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Join Isabel as she makes her way through this dark love story, hiding from teachers, lying to her parents, and defying the authorities to make a life with the man she loves. Watch as she discovers the wonders of love and romance, and the terrible betrayal of jealous friends. And cry with her when she learns the hard truth about life and the people in her world. Sweetest Taboo is inspired by the true and tragic stories of students who fall in love with their teachers, and live with the hard truths of forbidden romances. In a world full of after-school specials on sexual predators, this touching book seeks a different path, casting both student and teacher in a gentle light, and showing that true love may lie at the base of even the most illicit romance.
Sweetest Taboo is Book One of a contemporary YA romance series. Book Two, Tainted Love, is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2003.
Posted March 27, 2013
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
In “Sweetest Taboo” we meet Isobel Cruz, a teenager so much in love with her swim coach that she keeps a diary concerning her relationship with him. Years later her daughter finds the diary and asks permission to make it into a book. She already had a crush on him but when he began singling her out in small ways like handing her towel to her and bringing her forgotten jewelry to her home, her crush turned to an obsession.
“Sweetest Taboo” was written by Eva Márquez. This is the tale of forbidden “love.” I struggle with the term love; I think lust or obsession is more appropriate. I will address the characters first. Isobel was only 15 years old and not a mature 15 years old. It is obvious that she has a thing for older men — much older men as demonstrated by the fact she has a poster of Bill Clinton on her wall and her notebook. Izzy disobeyed her father’s orders to stay away from that man. Tom was a married man and yet he encouraged Izzy’s obsession with him. He knew he’d never leave his wife. The relationship was illegal and selfish. The plot could have been ripped from the headlines. Often students become infatuated with their teachers; rarely is it true love. I can throw in all kinds of ifs: if Tom had not been married or if they had kept their relationship at a distance until she graduated! This tale is told through Izzy’s point of view. I would have liked to know what Tom was thinking. This is an interesting tale. For many it will be disturbing. Disturbing or not, it will stir the reader’s emotions.
Posted March 11, 2013
SWEETEST TABOO by Eva Marguez is an interesting Mature Contemporary Young Adult romance. The first in the "Sweetest Taboo" series. An intense story with controversial issues and a forbidden love with tragic results. A teacher-student relationship. Told from 15 year old Isobel Cruz perspective. "Sweetest Taboo" is the story of young Isabel Cruz,a 15 year old and Tom Stevens,her swim coach. It is a thin line between love,hate and betrayal. An illicit,illegal love affair,lying,cheating,and misinforming story that is heart breaking,compelling and emotional. While,"Sweetest Taboo" is not for everyone,it is written from an objective view,the author does not try to push the student-teacher relationship down the reader's throat. She does take you from one extreme to the next in this compelling and emotional story of forbidden love. As for this reviewer, I have real issues with the student-teacher relationship,but have to say this was a roller coaster story. It is labeled as a mature contemporary Young Adult read,but I don't know that I would agree with that,but there you are. As I said,"Sweetest Taboo" is not for everyone,but if you enjoy reading controversial issues,teenage issues,and forbidden love,you will enjoy this story. Book 2 in the "Sweetest Taboo" series, "Tainted Love" is to release this month. Received for an honest review from he publisher.
HEAT RATING: Hot(Due to nature of content)
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews
Posted January 26, 2013
Intense, controversial story. Challenges what is considered the societal norm, and is probably not for everyone. Read with an open mind.
Isabel Cruz, 15, meets swimming coach and teacher, Tom Stevens (mid-thirties). The two engage in a long affair spanning a few years.
I enjoy controversial books, especially those that try to make a distinction between "illegal" and "wrong". Eva Marquez artfully dances on both sides of the line.
In this case, Isabel is far from the victim. She decides to pursue Tom early on, though Tom isn't innocent either. Instead of gently discouraging her pursuit, he encourages her and arranges for many secretive meetings. Both of them choose to be in this relationship, for better or worse, with a seemingly full understanding of the consequences.
From the description, some may conclude that this book is erotica, exploring a particular fetish. This is not the case. The sex scenes are limited and tasteful, only doing what's necessary to move the story forward.
