and with the ending that Forbidden had, I've found myself rather disappointed. That's the thing that took off a star for me.
Overall, a great read. Fans of angel stories will like this book, especially if you're looking for a book that doesn't revolve solely around fallen angels. Those who like forbidden romances, especially those in YA, should give this book a try.
This book is very nice if we see it from one perspective but from the other perspective this book is a bit lone and things took a lot of time to develop.Even the story took a lot of time to develop . If this book had been in a series the. the review would have been different .As it was slow aand to to long.
The characters were great and the way they developed in the story was also very good but as I already said slow Pace made it less readable.As it had double pov it made things bit easier in the starting but the heroine made it little boring and the vibes were like fallen then twilight and then why am I reading this .Every one was trying to achieve a happy ending and it made me feel the heroine was suicidal by nature.
The hero feel in love with the heroine instantly so it made him possessive because our heroine had a crush on a boy neil.So thing were a bit spooky. Now a days Ya books angel shelf have become more about democracy and war ancient fight to save human race or the heroine that it make this book reduce all it starts.But I will give it 3 for a possessive insta love thing.
Quick & Dirty: Stereotypical characters fall into the YA trope of insta-love, but with an angel mythos that has an interesting twist to it.
Opening Sentence: It had been a really crappy morning.
The premise of the novel was interesting, even if the angel mythology isn’t anything new. It’s got a few interesting twists that I enjoyed, but for the most part it’s got the same staples as most YA paranormals. The strongest part of the novel was the characters. I loved that Claire isn’t a social outcast or Ms. Popular, the two extremes already plentiful in this type of story. The friends she does have are brilliant. They’re fun, loveable, and hilarious, but they’re also smart and trustworthy. Claire tells them everything, even the crazy, and they want to help her.
At first I thought the title Forbidden was about Alec and Claire’s romance, but it isn’t. It’s about Claire and her life and the fact that she really, really shouldn’t exist. I didn’t like the way the author kept what she was from us so much of the story — I think it was an attempt at adding tension-filled mystery — because we know something’s wrong, we know about the angels, so just tell us already! But Claire’s sweet and crushing on a boy who doesn’t know she’s alive, and just an all-around typical high school student. When Alec shows up, mysterious and Scottish, her feelings begin to focus on him and her crush finally looks at her, but this isn’t a love triangle like I expected. Claire is smart and level-headed and follows her heart instead of embracing the drama of having two boys. Her brain made her a great heroine to read, but why are YA heroines so intensely smart and yet idiots at the same time? The insta-love made me want to punch both Claire and Alec.
Alec is good as well, but I had a few problems. Because this is a mother and son team, and Claire and Alec are written respectively by each, they didn’t flow together. At first I thought it might add to the voice and distinguish each of them, but instead it distracted me. As a character and a love interest, he’s good though. The stereotypical “bad boy” that can only be redeemed by our intelligent heroine. He seems all confident from Claire’s POV, but we can see from him how insecure he feels about trying to be normal and fit in. Because he belongs to a very old society that he’s run away from, he turns Claire’s already odd life upside down. Claire turns up as someone the Elders need to investigate and his hiding place is outed, placing them both in danger. No matter what Claire is, Alec’s going to protect her.
This is the beginning of a trilogy, according to the authors, but their publisher only picked up the one book. I’m not sure if I believe the rest of the series will deliver enough to be picked up. This book fell back on clichés — hard. While the twist on angel mythos was interesting, it was too drawn out and despite the characters having great potential, the authors let them fall into their respective molds. If the sequel does get picked up, I hope we see more of the humor and they make an effort to turn Claire and Alec into individuals.
She yanked the phone out and glanced at the screen, fully expecting the text to be from her mom.
Instead, it was from an unknown number. All it said was:
She glanced up and saw Alec secretly working his cell phone beneath the cover of his desk. Another message arrived:
I’ll share my notes. –A
She smiled. That was nice of him. She was putting her cell phone away when the sharp rap of knuckles against glass brought her eyes back to the classroom window. She froze in horror.
