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4.4 158
by Syrie James, Ryan M. James

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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


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?

Editorial Reviews

Sophie Jordan
“Beautifully written. Romantic and filled with delicious tension. Forbidden enchants!”
USA Today
“Hits all the right notes…If you enjoy angels, ‘forbidden’ romance and dashing heroes, then this should be added to your TBR.”
VOYA - Raluca Topliceanu
Spiked with themes and situations similar to Cast's House of Night series, Syrie's Forbidden unfortunately appears like a cheaper knock-off. Although the humor appeals to the teenage audience, it cannot distract the reader from the disappointing predictability, unrealistic situations, and occasionally naive characters that occur throughout the work. With a few tweaks to the plot and characters, Forbidden could have rivaled well-loved novels in the same genre. Reviewer: Raluca Topliceanu, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Sara Martin
When grade-nine student Claire Brennan starts having unexplained visions of the people she knows, she thinks she is losing her mind. At first she writes it off as a strange sense of deja vu, and possibly something that could be cured with Midol. Soon, however, it becomes clear that she is developing clairvoyant powers, triggered by touch. With the help of a handsome, mysterious new student in school, Claire discovers that her new-found gifts are genetic: her father was an angel and Claire is a "Halfblood." Now she is being pursued by an ancient society, determined to eliminate the potential power she holds. Forbidden is the first of yet another paranormal romance series. Unfortunately, there is nothing particularly unique or enticing about this latest offering. While the mother-son writing team of Syrie and Ryan James have created a believable high school world, tinged with the otherworldly, both the characters and dialogue seem tired and predictable. Young male readers are unlikely to read past the first chapter, where readers are forced to endure a painful discussion of how Claire finally got "it" (yes, the fact that she has started menstruating factors into the story, but the friends' conversation is off-putting and reads like an ill-conceived infomercial). If teen girls have already raced their way through Lauren Kate's Fallen series and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series and are looking for something in the same vein, Forbidden will likely satisfy their craving until the next installment comes along. Reviewer: Sara Martin
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another paranormal romance, this time with an assortment of angels in a chick-lit setting, that will appeal to those addicted to the genre if few others. Sixteen-year-old Claire has lived life on the run with her mother. She attends a private L.A. high school, where she meets new student Alec, a young-looking Scot with a delightful accent. Alec reveals Claire's history to her: She's half-angel and may be killed if the angel Elders find her. Alec himself is a full angel, but he has gone AWOL and also risks death if discovered. The two fall in love. Claire receives visions from Helena, who commands her to tell no one about her new psychic powers. Claire, of course, instantly tells all of her friends. The Jameses weave in some quite effective paranormal suspense and intense-but-quixotic high-school romance through their extremely lengthy tale. All characters remain superficial, including Claire, although charming Alec stands out. The plot becomes too intricate at times to work properly, as when Claire envisions that she will be killed if she steps out alone from the homecoming dance and the authors then tortuously explain why she does precisely that. Lightweight, but the story has some thrills, and the aforementioned genre addicts will enjoy it. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—After years of moving all over the country, Claire Brennan, 16, is happy to be returning to Emerson Academy in Brentwood, CA, for her junior year. And even though her single mother still frets way too much over her safety, Claire hopes the days of constantly looking over her shoulder for an unseen danger are gone. She's made some close friends, and is hoping her crush will ask her to the formal. Everything is going well—until she meets Alec, a mysterious new student. She begins to have visions and gets messages that she is in danger from someone named Helena. Alec is a Grigori, an angelic being whose purpose is to watch and, when necessary, eliminate Nephilim (children of angels and humans) to protect humanity. He has gone AWOL from his duties and is hiding as a normal teenager at Emerson, but when his godfather finds him and asks him to locate a Halfblood (the progeny of humans and Grigori whose existence is forbidden) at Emerson, Alec can't refuse. The story is written in both Claire's and Alec's voices. Both of them are well drawn and have believable motivations and reactions to their situations. The angelic angle is played down somewhat, with the Grigori being ruled by a governing council instead of a heavenly father, which enables the plot to develop without religious overtones. The ending leaves room for a sequel, and fans of the genre will want one.—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are Saying About This

Sophie Jordan
“Beautifully written. Romantic and filled with delicious tension. Forbidden enchants!”

Meet the Author

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women's National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) Translation rights for Syrie's books have been sold in sixteen languages. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.

Aside from being Syrie’s firstborn, Ryan M. James has co­written two screenplays, directed an independent feature, and created the machinima webseries A Clone Apart. By day he works as an editor for the video game industry in Santa Monica, most recently on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Game of the Year 2009) and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Under cover of night, he conjures stories for print, screen, and web as a member of the Writers Guild of America. He and his wife live in Los Angeles about a stone’s throw away from Syrie.

