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(Forbidden #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,636 ratings  ·  371 reviews
**Starred** in American Library Association BOOKLIST

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 Jayde
Hardcover, 397 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Harpercollins
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Milly-Chan It's actually a feminine variation of the ancient name Jaden that goes back thousands of years. :-) Adding the "y" connotes Arabic female names. …moreIt's actually a feminine variation of the ancient name Jaden that goes back thousands of years. :-) Adding the "y" connotes Arabic female names. (less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,636 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“Remember, Jayden, you’ll get your womanly jewelry tonight,” Leila said.

“There are times, Jayden, when a woman’s emotions run higher and fuller than the waves on the Gulf of Akabah, threatening to drag her to the bottom and drown her.”
This book is laughable. The writing is hilariously bad. The dialogue is unnatural, forced, and unintentionally hysterical. More than that, it is almost criminal in how it takes an mysterious, ancient culture...that of Ancient Babylonia...and turns it into a moc
Leigh Collazo

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: Engrossing! I devoured this book and loved every minute of it. It's a character-driven story with tons of action, sword-fighting, murder, dancing, and romance against a stark but beautiful ancient desert background. I really enjoyed the writing style and Little's descriptions of the desert and dances and silk dresses.

The characters, particularly those of Jayden, Leila, and Horeb, are complex and realistic. I love that the characters each have their own c
Martina Boone
I fell in love with this book from the moment I read the description, because it was so different from everything else I have read lately -- in the best possible way. I started it with high expectations and it STILL blew me away. The characters and the history, the lush, sexy backdrop, the heat. Did I mention HEAT? But there's so much more to this than romance. It speaks to the core of the relationships between women on a societal level and on a personal level. It's deep, beautiful, and haunting ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A delightfully dark and sweeping read, full of constant thrills and sweet romance, Forbidden was an absolutely amazing YA read. I completely and totally loved this book! From the fantastic characters, to the twists and turn, and the story that drew me in from the first page, this book was brilliant!

The setting in this book was very well done. The descriptions of the desert and the ancient cities were beautifully done in a way that completely drew me into the world of the characters. Combined wit
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Cranky Review Time

I should just shoot myself in the foot, alright. Every time I get really excited for a book, it ends up like watching a disney film. Just slap Snow White on this book why don't you?

Once upon a long long time ago in 1759 BC Mesopotamia, to be perfectly specific, there was a girl named Jayden. She's a sixteen year old bride to be. But here's the twist: she hates him. Jayden wants to live life as ordinarily as she can. No skimpy clothing. No adventure. No speaking her mind. She wa
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog

From the first moment I saw this book I wanted to read it!!This book is unlike anything else I have ever read!!The synopsis looked very promising,so I decided to read it!I liked the story and the world the author creates!It was so interesting to learn about how people live in desert!Jayden our heroine is set to be princess of her tribe with her betrothal to Horeb who isn't the best man ... Lately he has made her to feel uncomfortable when she is with him, so when a stranger man Kad
Kimberley Little
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Deal alert! FORBIDDEN on sale in Kindle and Nook formats for only $1.99. Now is a great time to buy this book if you haven't already had the chance to read it or if you'd like to buy it as a gift for a friend. Happy New Year, dear friends!

Awards for FORBIDDEN:
Arizona/New Mexico Book Award Winner!
Whitney Award Top 5 Finalist!
Mormon Letters of Art Award Top 5 Finalist!
BOOKLIST Top 10 Young Adult Romance Novels of 2015
BOOKLIST Top 10 Young A
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

DEAR READERS: Originally, I gave this book a three-star rating, because of the ending, and the lack of information provided about whether this book was a standalone or part of a series. But, as you can see in the comments, the author has brought to my attention the fact that this book is book one of a series.