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Forbidden. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
I’m starting to wonder if a lovelorn angel lusting after a human or chasing after a nephilim is the new trend coming in on the tail of vampire fiction. Forbidden, by mother and son duo Syrie and Ryan James can definitely be slipped in with the forlorn angel breaking the code of his angelic lifestyle that seems to be the current trend in the YA paranormal genre. Forbidden follows Claire, who essentially lives a gypsy lifestyle with her mother, flitting from place to place with no real reason. During this book, Claire and her mother have remained in one place for nearly two years and Claire is currently enrolled in an elite, private academy where she has to bust her butt to maintain a high GPA so she can stay in. Of course, as any female lead in current YA fiction, she’s super smart and has no problem maintaining the perfect grades (personally, the “perfect student” female lead is getting a bit old to me. Someone, create an original character please, one with spunk and some real flaws? Thanks.)
Enter Alec, the mysterious, handsome stranger who shows up on registration day and oddly attaches himself to Claire and her friends. It’s made clear almost immediately that he’s got a secret that he’s hiding, and that he’s not everything he seems to be. *cue melodramatic music* Dun..dun..dunnnnnnnn
I want to make something clear here, I have instant disdain for any YA book that creates an immediate and powerful love between two adolescent characters. I think it’s important that young readers are exposed to characters who develop a love based on getting to know one another, and spending time together, not seeing each other from across the lawn and feeling sparks arc across the entire campus as they immediately fall head over heels in love with one another without uttering a word. Okay, so maybe I exaggerated some. Alec and Claire didn’t fall in love like that, but it was pretty quick and unrealistic, and I’m not a fan of a love with no sound base.
Also, I have issues when a book has scenes that are uncomfortably similar to scenes in other extremely popular YA books, like…when Alec miraculously appeared out of no where and saved Claire from a falling beam in a construction zone and disappeared, as if nothing had happened. It was eerily reminiscent of a certain vampire/human girl/car saving scene in another book. Do I really need to give you the name? Really?
Which that leads me to the characters. Is it just me, or do all female characters in YA fiction now have to be astonishingly smart yet dense at the same time, oblivious to everything around them. Also, do they have to be quiet, mousy, and reserved, and oddly unpopular even though they are highly attractive (and don’t forget, they can’t realize their pretty. That’s a no-no in YA fiction, guys.) And do all male leads in YA fiction have to be hot, brooding, mysterious, secretive, and almost a “bad boy” by definition? Because if so, this book hit stereotypical YA fictional characters right on the bulls eye, cause that was Claire and Alec to a T.
One good point in the book was the writing style. It was very age appropriate considering the audience the book was geared too, and it was well written. The words and punctuation were used correctly, there weren’t a ton of glaring errors hiding in the paragraphs, and the sentence structure flowed nicely. It was written as I would expect, and want, a YA novel to be written. Forbidden definitely gets a thumbs up for me in writing style!
Overall, I can’t say that I was a fan of Forbidden. I found it to be drawing from too many other YA novels in plot, characterizations, and general concept. I also had issues with the instant love between lead characters, the predictable outcome at the end, and the lack of answers at the end of the book. I know it’s first in a series, but seriously, there still needs to be a decent amount of closure at the end of the book. I don’t foresee myself picking up the next book in the series, and I can’t see myself recommending this book to anyone over the age of 13.
I finished reading Forbidden by mother and son tandem, Syrie and Ryan James. The novel is about Claire and Alec, who are both different in their own ways. I don’t want to mention why because I might spoil the story for future readers.
Claire and her mom are constantly on the move because her mom believes that she’s constantly in danger and she’s kinda’ paranoid about it. Although, her paranoia actually has a basis. haha. Anyway, the story is told in alternating POV’s, Claire’s and Alec’s.
