Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

book cover of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Release date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 454
Source: Publisher

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

This review is terribly hard for me to write.  Forbidden is a book unlike any I have read; in both good and bad ways.  I am glad I finally read it but I have to say it is one that I will most likely never read again.

Lochan and Maya are brother and sister but they are more than that.  They are parents to their three younger siblings, students trying to make it through school, best friends, and even more than that: they love each other.  They know their relationship is doomed from the start but they keep coming back to each other.  Their relationship was wrong but even more than that, it was unhealthy.  It was almost like they couldn’t function when they were apart.  They were very obsessed with each other.  It made their relationship even harder to read about.

While it was hard to read about it was almost easy to see why they were together.  Their mother was a worthless drunk and they had three children to look after, one of which was an obnoxious 13-year-old.  They had to have someone to rely on and with Lochan’s speech issues, Maya was his only friend.  I definitely don’t condone their relationship but never having been in their situation, I can’t judge them.

The writing though was absolutely stunning.  It’s really why I kept reading even when I was uncomfortable.  Tabitha Suzuma has a way with words that will keep you hooked.  Her writing was just beautiful.

I am going to include a warning here: there are some explicit scenes in Forbidden.  This book is not one I would recommend for young teens.

Overall, if it wasn’t for the subject matter I would have loved Forbidden.  I did like it though.  There were times when I laughed and times when I cried.  It is a very powerful book and one that I think a lot of people will enjoy.

Looking for more reviews of Forbidden?
Between The Pages’ Review
Confessions Of  A Bookaholic’s Review

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  1. Ezmirelda

    I really loved this story mostly because the writing entranced me! (Not sure why but most British YA authors writing does). I wasn’t nearly as creeped out by the topic because it isn’t something you see a lot in every day life, especially these days where we’re not all marrying our cousins like they used to do a long time ago. I don’t think I’ll read this book again also, but not because I didn’t like it–quite the opposite actually. The ending killed me. -_- I literally spent a whole week feeling moody about the way it ended, and then whenever the book was brought up I’d feel this awful pain in my chest. I think I almost came close to tears actually. I guess its so deeply embedded into my memory that there’s no point in me re reading it again. It’s the closest I’ve ever came to crying while reading a book.

  2. Julia :)

    I’m curious to maybe pick this up and skim it. The subject matter is definitely something that I am a little creeped out by (siblings? REALLY?) but I really want to see how the author tackles such a taboo thing. I wonder why the author chose to write about it in the first place. Hmmmm.

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

  3. ashelynn hetland

    I for the longest time was afraid to read this book because of the subject matter. Every time I heard about it, all I could think was “icky” and shudder. But then I read it and… enjoyed it. I don’t think I wrote a review for it because it would have been too hard for me to write a review about it. It was so strange to go from “ew, gross” to “I enjoyed this book.” After I read it, I didn’t think of it was an icky matter… although I still do at times. It’s a hard book to read, but so worth it.

    My WOW.

  4. Tabitha

    I keep hearing great things about this book, but I don’t know if I could read it. The topic is just kind of uncomfortable, but I guess reading outside of your comfort zone isgood for you sometimes. I don’t know. I want to read it, but I don’t want to read it at the same time. Great review. I like hearing your thoughts on it (:

  5. Rachelia (Bookish Comforts)

    I always seem drawn to the grotesque/weird/uncomfortable topics so I can see myself reading this book. It kind of reminds me of V.C Andrews Flowers in the Attic & Petals on the Wind which was kind of bad but I couldn’t look away!

    I think what you said about the author’s writing is important. It isn’t enough to just write about a taboo topic and expect that to sell your book! I think it makes for a much more powerful book when the author can combine an uncomfortable topic with beautiful writing to turn it into something powerful. THAT reason that you gave right there? That’s why I’m going to add this book to my TBR list 🙂

  6. Christina Kit.

    It does sound like a very emotional novel. Yes, the subject matter is difficult to understand but I think from what you’re saying in your review that the author is talented enough to get you to care for the characters despite the subject matter.

    Lovely review 🙂

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