Saturday, March 16, 2013

[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Sweetest Taboo and Tainted Love by Eva Marquez

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Sweetest Taboo  
Title: Sweetest Taboo
Author: Eva Marquez
Release Date: October 1, 2012
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.
Tainted Love 
Title: Tainted Love (Sweet Taboo #2)
Author: Eva Marquez
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Goodreads
Isabel thought her life was on track – she was doing well in school, moving quickly toward her future, and deciding who she wanted to be. Best of all, she’d reunited with Tom, the love of her life. But it doesn’t take long for her history – and his – to
start catching up with them, presenting a range of uncomfortable questions. Does he really love her? Are they meant to be together? And what exactly has he been doing in their time apart?


THOUGHTS:

It seems like taboo relationships are everywhere in pop culture these days. As a matter of fact, one of the central storylines of one of the most popular TV series geared towards teens and young adults, Pretty Little Liars (which is based on a book series, I might add), focuses on the relationship between Ezra and Aria - a teacher and his student. Moreover, this particular pairing has a lot of fans and supporters likewise. Why might this be, you ask. It's a taboo relationship - how can people support it? Simple. It's obvious to me that Ezra is not even the least bit predatory towards Aria. He treats her with love, respect, and is mindful of her wishes. Despite of the fact that their relationship is taboo, it really can't be denied that they have powerful feelings towards each other.

That's the way I felt about Tom and Isabel.

I'm not going to lie - Tom and Isabel's relationship is considered morally wrong by society in many levels, and I myself did cringe a few time while reading both novels, but I see that they feel something strong and powerful towards each other. However, it was hard to ignore the fact that Tom is more than twice Isabel's age, and that he is also married and has two children. As much as I tried to like and respect Tom as a character, I just couldn't. The fact that he has a family was hard for me to gloss over - I do firmly believe that love can happen between two people despite of how old they are, but it was difficult to me to understand how Tom can have no remorse over his cheating. Also, I did find him to be rather hypocritical when he was so judgmental of Isabel kissing another guy.

That's one thing you have to really ponder while reading series - it cannot be denied that Isabel and Tom care for each other and have intense feeling towards each other, but is the feeling really love?

Despite of my misgivings towards the character of Tom, I enjoyed the flow of the story. For majority of these two novels, I never saw Tom and Isabel as two people having an illicit and forbidden affair - I considered them as two people in a relationship going through problematic times - and I believe that this is a testament towards Marquez' strong writing. I had no problem at all reading these novels - I finished both one after the another as a matter of fact, and I think most of you will feel the same way. Usually, most written work about taboo relationships deal with the forbidden aspect, but Marquez actually had the relationship of Tom and Isabel develop, and that was something I found to be amazing and commendable.

I consider Sweet Taboo to be a particularly strong novel, but I was a bit disappointed with Tainted Love. While I'm sure that a lot of readers appreciate being able to know Tom's thoughts, I found them hard to read, mostly because I found them uninteresting. I don't even know why - perhaps it's because I never connected with him as a character? It also bothered me that Isabel's maturity was somehow regressing, and that she was involved with another professor, while attempting to maintain a semblance of a relationship with Tom. It kind of makes you wonder whether or not she really loved Tom, and I can't deny that I truly felt bad for Tom for the majority of this novel. Here he is pining for Isabel every minute of everyday while Isabel was off dilly-dallying with some other guy. I'm not exactly sure how Marquez will finish this series, but hopefully the third book is better than the second.

If I were you, I'd give this series a shot. Marquez drops a bomb in the foreword of Sweet Taboo that will make the readers see the novels in a different light, and as I mentioned, her writing is just excellent, and I can't wait to read more of her work.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

GIVEAWAY:

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1 comment:

  1. I think another reason why many root for relationships between teachers and students (granted the teacher treats the student well and feelings are pure, as you said) is because it is a form of forbidden love and i think many -including myself- root for those romances. :)

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