For the most part, Ms. Marquez does a wonderful job of keeping the story intense. Most of the story happens in Isabel's head, so be prepared to spend a few days exploring the mindset of a 15-year-old girl--it's less driven by action and more by how Isabel feels.
Room for improvement:
I wanted to see more thoughts about the difference between something that's illegal and something that's wrong. The part that's wrong with most student and teacher relationships is the difference in power--teachers are supposed to be trusted adults who won't take advantage of their students.
In this case, Tom wasn't directly in power over Isabel--though he was the head coach, he didn't decide whether she swam or in what order. Though he was a teacher, he wasn't her teacher. It might have been interesting for Isabel to see an article or news segment on another relationship. How would she have reacted? Would she have judged them? Would she have sided with them? It's an interesting concept that wasn't really covered.
Tom becomes unlikeable when it's revealed that he's married with kids. Even that is potentially forgivable--divorces happen, and that comes from unhappy marriages--but when he decides to take Isabel's virginity in the bed he shares with his wife, that crossed a line for me. Even though his wife is out of town, he could have reserved a hotel room to hide his relationship with Isabel from the neighbors and avoid this even bigger betrayal.
I simply couldn't buy the subplot with James. Isabel would come off of one scene completely in love with Tom, yet her only motivation in liking James was that other girls were attracted to him. The author was too successful in making James unlikeable, so I had trouble believing that Isabel would agree to dating him (and leading James to the potential for more).
The last 25% of the book slowed way down--spending a lot of time telling the reader exactly what Isabel was thinking. It wasn't as engaging as the beginning, and could have been trimmed down significantly without losing the story. That said, the rest of the book makes this worth reading. There's an interesting twist at the end that opens the possibility for a sequel...and since there is a sequel, I expect it will be just as good.
Posted January 19, 2013
Okay, so, I had no idea what to expect when I got this book. It was actually the first book I have read in a year because I have been so busy writing mine! I must say I was pleasantly shocked. It was different, different in a good way! The main character, Isabel, is a very mature teenager who is 15 going on thirty. I have always been intrigued by older guys myself so I was drawn to this story. I also have unconventional ideas about the expectations that society places on us and wanted to hear it from another point of view. That is exactly what I got out of it. I was let into a teenager's mind and she shared her deepest darkest secrets with me. Unabashed and fast paced, I couldn't wait to see where Isabel and Tom Stevens ended up and I am in sweet anticipation for book two in the series, Tainted Love, due out in March 2013!
Beautifully done, Eva!
Sweetest Taboo is Book One of a contemporary YA romance series. Book Two, Tainted Love, is scheduled to be released on March 5, 2013! Stay tuned for excerpts, cover and trailer reveal!
Posted December 2, 2012
It is definitely taboo; the sexual content in the book was not my normal type of content to read that is for sure. Isabel falls in love with an older man who happens to be her swim coach Tom Stevens. Isabel is telling the story of her love for an older man who is married with children of his own, to me it was heartbreaking and an ultimate betrayal, a story of forbidden love.
Marquez writes this book with the maturity of a 15-year-old girl in mind. This is not something that the public tolerates in today’s world, this is a very serious and controversial topic, but it happens. I am not saying what they did was right, but the book is from Isabel's 15-year-old perspective. It is not something I would read again, but that does not mean someone else would not want to read this book.
I would like to thank Eva for giving me the opportunity to read and review her book.
Posted November 26, 2012
I normally take a couple of days after reading a book before I actually write the review. It could be that I'm lazy at times, or it could be that I want to allow the book's elements to marinate for a little while so that I can give it a truly thoughtful response. I like option two better...sounds better. But it's probably a mixture of the two. All that being said, I just finished reading Sweetest Taboo at 1:35am tonight, and here I am at 1:42am writing the review for it. This review is also going to hop over several other books and be posted immediately for no other reason than that it had a truly impactful message for me and I absolutely loved it.
I've always had a pretty firmly held opinion about teacher to student relationships...mostly when we're talking about high school. Once someone's in college, I pretty much feel like they're consenting adults and whether they have a relationship with a professor is something they have the intellect to reason out on their own. But with high school students, it's more, yes, taboo, because the idea is that a kid in high school is more vulnerable, more easily preyed upon by sexual predators, and that teachers, having a position of authority over them, are able to then exert that authority in an unhealthy way to provoke the student into elicit activities and relationships that they're not mentally equipped to deal with. Does it always follow that this assumption is true, however? This is the question thoroughly explored in Eva Marquez story, Sweetest Taboo.
