Published by Clarion Books on December 1, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, mystery
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
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.
An author's note gives the historical inspiration for this story.
Forbidden is a young adult mystery by Eve Bunting. It is a dark and mysterious, quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the dreary, almost foggy atmosphere of the little Scottish fishing village, and I really liked how easily digestible the book was. It took me just under 2 hours to read Forbidden, and I walked away feeling like it was a complete story, not a novella. The romance in Forbidden is a nice aside but it is by no means the focal point of the story.
After Josie’s parents both pass away from influenza, she is sent to live with her estranged aunt and uncle. When she gets to the town, everything seems a little strange. Just a tad off, including her Aunt and Uncle. It was hard not to get wrapped up in the creepy little town that Eve Bunting created in Forbidden. I could never pin down exactly what was going on. Eve did an excellent job of maintaining a mysterious air about her writing up until the very last minute. Was it something magical? Was it something nefarious? What is something obvious? And then what on earth was the deal with Eli, and why was everyone calling him Forbidden?
Forbidden was a fun little jaunt with a mysterious read. It would have been perfect to read on Halloween, and I love the author’s aside at the end of the story where the inspiration for the tale came from. If you like darker, quick reads that have a hint of romance (but not too much) then Forbidden is the book for you. Seriously, check it out if you love a good atmospheric read.
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