I liked Claire a lot. She’s a girl who just wants to be normal but somehow she feels like she does not actually fit in anywhere even if she has two best friends. Claire did not annoy me at all BTW. I’ve been constantly reading YA novels without the annoying heroines and I like it. She’s not exactly a tough chic or anything but somehow the authors made it work. She’s definitely not annoying as hell and I like the fact that she does not make all her friends and Alec do all the work just like *coughs* some other female heroines that I’ll refuse to name. haha. I hate it when female characters become dead weight. Plus, her best friends are just adorbs. I like the fact that they support Claire with whatever it is that she’s going through.
And then there’s Alec. Alec who makes me swoon. Alec, the sexy soldier/ warrior whatever. I don’t exactly know what to call him without giving his identity away. haha. He’s sexy. Period. Anyway, I loved Alec from the get -go. Plus, the Scottish accent is just to die for. haha. I know, I didn’t exactly hear it but I can only imagine how sexy he sounds with that accent. I like Alec not just because he’s sexy or whatnot. I like the fact that he is constantly protecting Claire, her friends and her family while trying to hide what he really is and constantly breaking the rules that he has lived by for so long. I loved the part wherein he’s trying to act all mundane and everything. Can you believe it? A guy who does not eat junk food? I found that really funny.
I enjoyed reading this novel. I think the trying-to-act-normal-thing is cliche but somehow it worked in this novel. There was a possibility of a love triangle but I like the fact that Claire did not just run into the other guy’s (Neil) arms whenever she had the chance. I actually liked the writing style. The fact that it was written by two people without making it pretty obvious is just amazing. And the fact that they made the readers guess what these two were up until the middle of the novel made me want to read it even more. I’m not really sure if it’s gonna be a series or whatever but I think the authors gave it a nice closure with endless possibilities. They wrote it in a way that left it with enough loose ends to make it a series but still enough closure to make it a stand alone. Confusing? I know. Just read it so that you’ll understand what I mean. Anyway, I’d give this a 5/5 star rating.
I enjoyed Syrie James’s first two paranormal novels, Dracula, My Love and Nocturne, and so I was happy to try her new young adult paranormal, Forbidden, co-written with her son Ryan James. I enjoyed Forbidden but found that it didn’t quite stack up against the two aforementioned books.
Forbidden centers on Claire, a studious high school girl; and Alec, a Grigori angel who goes AWOL from his job of eliminating fallen Nephilim (human/angel hybrids) and decides to attend high school. It turns out that Claire is not entirely human herself, making their budding romance a violation of angel law. The narrative alternates between their points of view.
The novel is a quick, smooth read, and its main characters are pleasant people to read about. Claire is sympathetic, and her friends are sweet and funny. Alec is a good guy who wants to do the right thing. His rival for Claire’s affections is a decent guy too, and the popular girl also seems genuinely nice even though Claire expects her not to be. Claire’s mother is more involved and supportive than is common in this genre. The enigmatic Helena, once we finally meet her, is awesome! With the obvious exception of the villains, the characters in this book are easy to like. Another nice touch is the genre savvy of Claire and her friends. Before they find out what Alec really is, Claire tosses around the idea that he might be a vampire, or maybe a Slayer.
The trouble is, Forbidden’s plot feels like something I’ve seen before. There’s the shy girl who doesn’t realize she’s gorgeous; the mysterious supernatural guy who goes to high school despite being over 100 years old; angels and Grigori and Nephilim, which are everywhere at the moment; a romance that is against all the universe’s rules; and a love triangle. What I loved best about James’s previous books was that they stood out from the rest of the paranormal field: Dracula, My Love had those fun twists on Bram Stoker’s original Dracula, and Nocturne told a vampire story as a character study and something of a fairy tale retelling and had an unconventional ending. Forbidden is a lot more like the other books out there.
You could do a lot worse than Forbidden. The writing is fine and the story didn’t annoy me with sexism or character stupidity, as some YA paranormal novels have done. The likable characters and smooth prose keep the pages turning. But the familiarity of the plot detracts from the experience, and it needed a little something more to make it stand out from the field.
WARNING: This review may come across as author/book bashing. Honestly, I really don't give a shit.
