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Book Review - Forbidden

 Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Well hai, I know I've been rather lax with reviews recently and I apologise (sheesh I seem to be doing that a lot) but I'm gonna try and do my best to catch up on reviews for my last few reads before I disappear later this week.

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Date: 23/8/2010 AM
Source: Borrowed from Library
Description: Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences ... 
How can something so wrong feel so right? (Taken from Goodreads)

I started this not really knowing much about the plot except from what the blurb told me but I was intrigued and I have to say that I was utterly surpassed in my expectations. We follow the story of Maya and Lochan through their alternating perspectives as they try to cope with looking after 3 younger siblings on their own own since their mother has been leaving them alone more and more to spend time with her toyboy boyfriend. 

The whole book is written in the most gorgeous prose that it makes the incredibly difficult subject matter of the story remarkable easy to read about. You can really feel the heightened state of emotion that these two teenagers are going through and the tension is sometimes so intense that you literally have to put the book down cos your heart can't bear to keep going when you instinctively *know* that something awful will happen to keep Maya and Lochie apart.

All the main characters in Forbidden have depths to them and you can really sympathise with the inter-family struggles and the individual problems of the other children. None of them are simple or predictable, Lochan is one of the most unusual male protagonists I've read in a long while, he's a real brainbox but is introverted to the point of it being crippling. He physically can't interact with his peers at school without having panic attacks although he is fine amongst his siblings. He's a fiercely caring and protective brother and a very competent parent figure despite the crap he often has to put up with from his rebellious brother Kit.  

Maya is a much calmer and more stable individual than her brother and she has this sense of innocence about her despite all the hard times her family has been through. She's the white light to Lochan's sometimes dark temper although interestingly she's the one who sort of instigates their relationship. Although she's not as antisocial as Lochan, she still doesn't have lots of friends besides her brother and Francie. She's a sweet and likeable character even if she does have a slightly questionable taste in appropriate guys. 

The plot concept of consensual sibling incest (there's something I don't get to type very often) is pretty darn rare and I doubt that it's been portrayed as well as it is in Forbidden. Although you know that their relationship is *so* wrong and that they really need therapy, the story is so well written that you actually want them to be together and it's heart-breaking to think that no matter how they may try to conceal their love for each other, eventually someone will find out and then the shit will *really* hit the fan.

Overall this book blew me away with it's raw emotion from start to finish, I was sobbing by the end as you get so invested in the characters and their story that the ending just breaks your heart into little pieces. I find it slightly mental that I'm saying this but Forbidden is one of my favourite books of this month and considering that the book's about incest, that's saying a lot. I am going to have to get another of Tabitha's books because if they're all as beautifully written and complex as this one then I'm in for a real treat.

Y'all need to read this. Oh but I should point out that it's not being published in the US until  2011 methinks. Sorry but it's kinda neat that we UK folk get such an awesome book so long before you guys over the pond I'm not gloating honestly :P (no seriously I'm not, I feel sorry that you have to wait months to discover the amazingness that is this book). So yea as soon as you can read it, I heartily suggest that you do, or I'll set the goons on ya.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Phew! It took me several hours spanning over two days to get this done but I have finished it which is fab since I really wanted to review this before I went away.
Now I just gotta do like 4 more posts to schedule for later this week *sigh*

Have a nice evening


danya 31 August 2010 at 17:12  

I haven't seen many reviews for this book so it was great to read yours! I'm really glad to hear that the subject matter is handled well - it must have been as tough to write as it sounds like it is to read!

brandileigh2003 31 August 2010 at 18:16  

I also loved this book. I have been thinking about it since I read it.
She does have an amazing talent for writing that we pull for them to be able to figure out a way to be together.
The good news for US readers is that we can order it from the Book Depository!

There is a nice discussion going on about Forbidden over on Goodreads, and Tabitha is participating!

Kittie Howard 31 August 2010 at 18:53  

I looove it when the tension builds in a book that the heart starts pounding and you have to put the book down. Definitely my kind of book. I've made a note on the 'this side of the pond' list!

Jessheartsbooks 31 August 2010 at 19:11  

Crap! I wrote and posted my review for this this afternoon because last night you said it was going up wed *sigh* never mind :P

Jessheartsbooks 31 August 2010 at 20:43  

Oh and I forgot to mention awesome review hun!

Jami 31 August 2010 at 22:09  

I am so glad people are giving the book a chance! It was one of my favorite reads this year. Excellent review! :)

Maria (Serpentine Library) 1 September 2010 at 04:16 I am jealous that Forbidden doesn't come out until next year in the US. I've only heard good things so I definitely want to read this book.

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