Thursday, February 23, 2012

Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan James

Forbidden by Syrie James and her son, Ryan James was released by HarperTeen on January 24th 2012 and is 411 pages in paperback format.
Thank you to the publisher and ATWT for allowing me to view this ARC for my honest opinion.

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?


Forbidden written by mother and son duo Syrie James and Ryan M. James was an incredibly enjoyable book for me. I enjoyed it so much that I pretty much had all 400+ pages read in just under a day. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the duo meshed together. The writing was seamless and I personally couldn’t tell a difference between the writing styles of mother and son. I think this says a lot about the talent of both authors and just how well they worked together on Forbidden.

I enjoyed how well the characters were described; Claire, the female protagonist is a junior with a scholarship to an exclusive private school where she excels academically. She lives with her mother who is pretty wonderful except for the fact that they’ve moved 7 times during Claire’s almost 17 years. Claire loves where she lives now and everything about it; they’ve been there for two years now and Claire finally feels like she’s growing some roots. She has great friends, Erika and Brian that are loyal and fun, so loyal in fact that when she starts to experience psychic visions she tells her friends about it and they believe and support her. The visions cause her to become dizzy and faint yet there’s always a friend there to cover for her or she’s alone. Claire doesn’t tell her mother for fear that it will freak her out and motivate yet another move and that’s the last thing Claire wants to do. Claire is a great female MC, she’s sweet, clever and non-judgmental those attributes have both pros and cons. On the negative side she is incredibly trusting at times and pretty naïve but hey, she’s not quite 17 years old yet so we can’t expect her to be worldly wise either!

Claire has had a huge crush on the star theater/choir boy, Neil who never seems to quite notice Claire until a sexy Scottish student ‘transfers’ into their school. When Alec and his fine-looking self appear with a swoon-worthy accent to boot, all the girls go ga-ga over him-except Claire, she’s holding out for Neil and hopefully for a place with him in the upcoming play. Claire’s always sang like a frog but is pleasantly surprised when one day she hears Alec playing his guitar to a Beatles tune and he invites her to sing with him. Claire is amazed at what comes out of her mouth, it’s absolutely heavenly! And who should hear her singing with Alec? Why Neil, of course! What Claire doesn’t realize is that Alec has went AWOL from his responsibilities of ridding the world of Nephilim half-bloods and as he falls in love with Claire and finds out she’s the half-blood that his boss/guardian has come to rid the world of, he’ll do anything to protect her. With Neil now interested in her, Claire finds herself not really interested in him anymore and finds herself seeking out Alec, thinking about Alec, etc... You get the point :o]

Forbidden by the James duo was really a great book, told in tandem by both Claire and Alec, it gives the reader the perspective of both the innocent (Claire) and the guy with most of the answers (Alec). I really liked that I was able to see both of their POV’s because it made the book that much better. It had a light love triangle, adventure and suspense and of course FORBIDDEN love! There are some good plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that’s something I always enjoy in a book. I can see a sequel coming and I’ll definitely read it.



  1. I had not heard of this one before so nice :)

  2. Oh I'm so curious! A mother and son team? I just love that idea. Plus, it has 2 POVs which sometimes I love. You get to be in the head of both characters. Oh and I love plot twists that you don't see. Oh yea.. it's on my wishlist now!

  3. Oooh I have this one from NetGalley!! I really want to read it soon!!!!!

  4. Kristi-

    I enjoyed this one too. I thought the writing was seamless as well. I couldn't tell if the mother was writing one chapter and the son another or if they were sharing the whole thing. It was a good story.


  5. Awesome review! Wow, I was gaping at the cover for about 10 seconds, haha! but the book itself sounds great from your review! Now I'll definitely add this one to my to-read list!


  6. Thanks so much, Kristi, for your wonderful review of our novel. It set MY wings aflutter! Heather: my son Ryan and I did not alternate chapters, we wrote the entire novel together. It was a wonderful experience and we're thrilled to share the book with the world! Please visit me at

  7. I'm so glad you came by for a visit!

    I read that you and Ryan had not wrote the individual characters together but instead had collaborated on the book as a whole.

    Glad you liked the review :o]

  8. This is on my wishlist at the moment. I love the sound of this book, and now after reading your review I want it even more!