Sunday, December 23, 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

ForbiddenTitle: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
: 454Rating: 5 out of 5
From Goodreads:
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.


There are people who will not like this book. And I completely understand. It's not an easy read. Nothing about this book is easy, fun, or lighthearted. This book is heavy. There isn't any laughter and you definitely aren't going to find a happy ever after. I cringed, and paced, and pulled my hair, and yelled, and had to pause multiple times while I was reading Forbidden. Then I cried. A lot.

Lochan and Maya are the oldest in a family of five. Their mother is a neglectful, self centered, alcohol who is barely around since their dad split years ago. Soon they realize that raising their brothers and sister has brought them closer than just siblings. They're best friends, and they're in love. Lochan and Maya try to fight off the feelings because they know it's wrong, but they can't control the need to be together.

Yes, this is a book about incest. Let's just get the dirty word out there now. But this is not some romanticised view of incest. This book shows the very harsh results of the relationship. I do not, in any way, agree with this kind of relationship, but it was very hard to not want Maya and Lochan to have a happy ending. After getting a glimpse into their terrible family life I wanted there to be some other option for them.

The question that loomed in my mind was the same question that Maya and Lochan asked themselves, and each other. If their situation was different would they have fallen in love? If they hadn't taken on the roles of mother and father would they have ever been more than just siblings?

I couldn't feel anything but absolute sadness and pity for all the children, including Lochan and Maya. I wasn't able to swoon or fall in love with Lochan. I did
care for him, but I couldn't get past the hurt child inside. Maya will do anything for her brothers and sister, and I liked her quite a bit. I really hoped for a happy ending for them, but I knew there was no possible happy ending in this story.

I tried to get into this book with an open mind, and I thought I did. Then the first kiss scene happened. I was so disturbed I had to stop reading. I've never felt so voyeuristic while reading intimate scenes. I have two brothers, ages twenty-eight and seven. I think that this would be a much different read for someone who doesn't have any siblings.

Overall, I found the book to be very well written, emotional, and thought provoking. I don't know if I'll be rereading any time soon, but I will recommend it.



  1. Fantastic review. I've been thinking about whether or not to get Forbidden, and the realization that it would be dark, and intense put me off. However, I think it takes a skilful writer to pull of something so harrowing and to have the courage to not offer a happily ever after at the end of it.

    I like what you say about feeling like a voyeur, because that gives me the sense that the book is so well written that the characters have come to life. No reader would feel like they were intruding if the characters weren't compelling.

    May just pick this up afterall.

  2. Great review! I'm curious enough to try this one out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.