Thursday, July 21, 2011

[Review] Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Pages: 432
Series: No
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Date of US Publication: June 28, 2011
Source: S&S's Galley Grab
Synopsis: (from Amazon)
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.

My Thoughts

Breathtaking. I have seriously trouble saying something about this book because it was simply ... magnificent. It certainly is not an easy subject matter - incest is something most people don't talk about. (Well, I didn't either).

Maya and Lochan live an extremely hard life. Their mother pretty much became an alcoholic when their father left when Lochan was 12. Since then, the two - as the oldest - took care of the three younger children, Kit (14 when the novel takes place), Tiffin (8) and Willa (5). They make sure they do their homework, have enough to eat and don't miss dental appointments, and so on. But mostly, Maya and Lochan make sure that social services does not notice that their mother is hardly ever home.

The novel is stunning. If you can wrap your head around the situation, I think it was to be expected that Maya and Lochan would fall in love. They have been the parental figures in the lives of their younger siblings for four years. And they depend on each other so much, everything else maybe would have been even weirder.

One thing I really like about this book: Nothing is bound to happen. For example, if the father hadn't left the family, the mother wouldn't have become an alcoholic, thus Maya and Lochan would not have been forced in parental roles. And those "if" situations make life real. Imagine you met your boyfriend/girlfriend in spring and because you wanted to spend so much time with him/her, you ended up not studying and failing a test. Then later in summer, you two have a fight which makes you late to your history class and you get a late slip, which in turn "forces" your parents to ground you. Now, if you hadn't met your boyfriend/girlfriend you wouldn't have failed the test and wouldn't have been late. Or if you had avoided the fight, you wouldn't be grounded. You get the idea. But back to the novel.

I had no problem with the incest. It wasn't even that for me. They love if each other so much it hurts me physically, mostly because their situation is so f-ed up that they could never ever be together. The pain of having to stay away, not even being able to kiss in public must be unbearable. There is so much heart and pain and love and despair in this novel, I couldn't sleep after finishing it (although the unspeakable ending may be a reason, too). I kept thinking and turning the idea around in my head. How cursed can two people be? So desperately in love and so close. Yet, not allowed to be in love and thus so much space between them. 

I could talk for ages about this book. As soon as I have money again I'm going to buy it. It is most certainly the best contemporary novel I have ever read. Ever. In my whole life. So if you think you can adapt to the incest part of it all - and believe me, you should! - you need to buy it. It's an order!


1 comment:

  1. *sniff*

    I want to read this book so bad. I actually already own it, as an ebook, but I can't bring myself to read it, because of the ending. I always have tears in my eyes when I read reviews, so I don't want to know what'll happen if I read it.

    Wonderful review!


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