Review for Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan James

TITLE: Forbidden
AUTHOR: Syrie James & Ryan James
PUBLICATION DATE: January 24, 2012
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 410 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 stars

I started this novel a little skeptically because it is yet another book about angels and that subject has been ran into the ground. Actually, I think I start every novel skeptically these days because I have been disappointed by too many books to start them any other way. I was, however, pleasantly surprised and I absolutely adored it.

This is the story of Claire Brennan and Alec MacKenzie as they, naturally, fall into a forbidden love. Claire is just a normal girl who lives with a somewhat unstable mother who moves them around every few years for no apparently reason. So when Claire starts having strange visions, she makes a point to not tell mother dearest for fear of being yanked out of her beloved school and away from her friends. But, unlike other YA heroines, she doesn’t keep this revelation entirely to herself, she confesses to her best friend Erica and together they try to figure these visions out. Alec is a guardian angel who is tired of following his higher-ups rules and wants to experience real life so he goes AWOL from the guardian business to try life as a simple high school student. The gist of it is they meet, fall in love, chaos ensues, and then cue the happily ever after.

But it is how Syrie & Ryan James go about making this happen that made me love this book. First off, I loved the dual perspectives between Claire & Alec. Way too many YA novels today are told from an annoying female perspective (ie, I am tired of reading through Bella Swan’s eyes), so this was very refreshing. I also liked the lore for this particular set of angels. One of the biggest pluses of this novel was the lack of the insta-love. Instead of Claire seeing Alec and instantly thinking “OMG, he is so pretty, I am now in love with him even though he hasn’t spoken one word to me…ooo..he spoke and he has a scottish accent! This is fate!”, she was more like “Mmm, new student. He is rather handsome but seems a bit too standoffish and he is definitely not going to distract me from my crush on Neil” and I loved that. Thank you so much for letting Claire & Alec grow to like each other. I also liked that when Alec does have to leave, she handles it well. All she wants to do is fall into deep depression, but she allows her friends to draw her out of it and though she is still upset, so doesn’t let it end her life. Alec also isn’t the typical leading male. He is sweet and shy and completely tongue-tied around Claire in the beginning and I love love love love love love love love him.

It really is an amazing read and I recommend it to anyone looking for a paranormal love story that you won’t be able to put down.