PURCHASE:Amazon | Book Depository
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.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Oh, Forbidden. I wanted to love you so much and I am sorry that this didn’t work out. I imagine, in an alternate universe, if you were more detailed and not so rushed, I could have loved you, but you weren’t, and so our story must end.
My lamenting aside, I am really disappointed. There were so many interesting things going on in this book but everything was SO RUSHED. I wanted details, I wanted a build-up, actual character development, all of the things but didn’t get nearly enough of any of them.
For starters, the main character was really hard to connect to. Whenever Josie did anything, she’d think about how improper it was and how much Mrs Chandler would disapprove. Mrs Chandler, by the way, isn’t even a real person. IT’S A BEHAVIORAL GUIDE for young ladies. I am all up for characters who aren’t traditionally strong and badass, but I don’t want to read about a character who cannot do anything without thinking about a behavioral guide. Even when she becomes ‘strong’ and ready to let go of all the stupid claims, she refers to Mrs Chandler. *shakes head*
Then there is the romance that comes out of nowhere. That is one of the things I was most excited about because I love me a forbidden romance but there was no romance. Sure there were ‘I Love Yous’ but there was literally no development. One minute she finds the guy sketchy and the next she cannot live without him? How did that jump happen? She even admits to not knowing him but somehow she can be in love and NOT know him? How does that even work?
This brings me to the love interest, who is mysterious but so mysterious we don’t find out anything about him. Also, I don’t think he and Josie ever have a conversation that is straightforward. It’s usually him being elusive, mysterious and vague and her falling for it.
One thing I did love about this book was that it is incredibly atmospheric. Right from the start, you can tell that something weird is going on. Something you don’t want the main character to be involved in, but it’s not like she can listen to us yelling on the other side for her to RUN FOR HER LIFE.
Then we find out what is going on behind the scenes and it is kind of really awful, but I wish we got more details. I wish the build-up was more clear, I wish there was more than just one scene where this awful thing takes place. I wanted more.
The same goes for the resolution to this conflict. Too rushed. Not detailed. Just plain sad.
The way the novel ended was really interesting and something I liked but because of the lack of details throughout the novel, it did not have the emotional impact on that it would have otherwise. I remained detached from the happenings of the novel with only the mystery keeping me glued to the pages. This book could have been great, mind blowing even, but it wasn’t because it was rushed. And hey, I like my quick reads but I don’t like them when it takes away from actual development.
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