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Forbidden 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
Buried-in-Books More than 1 year ago
The main character, Claire Brennan is a junior at an elite prep school, on scholarship and has to keep her grades up in order to keep her scholarship. She's in all honors classes and oh yeah, she's sixteen and just hit puberty, in that girl way. So life is going swimmingly, especially when she meets the cute new boy with the Scottish accent standing in line in front of her and her friends waiting to get his school i.d. She can't tell if he's shy or stand offish or if that's the Scottish way when he doesn't really talk to them. So, she puts him out of her head, especially when her major crush of two years comes up and talks to her two friends, totally ignoring her. As a character, I like Claire. She doesn't push her mother for answers that are long overdue. She is assertive at times and shy at others, but eventually gets comfortable enough with herself that she asserts herself. She knows what she wants and doesn't waffle back and forth. She accepts her fate with grace and her losses a little better than I would have, but it was reasonable considering the amount of time the novel takes place over. But, she's just a bit vanilla. No kickin' gifts. At least not yet. Now, Alec MacKenzie he has some super gifts. As an angelic descendant, he's got powers that helped him fulfill his past duties. Now he's AWOL and hoping to blend in with the students at Emerson Prep. But, when he sees Claire, he loses his ability to form words. Yep, insta like. But he keeps it to himself. He's got a lot of things to hide and his weird little habits make him a much more interesting character than Claire. He obviously has super strength when he breaks Claire's locker the day they meet, but funnier than that, is his inner dialogue which I love that we get to hear! I wish all authors would let us hear both sides of the story, girl's and guy's points of view. It makes the story that much more enjoyable to me. We get both points of view at various times and it really adds to the story. Alec is more complex than Claire because he knows who and what she is, how much danger she is in, how much he can't be with her and what his duty is concerning her. But he wrestles with all that in the few weeks they know each other. And, he's hiding out himself and afraid of being caught himself. I did have a problem with the Scottish part of Alec. A big deal was made of his accent, but the only time he said anything remotely Scottish was "aye". The best friends, Brian and Erica were awesome! Great supporting roles and really in the know. Claire told them everything. Erica especially. But she really didn't keep anything from Brian so she had someone to bounce ideas off of and to help her stay sane during the turmoil she goes through. They were the best friends anyone could have asked for. They even humored her with her theory that Alec was a vampire. Can't ask for a better friend than that! The story is really very simple, but it's a pleasure to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of my faborite books. I highly recomend this book to all teenage girls who enjoy romance, action etc. I camt wait for the second book to come out even though this one literally just came out. Wow is all i cam say about this book!!!!!!
AmyELignor1 More than 1 year ago
For anyone who reads great books the name Syrie James should already be on top of all ‘to-read’ lists, as well as categorized as a consistent ‘5-Star’ author on all reviewer’s lists. Whether taking on Jane Austen, vampires, or anything else you can think of, Ms. James definitely knows how to create a story that is the ‘best of the best.’ But this time around she brings two new things to the table: The subject of angels told in a new way that hasn’t already been done six hundred times; and her son, Ryan, who enhances the story ten-fold with his own creativity and a definite ‘male’ point of view. (Which YA has needed for some time). Claire Brennan is a young girl who’s having a bit of a rough time. All her life her mother has packed them up and moved to a new city or town the second Claire started to feel comfortable in her new surroundings. The one thing she doesn’t want is to be uprooted again, seeing as that she now attends a school called Emerson Academy that she absolutely loves. Her two best friends - Erica and Brian - are always by her side; she is madly in love with Neil, who is a red-hot singer in the school’s choir; and she works hard to make sure that she can keep her partial scholarship to this righteous Academy. The picture of a ‘normal’ American teen, right? Except for the fact that dizzy spells have begun to affect her and strange visions are appearing in her mind, Claire is A-okay. Until… A new student comes to town by the name of Alec. Not only is he extremely handsome but he’s also Scottish, so that accent pretty much sweeps everyone off their feet. Except for Claire. When she first meets Alec he’s quite distant, and she basically would like him to go away. But soon Claire’s life changes immensely, especially when this strange boy begins to show some seriously superhuman strength. (No, not those guys). When Claire finds out that Alec is actually a member of a very old society that he decided to go AWOL from, her life really becomes a mess. She is one of the Awakened. Not only that but Claire is a Half-Blood. Her father, who she never knew, had some very special powers in his background and now Claire is paying for the fact that she’s a type of ‘being’ that may one day turn on the world and take people out. Vincent is Alec’s godfather, a man who works for some real ‘higher-ups’ whose job it is to erase Claire at this young age so she can never cause any harm. But Vincent forgets that nothing is more superhuman than the power of love - which Alec has for Claire big time! I have to say this book is a thrilling ride. From a trio of fallen angels to a battle with a were-creature, this fast-paced plot is extremely adventurous. And the romance? Let’s just say that the romance is so powerful between Claire and Alec that they make old Bella and Edward look like nothing more than ‘good friends.’ This is not just a YA, this is a truly amazing story that, while you’re reading it, you’re also picking out the best actors to play the roles on the big screen. All age groups will find themselves absolutely attached to this incredible novel! A story of pure fun, fantasy, romance, humor - you name it - Syrie James and her son have brought it! Get this one the second it comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a little confusing at fisrt but it got better and better as the book went on. I would totally recomend this book to everyone. And i hope they will make another one.