I went into this story knowing exactly what my take on this subject would be. I've watched multiple new stories, Dateline episodes and other documentaries about teacher-student relationships that were outed and ended up being prosecuted, and I pretty much felt that this was always wrong, despite the fact that I could name at least two such cases where, after the sentence was served, the relationship picked right back up where it left off, and the now "of age" student is still in a relationship with their former teacher. In this book, Marquez explores the possibility that these relationships don't always have to be criminal, or of a sexually predatory nature. What if you have a young student, girl or boy, who knows exactly what he/she wants, and a teacher who would never do anything to hurt that student, would in fact protect them, do anything for them, and that the ultimate sex act isn't what the relationship is based on? What if it was based on nothing but an emotional connection that ultimately leads, instead, to a special love?
I absolutely loved Isabel. This is a smart girl. She's mature for her age, despite the fact that there are a couple decisions that she makes early on that are impactful, and that do show her age. The way she feels about her teacher, Tom Stevens, is firm and deep. Teenaged kids fall in love with other teenaged kids all the time, and no one has any trouble accepting the fact that it is truly love. So why, when the person they love is much older, is it not looked upon in the same light? Isabel's relationship with Tom starts slowly, builds over the course of years, and it takes just about that long for them to even take their relationship into the ultimate physical act. It is clear that their love is pure for each other. Is it not possible that there might be times when such relationships are an exception?
Tom's character was sweet, gentle, caring. There were times that I found him to be a little weak, but even he recognized this in himself, and there are things he does to change that. The journey these two take over the course of the book was engrossing, and I couldn't help myself as I ended up rooting for them. You just wanted so badly for them to get to be together as you read.
I have to give props to Eva Marquez. Her writing of this book was masterful. To be able to take such a taboo (yes, there it is again) situation and actually make her reader think of it in a new light, takes some talented handling. People are probably going to either love this book or hate it, depending upon the strength of their convictions. But I can guarantee, that regardless of their resulting opinion, the book WILL make them think, and it just might change their mind a little. Bravo to Marquez for taking on such a controversial topic and handling it with such sensitivity and bravery. It was utterly captivating to read, clearly, as I started it and finished it in one sitting. I am dying to read the sequel, Tainted Love!
Posted November 20, 2012
How can qualify love? When the concept about romance and love has changed through time and what was right 50 years ago is unthinkable today is hard to say what is right and what is wrong. We can boast around about us being open-minded; however we have to know the all story before we can judge.
Sweetest Taboo is the story of a 15-year-old girl that has a relationship with a teacher more than twice is age. During three years they sneak around and have an intense relationship that breaks all rules and is forbidden by society.
Isabel falls in love with an older man, who is married and have kids. Tom is her swim coach and a school teacher. The moment they set sight on each other everything in their world is turn around.
The book is told by Isabel's point of view and because of that I can say that she is a mature girl for her age but like every teenager her emotions are a roller-coaster and every feeling is ten times more potent than for any other person.
She has to deal with being a teenager, with her parents wanting to get back to Chile and with been in love with Tom. The fact that she has to deal with it in private, alone and in secret is really exhausting. Being in love as a teenager is hard enough to anyone and if you add the age difference and that you and the other person shouldn't be together your whole world seems darker.
Anyone who has been or still is a teenager would feel relate to many of the things Isabel has to live. Maybe you will pass from hate to love as I did, because the book has that effect, is takes you from one point to the other.
Eva creates a wonderful world, where the lines between fantasy and reality are really thin. A relationship that causes different emotions in the reader and makes you shiver to the core. She has the ability of being objective and you never feel like she is trying to convince you that the situation is right or wrong.
The whole point is bringing to the table a situation that we may see or not in our daily basis and to make us question about it.
I loved it and I would recommend it to all readers who enjoy reading "controversial" stories, stories about real people and stories that will let you thinking about your idea of love and romance.
(I recieved a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review)
Posted October 20, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted October 21, 2012
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