That being said, this book will receive four stars - it's unfair for me to rate a book so low when I know now that my biggest problem with the
Wendy Higgins
A stunning YA debut!! I've always been fascinated by Mesopotamian history, and this book is RICH with it - everything from the traditions of belly dancing to the subculture among the women and the strengths of their beliefs. I loved everything about this story world, Jayden, and Kadesh. Fascinating! ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Forbidden is the first book in Kimberly Griffiths Little’s historical romance trilogy with a very lush, exotic setting. Set against the backdrop of the Mesopotamian desert in 1759, it gives us great insight into the best and the very worst of this world. Our heroine is Jayden, a 17-year-old girl betrothed to the future tribe leader. Her marriage was arranged when she was just a baby, but Jayden feels only fear and mild disgust for Horeb, and wants nothing more than to avoid marrying him. Then a ...more
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
It’s been days since I’ve read Forbidden and I can’t get that amazing Mesopotamian setting out of mind. Because this is the desert setting I’ve been looking for.

I absolutely LOVE ancient civilizations and this book is incredibly rich with it’s historical setting, with sensual dances, hot desert sands, caravans, camels, temple worship and trade. I could vividly picture the harsh travel routes and the desert people who were accustomed to heat and danger. Using the power of dance to signify importa
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I think this book should be renamed to All The Bad Things That Can Happen to Jayden Over the Course of the Book. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. Jayden has the worst luck in the entire world. From the beginning of the novel to the end, tragedy seems to follow her around and she can never catch a break!

Which was why my feelings towards this novel were initially a jumble. I absolutely hate that she had to go through all these things a
I love historical YA fiction, of any era. Every list that includes YA history has this book on it, so I decided to order a copy to see whether it was worth the hype, and it definitely was. Unlike anything I've read before, Forbidden is set in ancient Mesopotamia, with the protagonist, Jayden, preparing for her betrothal ceremony. She's set to marry the son of their tribe's chief man, whom will one day be chief himself, and though she's nervous, she's also excited. However, when her mother goes i ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I realized lately I have been reading many books that take an emotional toll after I read them. This is one no different. By the cover and the premise I expected a hot and heavy forbidden romance. I did get some of this, but this book is so much more than just a romance. It is a story about overcoming obstacles. Survival is key and also keeping together a family is a huge challenge. Jayden, our main character, learns the difficulty of dealing with the unknown. After tragedy strikes her family, s ...more
Beth  (YA Books Central)
"A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia"

The synopsis of this book immediately grabbed me! Desert, belly dancing, tribes, and all set in a beautiful atmosphere!! I loved this book from the beginning. This book is so full of passion and emotion. It literally moved me. It is a fast-paced mystical story that just grabs you and doesn't let go.

Not to mention, the cover is absolutely breathtaking. Jayden is portrayed as a dark, myste
Jacqueline Garlick
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OMG...where to BEGIN!!! Okay...first can I say...female lead Aladdin-style romance/adventure....ummmm, YES! Only, no fake Angelina Jolie fake kick-boxing heroine here. This heroine's strength is derived from authentically historically and savvy smart ways. This books is dark and alluring, filled with intrigue and adventure, only this heroine isn't just trying to save herself from being discovered (as royalty), this girl is up for the battle of her life. She must fight save herself, as well as wh ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
ARC Review

I didn't know much about this book going in but it was freaking awesome! I thought Jayden was a great MC & the plot was great (lots of twists & turns). I loved the world, historical fiction is always fun to read. Can't wait for more (I hope there is more!), though it will be awhile since this book doesn't come out until November :(
Highly recommend it!
Danielle (Love at First Page)
Forbidden is a book I’ve been drawn to ever since first reading the synopsis back in early 2014. It sounded deeply romantic, and the unique desert setting made it that much more appealing. The only reason I kept putting it off is the combination of that evil cliffhanger and the long wait for Banished. Well, I finally caved, and I’m happy to say that I completely loved it! And I’m totally okay with the ending because 1) it’s really hopeful, and I can see it going only one direction, and 2) the su ...more
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
Thank you to Dena (Batch of Books) for your review program!


So. Camels played a prominent part in this story. It didn't deteriorate my opinion of the book, it's just....camels were mentioned many times. XD But I understand, it was part of the culture. Still, what does the camel say?


This book was....less than I was expecting. I wanted rich Mesopotamian culture. Instead I got a whole lot of

and yup, you guessed it,

Jayden is the main character of Forbidden. She and her family are part of a
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arc, arc
Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips

I absolutely ADORED this book! Forbidden is one of the most unique books I've read in a while. I think the words Mesopotamian, desert, tribe, and dancing say it all. When's the last time you read a young adult book that involved those?? The overall plot may not be that unique (forbidden love) but the interesting setting really made Forbidden stand out.