I think I should stop buying books I know nothing about. I picked up Forbidden because it had pretty cover, but I can definitely say that this was not money well spent. I wouldn't even recommend this book to someone I hate. It's just that bad.
I think the authors need to recreate their characters. I didn't find any of them memorable, likable, and relatable in the slightest. They were all quite stupid, really. FAILURE #1
I had hoped that Claire would not end up being one of those girls who just throw away everything for the boy they love are obsessed with. She did. Color me surprised. FAILURE #2
The writing style also came across as very bland to me. I didn't feel any emotions from it, and if I wanted something monotonous, I would have seeked out my brother. FAILURE #3
I think this may be the worst paranormal book I have ever read. There are quite some horrific ones out there, but I think this one owns the crown.
What was I thinking? I should really stop wasting time and money on unresearched books. What a shame, though. I was actually really looking forward to reading Forbidden. Guess that's what I get for setting my expectations too high.
I think I had more fun with this review than I did with the book. Pictures are worth a thousand words, wouldn't you agree?
OMG! This book takes my breath away since the Hush, Hush Series. The story is very simple but as you read further you’re going to discover some new events that may shock you.
This is definitely one of my favorite books. Reading it makes me feel kinda familiar since I’ve read a lot of Angel Novels, but it has it’s uniqueness kind-a-way to express the conflict of the story.
Claire and Alec: The two characters that you’re going to fell in love with—and also their friends Erica and Brian. I could say that a teen novel like this shows a lot more of loyalty to one another that I really liked.
Being a Angel/Grigori (The Watcher) and fall in love with a Nephilim is a NO-NO Rules. Actually the book has a few conflict (kinda easy though) but I am satisfied after reading this book and I regret NOTHIING buying this. A DEFINITELY MUST READ!
Click here to read this review on my blog, Mindful Musings.
In a Sentence: Forbidden showed some good writing, but the story and romance fell flat for me.
Forbidden was one of those books that showed up unexpectedly in my mailbox. I honestly hadn't heard much about it, but it was a YA book, and I'm almost always interested in the books HarperTeen sends me, so I figured I'd pick it up and give it a whirl so I could try to have a review up close to its publication date.
The premise of Forbidden was pretty run of the mill for young adult paranormal romance, as you can probably tell from the synopsis. However, even books that are full of genre-typical tropes can be good reads if they're well-executed. Unfortunately, Forbidden had one of those tropes that is almost always a no-go for me: insta-love. By page thirteen, I was already wanting to put the book down because of the instant, undeniable attraction between Alec and Claire, even though they knew virtually nothing about each other. It's not that I have problems with romance or love stories, but I tend to get annoyed by insta-love relationships because they don't ever feel realistic to me. Still, I kept reading, hoping that I would be able to either get used to it or its presence would fade.
While the quickly progressing relationship between the main characters remained a point of aggravation for me throughout the book, I DID feel that it was improved a bit by the alternating points of view between Claire and Alec. It didn't cure the insta-love problem for me completely, but being able to see inside the heads of both Claire and Alec helped me to accept their relationship. I also thought that Alec was a decent character. I liked that, even though he fell into the mysterious, hot, dangerous, new boy category, he wasn't overly broody or mysterious.
As far as the other characters go, I actually found the minor characters to be pretty well-written. Claire's best friends, Erika and Brian, were a great addition to the story. Not only did they seem realistic and provide comic relief throughout the book, but they also were supportive and involved in all aspects of Claire's life...as opposed to the "ignorant friend syndrome" that frequently occurs in YA literature. I especially liked Erika. She just seemed like a ball of fun! She was so cute and quirky that it was hard not to like her.
I think most of my problems with Forbidden revolved around two things: the fact that I thought that the relationship between Claire and Alec seemed forced, and that I felt that I had essentially heard it all before. At the same time, Forbidden can definitely stand on its own with other similar books in the YA paranormal romance genre. Perhaps my feelings about Forbidden stem more from me getting tired of genre tropes than the book itself. Still, while I think that the authors have talent as writers, this story just didn't do it for me. I'd be willing to try something from Syrie and Ryan M. James in the future, but as far as Forbidden goes, I don't think I'll be continuing this series.
