Friday, February 10, 2012

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan James: review

Goodreads rating: 3.98
Paperback, 411 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
She should not exist.
He should not love her.
Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she's desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there's no way she's going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she's been having or the creepy warnings that she's in danger.
Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn't factored Claire into his plans. . . .
Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire's unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?


I received this novel as part of the DAC ARC tour, and to be honest I had absolutely no idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a debut novel and that it’s YA. Reading the synopsis and seeing that it was about fallen angels, I realized that this was my kind of book. And I enjoyed it. There’re no outshining qualities about it, and as always the romance wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely a worthwhile read. And it’s out in paperback, so if you don’t like it, at least you won’t have spent the full $17.99 or whatever the price is.

The story line reminded me a bit of Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly. Alec (which sounds a lot like Alex from Angel Burn) is sort of like a spy, and he’s an angel who kills anything that’s even part angel, because they’re abominations. But Alec has left the trade and is in hiding when he comes to Claire’s school. He wants a normal life, until his godfather visits and everything changes. There is a half-blood at the school (one of the rarest Nephilim), and Alec’s godfather thinks it’s this guy that Claire—the girl he likes way too much—has had a crush for a long time. Come to find out, it’s not him (obviously!), but that Claire that’s the half-blood. There were some familial problems too; Claire’s mom took overprotective to a new level, and her dad has almost always been MIA, but he had good reason. It’s pretty much all downhill from there.

Well, I do believe this is another YA book where they say I love you in the second half of the book. Correct me if I’m wrong; the “simple” YA relationships all seem to blend together into one big mesh of annoyingness. But their romance was sweet. I was waiting for Claire to wake up and see that she had a hot Scotsman chasing after her. While we’re on the subject, accents are simply irresistible in YA, but I didn’t really believe it here. He sounded so American, until he said, ‘Aye,’ and then I could believe it. But in any case, I enjoyed the growth of their relationship, as well as the mystery of it all. It’s always interesting to see both points of view, which I’ve actually been reading a lot of lately.

If you love angel books, this is one to add to your TBR pile. While it didn’t totally blow me away, or was even on par with some of the others I’ve read lately, it was a fresh take on the angel genre. If this is a series, I’d definitely be interested in more.


  1. Great review Nicole. I wanted to read this one but all the reviews I read don't really get me exited. It sounds like any other YA novel out there really! I may still try it someday.

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Hi, Nicole! Thank you for your unbiased review of our novel. We're glad you'd be interested in reading a sequel. It's funny, but when my son Ryan and I wrote this book together, we weren't aware of any other angel books out there--neither of us has ever read a single one! It was our aim to create a new angel mythology with unique supernatural elements, a sweet, witty romance, a bit of mystery, and characters that readers would care about. We've been absolutely thrilled by reader and critical response, and hope you'll check out the other reviews on Amazon and on my website: Thanks again, and all best. I love your blog!

  3. Thanks for the review. I learn so much more from an honest review. I like the cover on this book and the story intrigues me so I will put it on the TBR list.

  4. Man, I am so tired of all of the instalove too. It's like these people are in high school and it always feels like forever, and I get that. However, I worry about all of the people who fall for thinking love is really like that.

  5. Aww I loved this book! I normally don't read angel books, so I don't really have any others to compare it too and I'm kind of a sucker for a cliche romances, so maybe that's why I liked it. Great review!

  6. I love the cover on this one!! I picked it up pretty cheap and I'm hoping that I'll like it. Thanks for the review!


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