Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Sweetest Taboo

Sweetest Taboo
4 of 5 stars false
Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart.
This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.
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.


****This book was part of a blog tour, I received a copy for my honest review****
I am really not sure what to say about this book. I started out nervous,I finished it anxious and nervous and all in between I yo yo-ed between uncomfortable, shocked, angry.
This is a very thought provoking story and I am sure there will be many of you out there who will not be able to see it in the light it was supposed to be portrayed. I am not sure myself if I do.
So let's review the simple things. The writing is very good,the words just flowed and I didn't have any difficulty hearing the voice of Isabel in my mind.
I loved that it felt like it was based in the nineties, Marquez did a really good job of setting the scene.
The music titles for each chapter was a real plus for me. I grew up and went to school in the nineties and I recognized all the songs and it really got me in that nineties frame of mind.
Okay, now let's do the hard stuff.
At the beginning of the book there is a preface from Claire Stevens that tells us that this is based on a true story, in fact it is based on her mother.
She explained that her mother wanted to show the world that these sorts of relationships although frowned upon aren't always what they seem. Sometimes love is at the core of relationship.
Now I am a person who does see the gray areas, I am not all black and white.So I started this book thinking I was going to be open minded and not judge. However the further I got into this book the more I just couldn't let go of certain things. Tom Stevens (see the name link there, the plot thickens) is more than double her age,Isabel is fifteen and he is in his late thirties and he is MARRIED! He also has two children. He gets jealous of Isabel spending time with other boys but he goes home to his wife and children. He says he doesn't love his wife, but he won't leave her. Does this sound right to you? Also Isabel is very immature, to me, she flounces about telling everyone of her affair. Arrggghhh.
I understand that this is a taboo topic, the relationship between a teacher and a student. So I understand that it is bound to be full of things to provoke you, make you think, make you angry. The reality of this particular topic to me is that Isabel is still a child. I know at fifteen I thought was grown up and worldly wise, but I was not.
I thought through reading this book I would see things in a different light, but I didn't. I still feel that this is line that should not be crossed until the minor is of an age to make the decisions with some worldly experiences behind them. I also think that cheating is never acceptable.
So , I bet you are wondering what the four star rating is for since I have just bagged the story. Well the fact is I still like this book and just because the authors views are not mine doesn't mean I think she wrote a bad story. It wasn't, it was very good. Engaging, I read it cover to cover in one sitting.
I am going to very soon dive into the next in this series... so as you can see, I haven't been put off.
My advice to you would be to read this book, but go in knowing that it will definitely not be all sunshine and roses and that it will provoke you into some sort of emotional response. Be prepared, but try and enjoy, it is not an easy read, but it is a good one.

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