All Claire wants is to be noticed by her crush and be a normal teenager. As far has the second goal goes, she was doing pretty well...until she discovers she may have visions that come true. She is thrust into a different world, one that confuses her. Her past is unknown and she attempts to sieve through her past to figure out what she can expect in the future.
Alec is an angel watcher, he is tired of this life and desires a normal one. When he begins attending Claire's school, he does not expect to encounter a being who is half-angel and half-human. He especially does not expect to fall in love with her. Alec must decide what he ultimately wants to make his decision.
Claire is a fun character to get to know. She can be cautious, caring, and intelligent. The author makes it very easy to connect to Claire's character. Alec is a bit of an enigma; he can be charismatic and inquisitive. The secondary characters serve to round out the novel, they are not focused upon.
The events of this book are fast-paced and exciting. The reader never knows when Claire's existence will catch up with her. The romance between Claire and Alec is sweet and realistically portrayed. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Claire is a smart young woman who reaches puberty late (read: period at 17) and with it comes psychic powers slowly, but surely, getting stronger as each day passes. She can see both a person’s past and future with just a touch. Afraid that her mother would make them pack up and leave town again, she decides to keep this a secret, telling only her two best friends: Erica and Bryan. On the day her power manifests, she meets a beautiful boy in school, Alec MacKenzie. Alec is no ordinary boy. He is a Grigori, an angel whose purpose is to find and if necessary, kill Nephilim, particularly The Fallen, or Nephilim gone bad. But after years of serving blindly, he has gone AWOL and has decided to try being normal, which means living like a human and going to school as a teenage boy though he is more than a hundred years old. Alec and Claire feel a pull towards each other that gets stronger when he saves the lives of Claire and her friends. And eventually, she finds out the truth about Alec….and herself. Claire is a Nephila. Half angel half human. An abomination in the eyes of the Grigori. The only one of her kind left. And is in mortal danger. Alec’s godfather Vincent, the angel guardian who taught him everything he knows, has been hunting her, and her Grigori father, for years. But despite this and the fact that the Grigori are not allowed to love, Claire and Alec fall for each other. Knowing she’s in danger, he tries to convince Vincent to leave Claire alone. Vincent agrees, but only in exchange for Alec’s departure from her life forever. But how safe is Claire when her psychic powers are growing stronger, and another power has yet to manifest itself….. a power that may make her stronger and more dangerous than all Nephilim and Grigori combined…..
Even though this book is quite predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The plot is good and the characters are engaging. Written in both main characters’ point of view, it made understanding their dilemma and subsequent choices easier. Of the characters, I particularly loved Alec for his emotional strength and faith in Claire, of course his Scottish accent (which I kept hearing in my head ala Sean Connery) didn’t hurt either. I also liked both Bryan and Erica for their funny one liners, though it baffles me how easy it was for them to accept Claire and Alec’s true nature. One nice point in Forbidden is that the possible love triangle wasn’t pushed too much. From the moment Claire like Alec, she just kept going in one direction and I like that. Forbidden is a good paced read with no boring moments and a really fine ending. I suspect the “surprise” character at the end would play a much larger role in the next installment. In fact, I hope so because the brief part that person had was enough to excite me for the 2nd book which hopefully will come soon.
I was so excited to read this book, so maybe I had built it up too much in my mind. Maybe my expectations were too high.
Take the forbidden romance and the hero's sense of protection before happiness in Twilight (without the swoon), add in the dream-like states of Falling Under (without the swoon) and the angel elements of Unearthly (again, without the swoon), and what do you get?
I'm not sure. But I think it would be something similar to Forbidden.
Claire, a seventeen year old junior at exclusive Emerson Academy, has an overprotective mother and doesn't know anything about her father, except that he abandoned them when she was a baby. They move at the drop of a hat but have managed to stay in one place for the past two years. Not wanting to move again is the reason that Claire doesn't tell her mother about the visions she starts to have whenever she comes in direct contact with someone or touches certain objects.
