Release date: December 1, 2015
In early-nineteenth century Scotland, sixteen-year-old Josie, an orphan, is sent to live with an aunt and uncle on the rocky, stormy northwest coast. Everything and everyone in her new surroundings, including her relatives, is sinister, threatening, and mysterious. She’s told that Eli, the young man she’s attracted to, is forbidden to her, but not why. Spirited, curious, and determined, Josie sets out to learn the village’s secrets and discovers evil, fueled by heartless greed, as well as a ghostly presence eager for revenge.
Forbidden is a story set in a remote Scottish town that overlooks a dangerous sea passage. The story is pretty short, which makes for a quick read. Josie, now a resident of Brindle Point, feels something suspicious about the place, starting from her cold relatives, to the unfriendly townspeople and most of all, the nefarious way people react to storms. She is a very curious person by nature, which explains her bravery when she sneaks around and tries to find out what exactly is wrong with this town. Then there’s Eli, the ‘forbidden’ guy who she falls for, but doesn’t know much about.
Now, the story being very short was good for reading but also didn’t allow much expansion into the characters or the plotline. It was pretty straightforward, with no extra side arcs or anything. There’s the wicked townspeople and Josie and Eli’s romance, both separate from each other. In this case, I would have actually liked that the author had stretched out events more, so that it wasn’t such a short book; the romance felt hurried and short-lived (heh!) because of it. The pace was fast, and when the end of the book approached and I was not seeing much of Eli’s story, I was actually worried. The ending was, to say, a bit bittersweet.
Overall, the book is a short and fast paranormal romance read, but don’t expect much depth to it.
Received a free galley from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group via Edelweiss; this does not affect my opinions or the review.