Forbidden Boy

Forbidden Boy - Hailey Abbott Every now and again, I find myself wanting to read a summer love story - I used to read a lot of them growing up and some of my favorite YA books have revolved around coming of age summer stories with a dash of romance, drama, and light hearted laughs. Sure, there were lessons to be had in the books I read, but at the same time, there are certain books where you feel like you just want to go along for the ride - catch the wave and see where it takes you.I haven't read any of Hailey Abbott's other books, but this one I came across as a library read. I picked it up and finished it in a two hour read. First, I'll give it to Abbott in that she knows her characters very well and knows how to write a sweet summer romance. Unfortunately, I can tell that this was quite a few years old with quite many of the music references and allusions here - so to say it shows its age and carries the pop culture references a little too heavily - that's one thing I'll say.The story revolves around a young woman named Julianne and her family. The immediate problem in the novel has Julianne noticing her new neighbors are taking over her beach, forcing people to move out and building a gym that defaces the beach she's enjoyed with her family for years, even when her mother was alive. A random encounter (or rather collision) finds her coming across and subsequently falling in love with the neighbor's son, Remi. Julianne feels torn between loving "the enemy" and wanting to keep her memories of her mother and home alive. I did have to suspend disbelief in a few points in the novel, but once I did, I found it a smooth and sweet coming of age story where Julianne has to come to terms between what she thinks is the best thing to do, and what she wants. I did like the character chemistry between Remi and Julianne. While it is somewhat "love at first sight", it is substantiated with genuine interactions and moments where you feel the characters know and understand each other.I enjoyed it, though I think with respect to the revolving conflict, it was a bit easily resolved and the conflict between Julianne and her sister did seem somewhat juvenile for their respective ages. Still, I think it was worth the read and teens will find something to enjoy in it, as long as they're not expecting too much.Overall score: 3/5