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.
E-Arc received by Simon and Schuster.
I have no idea where to start with this. There are so many things that I want to say, but I don't know how to say them. I read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma fairly quickly, and I am kind of glad that I did. I don't think I would have survived reading this book at a leisurely pace. Forbidden was an emotional roller coaster and I'm still on the fence about whether I liked it or not. I am warning you now, this is going to be a roller coaster of a review and I believe there will be spoilers. I was wrecked at the end of this book, it made me feel so many different things, but I think ultimately I was angry. At the time I was angry that a story like this exists and that it was riddled with so much angst. I knew that there was no way a story like this was going to end well, but I was in no way expecting what I got.
We have Lochan and Maya, who are brother and sister and responsible for their three younger siblings. Their mother is not around a lot and their father has a new family in another country. So these two teenagers are forced to be grown ups and raise Willa-5, Tiffin-8 and Kit-13. While trying to balance school. Lochan-17, is brilliant but he cannot speak in public nor to strangers. He suffers from extreme panic attacks any time he tries. The only place he can be himself is with his family. Maya-16, is you average teenaged girl. She has friends, does well in school and she is fiercely loyal to her siblings. Family to these two teenagers is very important. Scratch that, the children and their well being is extremely important. Their mother is never around, she's not much of a mother at all. She's living the fast life of parties, booze and a man who won't marry her. What I am trying to say it that Lochan and Maya did not have it easy. Most teenagers don't have the responsibility that these two had.
Facing the responsibilities of home, Lochan and Maya lean heavily on one another for support; they are each others best friend... and they end up falling in love with one another. Now going into this I knew that Forbidden was about a brother and sister falling in love, I'd read a few reviews that I knew that it was an incestuous relationship, and that it did get pretty physical-I was not expecting full blown sexual relationship. Not at all. This is supposed to be a Young Adult book. This is one of the things I was a little uncomfortable with. There were sex scenes and they were a little graphic for what I would expect from a YA novel, however, Simon and Schuster have indicated on their website that the age target for this book is 16 and older. Which for me is acceptable, I would not recommend this book for anyone younger than that.
This book hurt my heart- I was sad for Lochan and his inability to talk to people, his phobia of public speech. He was an interesting character who was very broken, and the weight or caring for his siblings was sometimes to much for him. I was rooting for him in that I hoped that he would somehow work through his issues. Maya was an ok character for me. She wasn't the most interesting. I found her to be the aggressor in her relationship with her brother, Lochan was fairly timid and if Maya hadn't "made the move" I don't believe that Lochan would have. I hurt for Maya at the end of the book (like the very end of the book), I ugly cried, and I could see how what she was going to to seemed to be her only option. That the only way to end the pain was to leave.
I did and did not like this book. I am going to try and explain why as best as I can. Tabitha Suzuma really has a gift for writing. not only was able to emote every single emotion that Lochan and Maya were feeling without saying it outright, she did it for the whole family. That was a lot of intense emotions, and for me it was overwhelming. I think that's what wasn't good for me. There was no way this story could have had a happy ending. No way. But the end destroyed me. Lochan's terror when he was in prison and his sacrifice. Kit's guilt at what he had done, Willa's heartbreak at having to say goodbye to her brother. It was heart breaking an I had a hard time reading the final pages to this story. I was thinking of the future consequences for this family. If they didn't need therapy before they are going to need it now. Actually I think I need it.
I do think people should read this book, why--> Jillian-always inspiring, in her review on goodreads made a really good point, she said, "Forbidden instead explores the question, "What circumstances could lead two siblings to develop romantic and sexual feelings for each other? And how would such a relationship likely progress. . .and end?"' This is why this book should be read.
I very much appreciate that Tabitha Suzuma had the courage to write this story, and the write it the way that she did. There was no sugar coating any thing. I want very much to have a conversation with this woman to talk about this book. I want to know how she felt writing it, and her purpose for writing it. This was my first Suzuma novel but it will not be my last.
Happy Reading Everyone!