Self-published, available in e-book format on Amazon. Buy this book here.
Forbidden is a paranormal young adult romance that follows our hundred-something heroine Roseline Dragomir in her journey to escape her blood thirsty and power-hungry husband Vladmir.
It’s a vampire story with a twist: these immortal blood suckers don’t need to drink blood to survive (but it helps with the healing process and makes them more powerful), aren’t afraid of the sun, and can come back from even the most gory assumed deaths. And while they are abnormally attractive, none of them sparkle.
Fed up with living in fear of her (extremely) abusive husband, Roseline flees the country and sets up a new identity as Rose, head-turning teenager at a Chicago high school. There she makes friends with a punky but spunky outcast named Sadie and her sweet brother William.
This is where things get a little…unbelievable. Roseline has been alive for hundreds of years, and although she looks like a teenager one wouldn’t really expect her to act like a teenager or care much about teenage drama. I also had trouble believing that the moment she lands in Chicago the first thing she does is rent a house and enroll in high school. Why would a hundred-something year old vampire on the lam bother with high school? Here is the part where you either toss down your e-reader device of choice in scorn or you employ some suspension of disbelief and soldier on.
I soldiered on. After a few amusing high school escapades our dear Rose meets Gabriel and falls in love. Of course love is never easy in a paranormal YA romance, and so trouble ensues.
Generally I fell in and out of interest with this book. The plot moved quickly enough to keep my attention, the characters were developed enough so that I could picture them and easily keep track of who is who, but often the storyline dipped into “really?” moments that were pretty jolting. Part of this problem is the subject matter. Rose has to go to high school so that she can meet her high school friends and they can become part of the story. Okay. This is a YA book so of course it makes sense that it would be set in an environment familiar to the YA crowd. Alright. Could the author have explained things just a little better so it was easier for the reader to swallow and follow? Definitely.
For those of you who aren’t thrilled with the thought of these high school shenanigans, don’t worry. Things change.
To avoid letting out any spoilers, I’ll stop here with the recap. This book is written with (mostly) a good flow and the writing has the appropriate amount of youthfulness without walking too far down “like, totally” lane. While I typically avoid vampire-themed books (no, I never read the Twilight series but I’ve read my fair share of vamp fiction) this one had enough fresh ideas that it didn’t feel stale. I also enjoyed the transcontinental settings (though they could have been fleshed out a little more, I often felt a little blind when it came to the surroundings).
Come back next week when I review Reckoning, Book Two of The Arotas Trilogy.