Wednesday 22 May 2013

Forbidden Friends by Anne-Marie Conway

The policeman came round early this morning, just before eight. It was awful. I had to sit in the living room and answer loads of questions about Dad. Did I know where he was? Did he say anything to me before he left? Did I remember anything that had seemed out of the ordinary? Nan sat next to me on the sofa, holding my hand as tight as she could, but it didn’t help. My stomach was in knots. I didn’t have a clue where Dad was. I hadn’t seen him since Friday after school, and that was three days ago.
Published by Usborne in May 2013
Pages – 314
Goodreads Summary
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?
This is the first book I’ve read by Anne-Marie Conway and it most definitely won’t be last. It’s one of those stories that plays on your senses allowing  you to transport to another time. I was instantly taken back to recent holidays abroad, slathered in sun cream with a book in one hand and an ice cream in another.
Told from alternate viewpoints, the book introduces us to lovely girls Bee and Lizzie, each quite lonely in their own way, quite opposite in their characteristics, yet they still  embark on a new friendship while holidaying with their families. Bee, the reader, was my favourite, especially when  she packed her suitcase with reading material for the holiday.   As the holiday nears an end, they realise their lives are more entwined than originally thought, each struggling to understand why they are forbidden to ever see each other.
As the story progresses the mystery of the past slowly unfolds and the truth finally comes out. I was completely absorbed in the story as I waited rather impatiently to find out what happened all those years ago.
This book has some strong themes in it. It looks very closely at bullying and both girls experience it in varying degrees. They both support each other as they try to confront the people who bully them. The book also examines family relationships and how easily they can unravel. Each family was suffering due to the events that were clearly an accident.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book and it will definitely be one I will be recommending. Ideal for the 9 to 12 age bracket, especially children dealing with friendship issues. Honestly a good summer holiday read.


  1. This sounds really good! I hadn't heard of it before but I will check it out

    Cait x

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