Review: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Why I chose this book:
I will be honest, I completely forgot I received an eARC of this book from the publisher about a year ago. I must have gotten lost in the shuffle of things, but at the mention of a fellow blogger who wanted to read it, I figured I should go back and read the story and review it, even though it is MONTHs past the release date. I received this book free from the 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
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Format: eARC
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult 
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In the unforgiving Meospotamian desert where Jayden's tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden's turn to be honored. But while the 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 more, 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. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:
This book was an interesting one. First of all, I have never read a historical book that happened so long ago. I generally don't go any further than the Roman Occupation, but this one took place in 1700BC Mesopotamia. Even though I don't read a lot of historical fiction that takes place during this time period, I do know a lot about it due to taking history and Bible classes in undergrad.

That being said, I had a problem with a lot of the historical inaccuracies. I'm sure there are some things that you can fudge on especially when we actually don't have an enormous amount of history other than what we have uncovered in archaeological findings and such, but I felt like there were some things that Little could have done a much better job on. For instance, she could have improved upon the religion of Jayden's tribe. There was a mixture of Judaism and paganism, and she touched on very little of it. The temple of Ashtoreth made a feature in the narrative, but there could have been so much more historical context brought another dimension to the story.

I don't know if it's because I read a lot of well-crafted historical fiction, but this book made me feel like the setting was chosen just because it was the best place to tell the story of all of these characters. I'm a firm believer that the setting should be just as deep and three-dimensional as a character, and I think that is where this book failed.

As far as the characters go, I found them very interesting and well-done for the most part. Jayden is a headstrong girl who is in a culture that doesn't allow headstrong women, so to see he figure out her own wants and desires was beautiful and exciting, but she lessens her exploration by invalidating her emotions and feelings. Also, Kadesh isn't all that believable of a character, considering the time period, even though he can be a bit swoon worthy at times. The one thing I have to really complain about concerning the characters is that the dialogue seemed a bit too stiff in places and then way too 21st century in others. I get that this book can't be written in Sanskrit, but at least keep the dialogue a little more formal so that it can give the setting a bit more of a realistic quality.

Final Thoughts:
Overall, it was a decent story and kept my attention, but I think this book would have been better for an adult audience if she fleshed out more of the religious, cultural, and setting aspects of the novel.

I gave this book 2.5 stars

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