Everything in Forbidden felt different from what I've read before. The strict hierarchy in the tribe,
Kirsten Werk
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was on the seat of my pants for this entire read--so many twists and turns kept me turning each page. The research was AMAZING! The descriptions really helped me imagine a world I'm completely unfamiliar with, yet characters I could complete relate to and understand.
Little so aptly describes unfamiliar people and worlds. I forgot where I was when I was reading! And that's the point, isn't it? This book is unlike anything else I've ever read and I can't wait for the next book in this series bec
Steph Sinclair

Want to win a signed ARC and a bunch of other signed books? Silly question. OF COURSE YOU DO. Check out the giveaway up on the blog!
If you like the following:
-dancing over everything
-bad romance
this book might be for you :)

okay but in all seriousness. i don't know what i expected from this book, but maybe something along the lines of mesopotamian culture. i only took world history and that was two years ago but hey. the history is rich. there's probably so much to write about. people to kill. places to take over.
but alas.
i was confused for about 98% of the story. the pacing was weird, inconsistent. as fa
Dena (Batch of Books)
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This book took my breath away. I loved the immersive story and the rich setting of ancient Mesopotamia. The customs, traditions, and beliefs of the desert people were captivating and every time I set the book down I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I've never read anything like this before.

Jayden was a wonderful protagonist and her fears, hopes, and loves were all very real. I easily slipped inside this historical world and experienced everything right alongside Jayden. Kadesh was wonderful, a
Jessie Potts
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, november-2014
Why you should read it: The best part of this book has to be the setting. Kimberley really grabbed me, and I "saw" everything. I loved that it was set in a desert. I will warn readers, though, that this book is not for the faint of heart. There is tragedy, there's heartache and Jayden must rise above everything, and you will hate the ending — the second book can't come fast enough! It's also one of the longer YAs. One of my favorite parts is the dancing. It's like a prayer, like they use it to c ...more
**I received this book for free from Harpercollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adult
*Rating* 3.0

*My Thoughts*

FORBIDDEN is a dark, exotic thriller set in a land of mystery and intrigue. The story is filled with dangerous betrothals, murder, belly dancing, camels, ancient goddess temples that lure girls in with seductive priestess, tribal warfare, blackmail, and a forbidden romance. The stor
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It was so interesting to learn about how the desert people lived. How they traveled around the desert. Jayden's trails and tribulations kept me at the edge of my seat. We learn that her betroth (Horeb) is a serial killer of sorts. Jayden still tries to do right by her Family but slowly feels drawn to the stranger Kadesh. Horeb treats Jayden terrible and almost kills her. I didn't like the ending but I hope there is a 2nd book to follow PLEASE!!!! ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Where to start... This book was awesome, if you want a book that's like no other YA book that's out right now, it's this one. Pick one up and read it. The book is so different than anything thing else that's out there. I just finished it and can't wait to read the next one to see what will happen to Jayden. ...more
Michell Cochran
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered what the forbidden feels like? Maybe you should check out the book Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

The author of this book is Kimberley Griffiths Little. Kimberley has written over a dozen more books. Some are teen fiction but others are mainly romance. They aren’t like the regular romance that has you cringing because there is smut going on but it’s kinda like a shy romance. The author doesn’t give away any information about the book within the preface. The autho
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
Historical fiction, even if it isn't YA, isn't one of my favorite genres. I normally tend to stay away from them, but I just couldn't stay away from this one. It wasn't just the beautiful cover that caught my attention, the unique and summary were to blame for that one. I loved the world that the author created in Forbidden. It was captivating and had an almost magical feel to it, but it was also harsh and brutal. I wasn't aware that this was part of a trilogy when I first started reading it, bu ...more
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Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico with her husband and their three sons.

For such award-winning middle grade novels as When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, her writing has been praised as "fast-paced and dramatic," with "characters painted in memorable detail" and "beautifully realized settings."

Other books in the series

Forbidden (3 books)
  • Banished (Forbidden, #2)
  • Returned (Forbidden, #3)

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