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Elinor is a Chosen One. There are many people who are a part of True Cause, but few are chosen. Elinor is lucky.

What she doesn't know, however, is that True Cause isn't just a religious group, but a dangerous cult headed by a man named Howard who claims to be descended from an ancient group of non-humans. Sound far-fetched? It is, but to Elinor, who has known scarcely anything but True Cause since she was a baby, it's life.

Each Saturday, members of True Cause have rummage sales, selling the old belongings of new recruits (New Joiners). It is here that Elinor meets Jamie, an Outsider. Jamie isn't very interested in joining True Cause, but he seems fascinated with learning about Elinor's thoughts. He questions them at every turn, encouraging Elinor herself to question both Howard and True Cause.

For some reason, Elinor is drawn to Jamie and continues to meet with him in secret. Then one day, everything changes, and Elinor needs to count on Jamie. Will she leave True Cause, or will she convince Jamie to join with her?

FORBIDDEN is an intriguing look at the world inside religious cults. While most teens won't be able to directly identify with Elinor's struggle to think for herself, they will see in Elinor struggles to find an inner self.


Reviewed by Hannah Gomez on October 18, 2011

by Judy Waite

  • Publication Date: February 7, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum
  • ISBN-10: 0689876424
  • ISBN-13: 9780689876424