vickytren More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful read I enjoyed reading. Couldn't put it down. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book over all is just plain wierd.Very predictable, and i feel like i have already read it before because it follows the same train of events as Twilight does. If you want to read a book a lot like Twilight then go for it. The author had a good idea but it just came out cliche.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is beautifully & poignantly written. Lots of "angel" stories are being written lately & this is one of the top ones in my book. I adored the intense love story, the heart wrenching climax, the friendships that were 110% loyal & supportive. If you arent sure if your heart is beating, this story will prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
2rascals More than 1 year ago
OpheliaOA More than 1 year ago
This is awesome. I love it and i cant wait until the next book comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good book. I loved it.!!!!
Haddy More than 1 year ago
Amazing book that had me on the edge of my seat! When's the next one?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was amazing for just about every age. I hope you and your son continue alex and claires story. If you are contemplating buying it... DO! It is a nice paranormel book with a charming romance and fun action.
Ashnicole33 More than 1 year ago
Hope a second book will come out!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reading
mommy2threeloves More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and would recommend this for anyone looking for a good book to read they left it off so i am holding out hope their will be another book or a series. And Claire the main caracter is not annoying she is a strong caracter totally loved every bit of this book and could not put it down. If you decide to buy it i hope you enjoy it as much i did
Bridget_Jones More than 1 year ago
I haven't read many novels about angels, but if they're anything like this, I've been missing out on a pretty awesome genre! In this book, Claire has been experiencing some very weird visions that she has no explanation for. On top of that, the new guy Alec is mysterious yet enticing and seems to have a particular interest in her. Claire doesn't know what to think about Alec, but I know if some new hottie with an Irish accent were to move in, i wouldn't question why he was so interested in me! Claire is a great protagonist, especially because she is so relatable with her need to do well in school while trying to fit it. What I loved most about her, though, was how she told her two best friends everything that was going on with her. Even when she figured out more information about angels and her past, she didn't hesitate to share it with her friends, which is pretty rare in fantasy books. Not only did she confide in her friends, but she also had the best male counterpart EVER! Angels may give off the stereotype of being fluffy pretty boys, but Alec is definitely one lean mean fighting machine! He is good looking, but he is a tough guy who can really hold his own. He takes care of himself and has no problem at all protecting those he cares about. And that accent! Yum! Claire and Alec are SO cute together that I just sigh at how sweet they are! Things were a little slow in the beginning of the book, but they certainly picked up and it was so hard to put down! Not only does Forbidden have a gorgeous cover, the story is irresistible! This is definitely more for those looking for a romance rather than a fantasy novel, but that's exactly what I love to read. I hope there's a new one coming out sometime soon because I can't wait to see what happens next to Claire and Alec!
Entwined More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put it down the entire time. A wonderful mix of romance, intrigue, and action. I really hope there is another to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Similar to the Twilight saga, but only with angels. You can tell there will be more and lets hope it's as good as the first. The romance in the novel is good. Nothing past PG-13 for violence and kissing if you consider that bad. The villan is well thought of and not really a villan til the end. Minor twists and turns most are predictable. I recommend for pre-teens and certain teens. More to come and lets keep our fingers crossed!!!!
Ashlee_H More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book..Was a page turner for me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me cry at some parts and it made me cry happy tears if you havent fead this book READ IT KNOW!!!!
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
All Claire wants is to be noticed by her crush and be a normal teenager. As far has the second goal goes, she was doing pretty well...until she discovers she may have visions that come true. She is thrust into a different world, one that confuses her. Her past is unknown and she attempts to sieve through her past to figure out what she can expect in the future. Alec is an angel watcher, he is tired of this life and desires a normal one. When he begins attending Claire's school, he does not expect to encounter a being who is half-angel and half-human. He especially does not expect to fall in love with her. Alec must decide what he ultimately wants to make his decision. Claire is a fun character to get to know. She can be cautious, caring, and intelligent. The author makes it very easy to connect to Claire's character. Alec is a bit of an enigma; he can be charismatic and inquisitive. The secondary characters serve to round out the novel, they are not focused upon. The events of this book are fast-paced and exciting. The reader never knows when Claire's existence will catch up with her. The romance between Claire and Alec is sweet and realistically portrayed. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It could definitely be a series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a mus read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It kept you miving and you feel a part of its world.