“That kind of game. Mystery. Danger. Seduction. Fear. Secrets revealed. Desires unveiled. Temptation.”
The Forbidden Game, 16-7.
Thus begins a novel that will give the reader a little bit of everything. L.J. Smith, known for works such as Vampire Diaries and Night World, has done it once again. She has woven a tale that takes place across three separate novels (although they are all located within the same volume). The Forbidden Game propels the reader into a world where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, where creatures lurk in the night and nightmares materialize.
When Jenny Thornton comes across a game store in a sketchy part of town, she thinks she’s gotten lucky. Her boyfriend Tom’s birthday party is tonight, and she desperately needs something to keep the guests entertained. Jenny’s surprise is overcome by confusion, however, when she meets Julian, the shop’s owner. His charm and confidence are underlined by a cold, heartless gaze; a gaze that stops Jenny’s heart and begins the love triangle that will pervade throughout the rest of the texts. From then on, Jenny’s life will never be the same. She and her friends are thrown into The Game, a game in which the stakes are larger than just winner or loser, in which your life and your freedom is at stake. None other than Julian, a master manipulator in his own right, controls the Game.
Cons: There aren’t many. In fact, only one really struck me throughout the reading. The character Summer, is a character who I found to be unrealistic in her weaknesses. 16 years old? Try more like five. Her innocence and inability to face reality might appear cute to some people, but I thought she could’ve been written with more intelligence while still maintaining that innocence.
Throw all of this together and you’ve got yourself a story filled with romance, adventure, suspense, and of course, tragedy. Although there were parts that I would have rather skipped (mostly due to the characterization), I would give The Forbidden Game 6 out of 10.