The plot is wonderfully crafted with well-developed characters, nonstop suspense and a good twist to the ending. The setting and political environment make an effective backdrop and I found the Muslim elements very interesting. Ms. Stone adds to this an improbable but beautiful romance. MSEreads
If you're looking for a story that will transport you, this is it. From the very first chapters, my heart thundered along with Eliza's--the foreboding in her gut to what becomes an all-out crisis. The characters are well drawn and believable with intriguing depth. I got a clear sense of Eliza's and Sharif's backgrounds along the way, but the story stays focused on the moment. It takes talent to achieve that, and I'm sure a LOT of hard work.
Equally impressive is the research that went into this book. I've followed the author's blog, so I know she did her homework and enlisted input from experts to create an authentic world. All that research paid off. The cultural elements as well as the legal intricacies feel so real. Forbidden has twists and turns that'll keep your mind whirring. Just when you think you have something figured out, a surprise awaits. The romance between the two leads builds up at a satisfying pace. These are two adults in dire circumstances, not insta-lovey teenagers, and Stone keeps them true to character throughout. There are beautifully written passages along the way to drive their intense emotions home. by Lila
I loved how the author made Islam more understandable to non-followers of the religion. We learn that it is a religion of peace. Kudos to Ms. Stone for shining this light. by Lilicaspace
I felt the story tension, the sense of unease that permeated the air. It is that fear you don't want to acknowledge or admit to yourself. It is when you know, at your core, that things are going get much worse despite the horror you've already experienced. It is a sort of self-denial that allows you to act through horrendous, high-stress events, crisis after crisis, despite the deep terror within. That is the feeling that the author captured making Eliza's PTSD all the more engaging. by Juneta Key