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 embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves — and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.
First Sentence: Tonight was the night of my betrothal ceremony.
I haven’t heard much about Forbidden when I first won it. All I knew about the book was it was a book with diversity and the cover was pretty. I planned to read Forbidden sometime eventually, but then life sadly got in the way. Flash forward about two months later and a couple of my friends urged me to read Forbidden so they could see if they should read it or not based off my review and rating. My recommendation? You’re honestly, not missing out on anything much except for the diversity aspect if you don’t read Forbidden.
I really enjoyed the diversity in Forbidden. I love reading about Jayden’s unique culture and other cultures during that time, which are so different from today’s. I especially love the dancing aspect and the jewelry aspect of Jayden’s culture, but I definitely do not like the arranged marriage aspect. I also love that Forbidden is set in the Mesopotamian era which makes it one of the most unique young adult books I’ve ever read; it is definitely preparing me for the history class I have to take next semester.
“Remember, Jayden, you’ll get your womanly jewelry tonight,” Leila said softly, as through trying to make amends.
I smiled despite my frustration. “I hope so. That’s the only good thing about tonight’s ceremony.” (ARC 12)
While I really enjoyed reading about the diversity in Forbidden, I had a real problem with the romance. To be it quite bluntly, I didn’t like it at all. As you guys can hopefully tell from both the title of the book and its summary, Forbidden is about, well, a forbidden romance. Here’s the thing: I certainly don’t like Horeb, the guy Jayden is betrothed to, at all (not like I’m supposed to like him), but I certainly don’t feel Jayden and Kadesh’s romance. Jayden and Kadesh’s relationship started off unique, but their quick chemistry quickly fizzed out and never reappeared ever again. It was definitely hard to ship that ship. I also sadly didn’t care for Kadesh – he was just a character in the book that felt like a wooden clay doll and was just there. Not the best recommendation for a guy right?
Forbidden also sadly drew some strong emotions from me only once. Many terrible things happen to Jayden throughout the book – she went through a major loss, was the only one to keep everything together, and was beyond terrified several times throughout the book (I would be beyond terrified too if I was put in her position) – but I felt no strong emotions until one part near the end of the book. Besides that, I couldn’t help but be distracted while I was reading because Forbidden just didn’t capture my complete and full attention.
“What if,” I added softly, looking up at her through my long hair, “I feel nothing for him? What if our friendship has turned to dislike? Leila, I fear him, and I fear that I’m starting to dislike him more than anyone else I’ve ever known.” (ARC 133)
Aside from Forbidden‘s unique diversity aspect, Forbidden is sadly nothing special. The writing is nothing special and there was nothing else I could think of that could convince me to give it a higher rating, which makes me sad. Forbidden even ends with a kind-of cliffhanger (although I can already predict what will happen and there’s a 94% chance that I’ll probably be right) and the sad thing is, I don’t and won’t care if I ever would read the sequel. It’s just nothing really stands out.