Talk Supe's Reviews > Sweetest Taboo

Sweetest Taboo by Eva Márquez
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really liked it
Recommended to Talk by: Kayla

NOTE: Thanks to Kayla Graham for the Eva hook-up.

Whoa! This book got me all hot and bothered in a different way. I'm so conflicted over this story I am having a hard time articulating myself. SWEETEST TABOO by Eva Marquez is one of those books that will get you conflicted, provoked and divided. And for teens, this is NOT a story fit for readers 18 and below despite the heroine being a teenager.

I will have to split this review in two: The writing and the story.

THE WRITING - Eva captured the voice of a teenager very well. Isabel is naive and a very trusting idealist. It's quite easy to relate to Isabel's misguided way of thinking. In her world the universe revolves around her feelings, thoughts and wants. It's selfish sometimes but she's a 15yo girl. She can't help it. Eva didn't complicate Isabel's character and the source of her emotions, it was straightforward and very honest. Isabel owned up to her feelings and dealt with it the best way she knows how.

I am not privy to the backstory of this story (Eva's motivation or inspiration for writing this) but if one of her goals is to write something that will challenge my thoughts and moral stand on the matter, she did accomplish that wonderfully. I found myself mulling the story and having an internal debate looking at it from different angles with the hopes of finding some neutral ground.

So for that, THANK YOU to you Eva, it's very rare that I have an internal discussion with myself over a book. I spent the morning thinking about Isabel and Tom and the validity of their relationship.

THE STORY - the blurb and previous reviews says it all. This is a story that will spark up a lot of debates and controversy. I don't even think there's a middle ground, it's either you love SWEETEST TABOO or hate it.

Now most of us have experienced extreme admiration or strong attraction to an older person, whether it's a teacher, a family friend, a mentor, etc. As far as this is concerned, I can empathize with Isabel. But what really bothered me was the rationale behind her relationship with Tom.

First of all, imagining Tom Stevens as Bradley Cooper didn't work (I pictured Isabel as Victoria Justice or Selena Gomez). When Tom made the first move to take Isabel's crush on him to the next level, that's where it went downhill for me. He's the adult, he should have more self control over the issue. As the story progress, I just feel he's creepy and emotionally manipulative. Using Isabel's extreme attraction to him as leverage to get to her. Overall I find Tom emotionally immature and very creepy. The part where he tailed Isabel on her way home after breaking things off with him scared me. It didn't feel love anymore, more like obsession. And in real life, that turning point in this kind of relationship is the part where things get literally deadly.

As the romance unfolded, Isabel was the more logical and reasonable between the two. She's the one planning their rendezvous, protecting him and his reputation, justifying his actions and their illicit love affair, lying to people and asking her friends to lie for her to protect Tom. There was a complete role reversal in Tom and Isabel's relationship which didn't make sense to me. What it accomplished to do is cement the fact that some men are pigs and they let their ding-dongs do the thinking for them.

There's just all kinds of wrong going on in this story, cheating, lying, unprotected sex and all that. The only reasonable character in the entire story was Sarah, Isabel's friend who ratted out on her putting Tom under investigation. I feel she's the only one who had enough clarity to see that Isabel and Tom's relationship is Wrong.

Anyway, I can rant all day long but I guess I've made my point. I will not rate this because I honestly don't know how I will do that or where I'll base my rating on. I love the writing and though I didn't like the story, I didn't hate it either. Would I recommend it? Maybe but only to a few select people. Will I tell my friends to skip it? No but I'd caution them to proceed with an open mind.

Overall, I do love the fact that Eva Marquez wrote something that got me all fired up. It took a lot of courage to publish a story like this and obviously, Eva's got guts of steel to do that and promote it personally. I admire her balls for writing something like this and not be concerned about the backlash because there is and there will be more, I'm sure of that. As for the story, maybe if Isabel was 18 and not 16 when this story happened or if Tom acted more like an adult rather than a smitten 16yo teen, I might have a different opinion.

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Reading Progress

October 28, 2012 – Started Reading
October 28, 2012 – Shelved
October 28, 2012 –
25.0% "when does this gets romantic or good? right now I'm just creeped out. Imagining Tom Stevens as Bradley Cooper isn't working."
October 29, 2012 – Finished Reading

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