Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: FORBIDDEN by Tabitha Suzuma

by Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 28, 2011

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. The stress of their lives has 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, and as the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

I don’t read a lot of YA books and when I do I almost never review them. But after reading Forbidden, I feel like I have to say something about it. This book was so dark and depressing and slow paced that you would think it would be an instant “Do Not Finish”. This was absolutely NOT the case with this novel. 

Forbidden is the story of two teenagers who are forced to take care of their three younger siblings after being abandoned first by their father and then eventually by their alcoholic mother. The story is told in alternating points of view by seventeen –year-old, Lochan and sixteen -year-old, Maya. For the last four years, Lochan and Maya have been raising thirteen year old, Kit; six –year-old, Tiffin; and five- year-old, Willa. In order to keep child protective services off their backs, Lochan and Maya become surrogate parents and cover up for their absent mother’s negligent behavior. They do all of this while still managing to attend school and maintain stellar grades. Lochan is on track to graduate at the top of his class and get accepted into University. He plans to go to college close by so that he can continue to help Maya with the younger kids. But with all the stress involved with his adult responsibilities, Lochan has developed a social anxiety disorder that shatters his self-esteem. 

Maya seems as well adjusted as she can be with the added responsibilities of raising younger siblings. She has a best friend to talk to but isn’t really able to express her innermost thoughts to her as she feels the only person she can truly trust is her older brother. Middle child, Kit brings even more stress to the family with his teenage angst and acts of rebellion. Having to take on the parental roles of mother and father to their younger siblings has made Lochan and Maya very close. They have both always held more feelings towards each other than just siblings. They feel more like best friends, like soul mates.
“Out of the millions and millions of people inhabiting this planet, he is one of the tiny few I can never have. And this is something I must accept -- even if, like acid on metal, it is slowly corroding me inside.” ~ Maya
Lochan and Maya are both confused and conflicted about these feelings for one another. The latter part of the book has the two just exploring their feelings for one another with stolen kisses and caresses. They profess their love for each other and acknowledge that what they are doing is illegal but eventually convince themselves that as long as they keep their love a secret and don’t actually have sex with each other then they aren’t hurting anyone. They vow to not reveal their secret feelings until the younger siblings are adults. Then they planned to run away together and live as a couple out in the open.  This new arrangement seems to give the two some peace of mind until one weekend they find themselves alone with the house to themselves. Their careful plan begins to quickly unravel when their mother comes home un-expectantly.
“We are being punished by the world for one simple reason: for being produced by the same woman.” ~ Lochan
The whole novel was heart wrenching but the last chapters broke my heart and had me sobbing. I wasn’t just sad for the doomed lovers but the whole family and the injustice of their situation. Tabitha Suzuma has written an incredible novel full of emotional turmoil and struggle. The children are broken and the mom was the least likable character I’ve read in awhile. You will connect with all the characters and want them to overcome their horrendous circumstances to get their happily ever after. I’m still feeling shattered and heartbroken after reading Forbidden


  1. I felt the same way! Oh my gosh, it took me probably a good two weeks before I was no longer thinking about this book so much and before other books that I read (in the hopes that they would take my mind off of Forbidden) didn't make me think about this book. I mean, I could have been reading some random book and something within it would bring me right back to this story and I would tear up. No book has ever affected me so strongly. It was just so heart-breaking.


    1. It's only been 3 days for me! It will probably take me as long as you to get over this one too.:'-(

  2. This is by far one one the best books i've ever read. It captures you and you don't want to put this book down. You start to understand what their going through and you feel bad and want things so badly to work out for them; their love was so real it's heartbreaking.


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