Jan 6, 2011

Review: Forbidden

Tabitha Suzuma
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Definitions (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862308160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862308169
  • Source: I won a signed copy from fiercebook
  • My rating: 5/5

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.

Forbidden will take you on an extraordinary emotional journey. Passionate and shocking, this is a book you will remember long after you have put it down.

Forbidden is the most controversial, but also one of the most daring, powerful and emotionally charged YA novels that I have ever read. This book was an emotional roller-coaster from the word go. Starting with the painfully realistic image of a broken home; two teenagers who, as the oldest kids, had to take up the responsibility for the household and three younger siblings while their mother is somewhere out drinking with a new boyfriend and a father who sailed off to Australia with a new wife. Lochan is considered an outcast at school because he has a problem with making social contacts outside the family. All things considered-lack of parental affection, growing up too soon, desperately holding on to what family is left, and no real friend to confine in- is it any wonder that Maya and Lochan turn to each other for understanding and friendship? Who understands you better than the one who goes through the same as you do?  
Things start to get complicated when they realize that the feelings they have for each other are much more than regular brother-sister love.

The story is told in alternating voices of both Lochie and Maya so we get to walk a mile in their shoes. Forbidden is more than 400 pages of guilt, shame, self-disgust, resistance, struggling to understand and to defy what's unstoppably growing in both of them. They are both aware of what they've got themselves into, and there's no justification whatsoever. But it's indisputable that the two of them are soul-mates. It's one of the most beautiful love stories you'll come across in YA literature. It's wrong-you know it- but at some point you start to root for their love, irrationally hoping for some deus-ex-machina to crop up, that they would find out that they are not really brother and sister, and that there will be absolutely no obstacles for them to live their love. You wish to cut them out of the story and place them somewhere else, where there are not siblings. But that's not how it works in real life. There are consequences, tragic ones for that matter. 
Forbidden is beautifully written. The voices of Maya and Lochie are sad, hurt, confused.
I can only imagine how brave one must be to write a book about sibling incest. Also, you got to be brave to read it. Suzuma picks up one of the biggest taboos of all and turns everything you thought of it upside down. You will find your principles challenged once you grasp the strength of Maya's and Lochie's love, and wonder, how can such a powerful love be so wrong?
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