Alec shows up on the first day of school, gorgeous and shy. Claire is instantly smitten, but Alec is hard to read. When Claire and her friends are almost killed by a wayward vehicle, Alec saves them, alerting them to the fact that he's not completely human. Turns out, he's a kind of angel Watcher, sworn to protect mankind. Except, he's gone AWOL and only wanted to live a normal human life when he met her.
The parallels to Twilight cannot be overlooked. And if I hadn't read Unearthly, I wouldn't have understood what was actually going on with the whole Nephilim situation. Add to that the forced love triangle, the fact that she went to the dance with another guy the same week that Alec leaves, and the parts that almost read like horror scenes, and I'm left shaking my head.
There were one or two moments of swoon, where we could actually see the romance and get that they could be falling for each other. But you're going to have to go bigger than that if you expect your readers to buy into the whole "I will give up my entire existence for her." I don't know. I think this book had good ideas and a lot of potential but didn't live up to that potential. I'm underwhelmed.
When I saw the prompt for this month’s TBR Challenge, I was initially at a loss for what to read. While I tend to gravitate to some subgenres more than others, I read across quite a few romance subgenres, and cross over into other genres of fiction as well. After perusing Twitter for a bit, I realized that my YA reading has dropped off quite a bit over the years so I decided I’d choose that for my “something different.” I’d gotten a copy of Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James at RWA, so that 2012 release became my read for the month. I started off intrigued but it fairly soon segued into what might best be described as hate-reading.
The basic premise of this novel is that high school student Claire Brennan is half-angel and she is only now coming into her powers. Since Claire is unaware of her heritage, she doesn’t initially understand the goings-on around her. She is simply trying to fit in and find her way among her friends at Emerson Academy – and perhaps attract the eye of her crush, Neil. She also catches the attention of the hot new guy, Alex MacKenzie, whose smarts, talent and Scottish accent draw her in as well. And so another YA love triangle begins.
Anyone even remotely paying attention will soon figure out that a lot of what Alec tells fellow students doesn’t add up and that he isn’t remotely what he seems. Alec is in fact an angel – and part of his role is to deal with half-angels like Claire. This setup was at least somewhat interesting, and I initially found myself wanting to get into the story. Sure, the book starts off with info dumps and tons of narrative telling rather than a more reader-entrancing amount of showing.
If you’ve even just scratched the surface of YA paranormal romance in recent years, some of the goings-on in Forbidden will feel a little familiar. We have a hero who, in one scene, surprises the heroine by just being there waiting in her bedroom. And then there’s the scene where one of our possible heroes uses telekinetic powers to save Claire and her friends from serious injury and/or death. Sound like something you may have read before?
As my first book about angels, my expectation wasn't high but I’m glad that I read it. This is a fascinatingparanormal book that will keep you on the edge. It’s really fun trying to predict what will happen next throughout the book. I love that it’s in third person, with two perspectives--Claire and Alec’s. It really made it easier to relate to readers, to understand their point of view.
Claire goes to Emerson, a private school. She’s intelligent and sarcastic. Claire’s ability to see psychic vision remind me Raven from That’s So Raven TV show. I loved the relationship between Claire and her mom. It’s realistic and believable. On the other hand, Alec is gorgeous, sweet and intelligent. Alec’s powers/abilities remind me of Alex from I Am Number Four. In this book, there is an insta-love. Yeah … I hate that. Okay, so Alec love or like--doesn’t matter either way-- Claire the instant he met her, but I think I can make an exception for that … only for this book because I love it.
I didn’t want this book to end, I took my time reading this book--it wasn’t enough. I want more of Claire and Alec. I loved this book from the first page. The narration is really amazin. The writing style is just brilliant. The dialogue… unbelievable – this was just a book made for me because I love dialogues, and this book have a ton of them. I love that this book is written by mother and son. It’s so cool.
