Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Dates Read: June 15-18. 2012
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.
Due to the subject matter, I feel I cannot review this book like I usually do. Forbidden is a tough read — one that deals with a very dysfunctional family and the damage that occurs as a result. The Whitely’s mother can hardly be called a parent. She is an alcoholic, cares little for her children, and isn’t even there to support them. Willa and Tiffin are young, and must be provided for by Lochan and Maya. Kit needs to be taken care of too, but he is old enough to be rebellious and resent everything about the family’s situation, leading him to fall in with an undesirable crowd. It is not a normal family, and Maya and Lochan cling to each other just to make it through. Their relationship turns into a romantic one, and then things get really interesting.
I was recommended to read this book by my best friend, who knows of my love of angst. This book certainly has it. While the book is about an incestuous romance, the novel does not romanticize the situation. It lingers on the disastrous consequences. Although I may not have liked the subject matter per se, I enjoyed the novel because it was very well-written. Suzuma has a way with words, allowing you to understand what Maya and Lochan are feeling. The events progress in a way that feels realistic, not contrived.
If you like a good, angsty novel, can have an open mind, and feel you can handle the subject matter mentioned above, then Forbidden may be for you. Just keep in mind, although this is a young adult novel, it deals with mature issues and should be read only by readers mature enough to handle it.