The Last Taboo by Bali Rai


The Last Taboo by Bali Rai

Simran likes Tyrone from the moment she spots him in the crowd. He's gorgeous and he won't take no for an answer. There's just one problem. Tyrone is black and Simran's not sure how her family will react. Even though her parents were a 'love match' and married each other against the wishes of their families, Simran doesn't think they will approve of her having a black boyfriend, and her nightmare uncles and aunts certainly won't. Like her cousin Ruby says, it's the last taboo. But Simran likes Tyrone too much to walk away, so they face the problems their relationship causes together. But it becomes harder than either of them predicted and when the hatred they encounter escalates into violence, with families and friends turning against each other, Simran and Tyrone are forced to question whether they are strong enough to fight for what they believe in.


A powerful depiction of family history, cultural prejudice and gang culture ... Hard-hitting -- Lesley Agnew The Bookseller Engrossing, funny and savage by turns. The lively dialogyue and the clever use of different perspectives place the novel in a very broad context and the climax is terrifying The School Librarian Bali Rai deals with important and controversial issues not because it is fashionable to do so but because he is compelled to. Long may he continue! -- Jean Allen Carousel This is brave and committed writing, not always subtle but passionate; it deserves a large audience -- Nicholas Tucker TES

About the Author

Bali Rai

I was born in Leicester in 1971 and have lived there for most of my life apart from the five years I spent in London, doing a bit of uni work and a whole lot of other stuff. I eventually graduated in Politics ( I think my professor took pity on me ) from Southbank University in 1994. Upon leaving uni I decided that I had to get a job and join the real world. This led to a period in which I did some really boring jobs, like selling random things over the phone, managing the stacking of shelves and letting people into a cinema (all roles which obviously required a deep knowledge of Marxist philosophy ).

I came back to Leicester in 1995 with no money and a distant dream about becoming the next Sue Townsend and eventually found myself managing a bar and then a nightclub. Now I'm not saying that it was particularly hard work - it was fun - but at the same time I started to write the story that would become (un)arranged marriage, my first novel for teenagers.

My own influences are wide-ranging. My favourite writers are Roald Dahl, Sue Townsend and crime writers such as James Lee Burke, James Ellroy and Walter Mosely. I'm an avid fan of Reggae Music and artists such as Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Dennis Brown, amongst others, not only have me singing along (badly) but inform much of the way that I look at the World and things in it.

Bali is Booktrust's online writer in residence. Click here to read his blog.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Bali Rai
More books by Bali Rai

Author's Website


Publication date

1st June 2006



I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

Lovereading 4 schools