Friday, 3 May 2013

Blog Tour Review & Guest Blog Post: Forbidden Friends by Anne-Marie Conway (Children's, 10 years +, 10/10 E)

1st May 2013, Usborne
320 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Themes: family secrets, friendships renewed/refound/mended, family ties, living in a controlled environment, the value of freedom, lies, deception, misunderstandings, fear of the future, terror of losing the ones you love, hating those you love, doing all you can to learn the truth, getting hurt and benefiting from it, rebelling, summer holiday, haunted memories, different ways of dealing with grief, an adorable grandmother, being forbidden from seeing someone, switching suitcases on purpose 

Content: mild romance, a small amount of domestic abuse/violence that almost happens, lots of tissues needed 

Summary from Usborne
 When Lizzie and Bee meet on holiday, it feels as if they were always meant to be friends. Escaping their parents and exploring, everything seems perfect in the hot summer sun. As the two girls grow closer however, strange questions rise to the surface… Is Lizzie an only child? Why has Bee’s dad disappeared? And why, as the holiday comes to an end, are the two girls forbidden from seeing each other again? Could one dark secret from the past hold the answer? Could one fateful night keep Lizzie and Bee apart…for ever?

Nayuleska's thoughts
I cried over page 292 when the end is unravelling so fast the truth is out before you can blink. The final poem really got to me - both Lizzy and Bee explore their feelings through poetry over a tragedy which flung their families apart for years, then finally...well - go read it! 
You can find out more on Anne-Marie's website.

Suggested read

Forbidden Friends was exactly as I'd expected a book from Anne-Marie to be - to understand that, you must read her other book, Butterfly Summer (5th book down - somehow I don't seem to have a full review for it...) 

Guest Blog Post

It is with great pleasure that I present Marie-Anne's views on friendship in her latest book, Forbidden Friends. It's a theme which is present in all her books like Butterfly Summer and, a book of Anne-Marie's that I must tell you about as it's probably my favourite given the amount of times I re-read it, Star Makers Club: Polly Plays Her Part

So I'll hand you over to Anne-Marie now! 

If you take a peek inside my new book, Forbidden Friends, you’ll see that it’s dedicated to my best friend Julia: BBF through good times and bad. Julia and I have been best friends for 46 years! That’s a very loooooong  time! And just like Bee and Lizzie in Forbidden Friends, although our friendship has not always been easy, it’s always been worth fighting for.

Bee and Lizzie meet on the beach in Spain, and before long they are inseparable, spending every spare moment together. Life hasn’t been easy for either of them leading up to the holiday and their friendship comes to mean everything. However, unbeknown to them, their two families are already linked by a tragic event – something terrible that happened when Bee and Lizzie were only three years old. And as the holiday comes to an end, and they prepare to return to England, Lizzie’s father forbids Lizzie from seeing or making contact with Bee ever again.

Desperate to see each other again, the two girls have to find a way to make contact with each other without their parents finding out. They have to discover what happened in the past to drive such a terrible wedge between their two families. And as the story comes to a shocking conclusion, they soon realise they will go to any lengths if it means they can save their friendship.

Exploring friendship is a theme that features in all my books. In Butterfly Summer, Becky and Rosa May are also inseparable, meeting every day in the butterfly garden. Their friendship is just as intense and precious as the friendship between Bee and Lizzie - and at the end of the story they are also forced apart - but for very different reasons.

Sometimes we take our friends for granted. We see them at school every day - or if we’re not at the same school, we text them, call them, see them at the weekends. When I sat down to write Forbidden Friends, I tried to imagine how far someone would go to make contact with their best friend if they were told they could never, ever see them again.

I wonder how far you would go? Would your friendship be worth fighting for?

Read the first chapter of Forbidden Friends at

Watch the trailer or read the first chapter of Butterfly Summer at 

Don’t miss Anne-Marie talking about her favourite character from Forbidden Friends over at Bookbabblers blog on Wednesday 8th May.

Thank you ever so much, Anne-Marie, for writing books which pull at the heart strings and have me reaching out for tissues (a sign of an awesome book). I love the plot twists because they always shock me - Forbidden Friends is especially true of that!

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