Forbidden is suspenseful, surprising and a fantastic read. I love everything about novel (well … except the instant love thing). I recommend it for everyone--you will be a foul to pass on such brilliant book.
I have been wanting to read this book forever since falling in love with the cover and being somewhat intrigued that a mother and son co-wrote it together. And I must say I was not disappointed. There were at times that the story lulled in parts and I was wondering when it would pick up, but other than that it kept me captivated and intrigued enough to continue.
The story is told in two POV's and it works magically not breaking a seam and you really cannot tell that it was co-written. The writing styles were very similar. The story is about 17 year old Claire Brennan. She has lived a sheltered life and moved from place to place, all thanks to her over-protective mother. However, for two years now they have settled in one place and Claire can live a somewhat normal life, going to a Emerson Academy and having a couple of great friends, Erica and Brian. Claire is quite intelligent and gifted, and so are most of the students at the school. So, her life is pretty normal, except for the fact that she has visions that are quite unexplained and her friends are aware of them. This was refreshing to read. First time that I felt that friends were not left out of the loop this time round. Anyways, a mysterious guy named Alec starts attending the school, and Claire's life is never the same. She soon finds out Alec's secret and also finds out about who she really is and why there are others hell bent on killing her.
All in all, I really enjoyed this story and had myself predicting a few things but none the less I'm looking forward to the next book.
This book was the first ARC I ever reviewed....so here it goes! I really enjoyed this book. Claire Brennan is a girl that is not the most popular in school, so when she has to go back to Emerson Academy, she is happy to see her two best friends, Brian and Erica. While they were waiting in line to get their textbooks, Erica realizes a very hot guy behind them. They exchange names and find out his is Alec. At first, Claire thinks he is a stuck-up snob because his lack of communication with them....but her feelings definitely change for the better towards him.
There is this one boy names Neil, who Claire has loved for the past two years. When Claire gets her first "vision", it says that she needs to help someone. She doesn't know who, though, because the message was so choppy. That same day, Neil gets a D+ on his Spanish quiz and Claire instantly thinks that her job is to help Neil pass Spanish. So, she offers to tutor him. During their weekly tutor sessions, Neil becomes more fond of Claire, while Claire finds herself seeing Alec in whole new eyes. Has Claire fallen IN love with Alec, and fallen OUT of it with Neil?
This book was an action-packed love story that kept you guessing at every corner. Definitely something you should save your Christmas money for! 4 Stars :)
Okay, so this review will be short and to the point. There is nothing profound or thought provoking about this book. The characters are flat, the plot and characters are predictable. The main couple Claire and Alec fall way too quickly for each other - I am okay with the whole "love at first sight" romance if the characters have some depth and get to know one another. There is very little character development though. And, unless there will be a sequel, there are a plethora of unanswered questions at the end. The epilogue reads like a final chapter and doesn't reveal anything that couldn't already be guessed at. I am certainly not intrigued enough to even bother with the next book if there is one. This book was definitely made for younger teenage readers who don't particularly care or notice things like plot structure and development. The story felt rushed...it was an easy quick read that could have had potential and, at times, I thought it would get interesting only to be let down. The book isn't a complete failure if you need something to kill time on a rainy day and truly have nothing better to do, this is an easy, light read. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
EDIT: ***One good thing about this book, there is no love triangle. That situation is cut and dried which uncomplicates the story and doesn't allow the typical romantic ambiguities of many YA novels.
For some reason my original review didn't save. So here we go again......
This was your typical 'Forbidden Love' book!! But I truly enjoyed it, it was cute in a sense. I really liked that the Authors used some swearing (that's always a plus for me, don't judge). There were no secrets between friends, which was a nice change. Every character was included throughout the whole book. I gave this book 4 stars because it was:
1. Predictable -.50 of a star 2. Not enough action -.50 of a star
This was a really fast flowing story, ALL the characters were fun and funny. But they were true friends and it made their click have great chemistry. Claire and Alec were your typical forbidden love but it didn't drag; like most books do. They hated each other then fell in love then they were parted and then they came together again.... blah blah blah.... and still I loved it!!! It mostly took place in a school but there was so much more to it than that. They were involved with the school like, choir (that's how she first fell for Alec... Like I said super cute), prom and tutoring... It sounds dumb, but it's not what you think. Read the book to know what I mean
In conclusion to my terrible review, this book was:
1. Funny and Entertaining 2. All the Characters where fanfreakintastic 3. wasn't bored once and a fast read 4. VERY CUTE love story!
