I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Published by Harper Collins on November 4th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Girls & Women, Historical, Ancient Civilizations
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A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of Ancient Mesopotamia—for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.
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 finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little is a book that I definitely waited way too long to read. You know how sometimes there are book covers and you look at them and you’re like — yeah that book will have a girl who is awesome because of how she looks on the cover, and there will probably be romance because the cover is red, and HISTORY because of the font. At least, those were my assumptions while looking at the cover of Forbidden. Yet, despite these assumptions that I made, I just never really got around to Little’s book until NOW. Oh my goodness you guys! This book is so excellent and I am sort of kicking myself over here for waiting so long to experience Jayden’s story.
Forbidden opens with Jayden getting ready to dance for the women and with the women in her tribe as a way to mark her passage from girlhood to womanhood and as a way to celebrate her betrothal to Horeb, who is poised to become leader of the tribe. Jayden should be totally psyched, however, Horeb has changed. He’s not at all kind, and so she’s just not that into him. Yet, her mother, who is pregnant, offers comfort to her. This is one of the last good nights Jayden has. When the tribe uproots to move on through the desert, Jayden’s mom begins to go into labor. Disaster strikes. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jayden, her father, and older sister Leila survive to make it back to the tribe. Unfortunately, Jayden has fallen for the stranger, Kadesh. Yet, she can’t do anything about the attraction because of the betrothal made when she was born. And so, the love between Jayden and Kadesh, or at least the attraction is FORBIDDEN.
If you’re into main characters who are complex and feel fully realized — then you will love Jayden. She struggles with her love of family and balancing her own wants and desires. She also struggles with dealing with her older sister Leila who is falling in with a religious order comprised of women who have sort of a bad reputation around the oasis. The women allegedly sleep with men as a way to honor their God, however, it goes against the cultural norms established in this book. I actually liked that level of detail, and how this was a whole subplot. Normally, I am like, whoo hoo, strong women, but in this case I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was an interesting feeling to be sure. Also, another thing that I liked about Jayden was how determined she was to keep her family safe — even when it comes to finding an infant sibling, which to me, may as well be finding a needle in a haystack.
As for the love interest, Kadesh, he could totally get it. He’s all mysterious and great with a sword. He has all kinds of wealth. Also? He is a good person. So, it is no wonder why Horeb is horrifically jealous of him and why Jayden is so attracted to him. Can you blame a girl? Also — he tells Jayden to have faith in him and he ALWAYS comes through for her, just it might take a little longer than she, or I as the reader, may like.
Kimberley Griffiths Little’s Forbidden takes place in Biblical times in the desert, which is kind of interesting because I feel like a large percentage of books that I read in 2015 take place in the desert. This setting, FYI, is awesome. I love reading these gritty tales of survival and betrayal. I love seeing humans interact with elements and come out on top. There is no magic in this book, yet, the words certainly weave a spell. It is atmospheric and will carry the reader away to a land where camels signify wealth and where an oasis is the difference between life and death. I am a bit sad that I did not read this book sooner — but on the upside, at least I am in possession of the sequel and cannot wait to dive back into Jayden’s world.
Other Reviews of Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little:
Reading Books Like A Boss – “a vividly descriptive feast for the senses”
Love Is Not A Triangle – “a sensory experience”
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