Thursday, 27 August 2015

Recommendations: Forbidden Love

One of my favourite things to read about is a forbidden romance. The secrecy. The danger. The tension. The intensity. The threat of consequences. Oh, it makes me happy dance! Here are the ones that have kept me on the edge of my seat during the agonising ups and downs of their forbidden love:

Forbidden, Tabitha Suzuma
Definitions|3rd June 2010

Lochan and Maya are young, beautiful and head over heels in love. They’re also brother a sister. Juggling school, running the house and caring after their younger siblings in the flaky absence of their mum have moulded Maya and Lochie into firm partners. It only seems natural to them that it would evolve.

Thought I’d through you in at the deep end with Forbidden. This novel is astoundingly beautiful and even though I read it five years ago, it’s still one that I find myself thinking about every now and then. It can be difficult to read and there are definitely bits that will make people uncomfortable, but you’ll be missing out if you avoid this novel for the content. The battle between your heart and head for both the reader and Lochie and Maya is one I haven’t encountered anywhere since. It’s gloriously heart-breaking.

If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan
Alonquin|20th August 2013

Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were children. They have a relationship of secrets, promises and stolen moments because in Iran a girl in love with a girl can mean imprisonment, beatings and even execution. When Nasrin’s parents announce a planned engagement for Nasrin, Sahar begins to seriously consider sexual reassignment surgery – legal and accessible – to save her love. Is changing herself worth saving her relationship?

This is an emotional and thoughtful read and I really loved it. LGBT rights have been getting some more much-needed attention lately but it’s still focused on the Western world. Farizan’s debut opens up about sexuality and gender and the complications of not fitting into traditional roles in the Middle East with grace, sensitivity and a hefty dose of thought. I’d never considered a lot of the problems that Sahar and Nasrin encountered – it was enlightening. Highly recommended.

Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles
S&S|1st April 2010

Head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are worlds apart, but when assigned as lab partners they’re forced to get along. Both of them completely taken aback when sparks start to fly between them, but they come from different sides of the track and being together isn’t going to be an easy ride.

The Perfect Chemistry trilogy is one of my very, very favourite trilogies and Alex is one of my top book boyfriends – I could read this book over and over and not get bored. Him and Brittany have a tonne of sizzle and I was championing them from the start. Alex is a gang member and his relationship with Brittany poses a serious danger to both of them. I loved watching the effects they had on how the other sees the world and made it a better place to look upon. There are some stomach-in-your-throat moments in this book where Brittany and Alex’s relationship, and lives, hang in the balance and it only makes it all the sweeter.

The Luxe, Anna Godbsersen
Puffin|3rd July 2008

Welcome to New York City. It’s 1899 and society’s elite bring glamour, gossip, secrets, scandal, beauty and revenge as they weave a tangled web of love and lies. Welcome to The Luxe.

This series is one I discovered and fell head over heels in love with before I started blogging. I’ve never been a huge fan of historical fiction – it takes something really special to pull me in, and The Luxe did that tenfold. Though not as major part in the first books as they are later on in the series, the main draw for me (apart from the decadence and scandal of the world they live in) Diana and Henry were my draw. I don’t want to spoil anything, but they really shouldn’t have anything to do with each other; they have quite a few impossible obstacles that only get more impossible as their story develops. I was rooting for them tirelessly, even though maybe they weren’t quite right together.

Bloodlines, Richelle Mead
Puffin|25th August 2011

Sydney belongs to the Alchemists, a secret organisations that work to keep the vampire world a secret from humans. They protect them, keep their secrets and clear up after them and Sydney has been assigned to keep watch over the sister of the Moroi queen, Lissa Dragomir, while her life is at risk from those wanting her family knocked from the throne. Being accused of sympathising with vampires is akin to treason for the Alchemists and now Sydney is about to move in with a group of them – will her teachings stay strong?

The series that Bloodines is a spin-off from, Vampire Academy, could easily have made this list with the relationship between student and mentor, Rose and Dimitri, but this series doesn’t get nearly as much love as VA. In buildings friendships with Jill, Adrian and Eddie, Sydney risks her career, by falling in love with Adrian she risks her life. I love Sydney’s battle against her feelings and teachings, the chemistry between them and the sparkly banter, all against the threat of the Alchemists discovering Sydney’s new allegiances and the potential deadly consequences.

Stolen, Lucy Christopher
Chicken House|4th May 2009

Gemma is kidnapped while on a changeover at Bangkok airport and whisked away to the deserts of Australia. Taken away from everything she knows, he expects her to love him. This is Gemma’s letter to her captor.

Now, this is a little different to the other novels in this post but it’s still very much worth a mention. Stolen is easily one of the beautifully written books I’ve ever read. Set against the desolate beauty of the Australian outback, Gemma gets to know Ty and learns why he took her. This is another story where your head and heart collide. Ty did something very, very wrong and I kept wanting to hate him but I couldn’t! I really loved how Gemma Stockholm Syndrome extended to the reader. You should read it for a wonderful scene where Ty reveals his beautiful art to Gemma alone. Stunning.

What are you favourite forbidden love stories?


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