I hate to give a book a cold review. My brain just won't stop screaming, "What?! Like you could do better?" So I fully acknowledge that no, no I could not write a better book. Still, I know weak writing when I read it.
To start, I finished the whole thing. I read the teaser for free on-line, and then bought the full book for my Kindle, after already knowing the writing was over-the-top cliche. I liked the story premise, and (protagonist 1) Clare's perspective was written pretty well. Alec's (protagonist 2) perspective (which I assume was written by one of the authors, since it was co-written) was down right bad at points. Point and case, "Sunlight glimmered on her long, lustrous brown hair, bringing out its hidden highlights." Exactly.
My other hang-up with the book is that it felt borrowed in places. Part Twilight, part Mortal Instruments, part Hush Hush. They even named a 60ish year old British woman "Helena"- Helen Mirren, anyone? Perhaps I'm being too harsh; the book is clearly for the high school set, and high schooler I am not.
If you want to borrow the book, I'll check to see if I can lend it on Kindle.
This book was SO good, I've had it on my shelf for quite awhile and I'm actually kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. Of course, I didn't know back when I originally bought it that it was a start of a series, so now I'll have find the other books. Anyway, this is a sort of twist on fallen angels and nephilim type stories you may have read before. I definitely think fans of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate or the Crossroads series by Mary Ting will like this book. However, I do have to point out that it is different. And I loved it for the differences! It also had a kind of Twilight feel, so fans of that type of book will like this as well. I found myself sucked in from the very first page and had difficulty putting the book down when I had to be an adult again. It's also a quick and easy read, it took me a few days but I was only reading between shifts at work.
One of those books that did exactly what was expected. Claire has started to have strange visions. She can’t explain them, and it’s something she’s unprepared for. Then a new boy appears in school...what comes next is totally predictable. Alec and Claire fall in love. For reasons we’re not immediately told about they shouldn’t be together. Then we learn the truth about Claire’s visions. Plenty of high-school day info and lots of earnest falling in love ‘just because ‘. This doesn’t mean the book’s bad at all;it delivers exactly what you expect, but it might have been nice to get something a little different.
This book made its way onto my TBR when I was deeply enraptured with Twilight. And let me be clear, Twilight is no Pulitzer Prize when writing, it is candy, but it is delicious candy. This is black licorice candy. It’s just not even a pleasant taste and a waste of calories. I was bored. The plot and characters and their relationships were not compelling. They get one star for a different idea (but not really because even Many Waters tackled angel stuff ages ago) then vampires and werewolves. Glad I’m done, won’t continue on.
Emerson Academy on hinnatud keskkool ja Claire on väga õnnelik, et saab seal õppida. Lisaks kooli heale mainele rõõmustab tüdrukut ka see, et nad on koos emaga viimased paar aastat ühes kohas paiksed olnud ning tal on koolis vähemalt paar head sõpra jõudnud tekkida. Uue kooliaasta alguses asub Emersoni õppima ka Alec - šoti aktsendiga veidi omamoodi noormees, kes kiiresti Claireis huvi äratab. See võiks olla täitsa hariliku noorteka algus, eks, aga juba raamatu sisututvustus ning kaanepilt reedavad, et mängus on ka inglid, üleloomulikud võimed ja hea versus paha võitlus. Ilmselt ma polnud just kõige õigem sihtrühm vanuse mõttes, aga siiski on tegu päris hea ja kiirest loetava noorte fantaasiaraamatuga, millest ei puudu ka suur ja tõeline esimene armastus.