Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2086
Forbidden Love
(Updated: February 11, 2014)
Overall rating
Writing Style
1983 Berlin. The Cold War was winding down and a ominous fence divided one city. East and West. One side equaled freedom while the other oppression.

GOING OVER is one amazing glimpse into the lives of Ada and her love, Stefan. Ada is a pink haired graff artist, who decorates the forbidden Berlin Wall at night while hoping Stefan can see her on the other side of the fence through his telescope. Stefan has loved Ada since she was a child. She visits with her grandmother, four times a year. Their grandmothers 'share' a history. While there they turn up the TV to drown out their memories in case the dreaded Stasi are listening. Ada pushes Stefan to escape. But Stefan knows only too well what happens when the Stasi do catch deserters. His own grandfather suffered that fate. Will love conquer all?

What worked was the amazing voice of this historical YA novel. It brought back memories. During the early 80s, no one thought the wall would ever come down. We only heard stories of those who were lucky to escape. Ada and Stefan's story is beautifully written. Kephart shows us the heart and that not even a wall could separate a love.

Ada is colorful and bounces from hope to despair. I loved the added touch of her painting the wall at night. This is her act of defiance against a government that separates her from Stefan.

There's also lush descriptions that feel like carefully spun candy. You want to savor each word. The longing is shown in such a way, you hope the two will get together even when the odds are against them.

The subplot of a young Muslim boy and his mother was intriguing and showed the inequalities of others wasn't limited to the East Side of Berlin.

Totally unforgettable story of a love that refused to be divided by a wall. The emotions will resonate with readers. Beautifully written tale that shows hope in the face of terrible odds.
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