January 19, 2012

REVIEW: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

*Cover&Summary from Goodreads
Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 28 June 2011
Format: 1st Edition; Hardcover: 454 pages
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*.

My Review:

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is what I call a story written with perfection. I was drawn to this book even before I opened it. By the end, I was clutching the book to my chest in hopes to prevent my heart from falling out of my battered body.

Suzuma took a topic, something I thought I would never read about and she made it into a well crafted, gut-wrenching love story that I couldn’t put down.

Lochan and Maya have never really felt like brother and sister, but more as friends. Due to severe neglect on their mother’s part, together, they take care of their three younger siblings. Maya and Lochan understand each other more than anyone else and because of this they are closer than close. Unexpectedly, they fall in love. A love so deep and intense they are determined to stay together even if it’s wrong. To Lochan and Maya, their love feels oh so right. But how can a love like this survive when literally the whole world is against them?

“I mean, at the end of the day, what the hell does it matter who I end up with if it can't be you?”

This story broke not only my heart, but my whole being. I was so afraid that I would never be able to fix myself. Suzuma wrote one of the best stories I have ever read. She totally blurred the lines between right and wrong of love. I know it seems wrong to enjoy a story about brother and sister falling in love, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted nothing more for these two to be together. They needed each other more than anyone else, how can you not root for them?

“He is my soul mate, my fresh air, the reason I look forward to getting up every morning.” 

I love both Maya and Lochan. I love how Suzuma alternated their perspectives throughout the story. You really get inside Maya and Lochan’s head and Suzuma really excels at sharing their story to the readers. You become so invested into these two characters it’s no wonder conflicting feelings arise inside of you.

It’s quite obvious that Maya is the stronger sibling of the two. Maya helps Lochan survive in the real world and she keeps Lochan going.  Lochan is sweet, but oh so broken. His pain and reservation is apparent throughout the whole story and he continuously shattered my heart over and over again. They use each other as an anchor to care for their other siblings. But one thing is for sure, both Maya and Lochan are selfless characters. I just wanted to take these two away so they can live in peace.

“There are no laws, no boundaries on feelings. We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want. No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.”

Suzuma did such a brilliant job of building Maya and Lochan’s life. They literally had to raise their younger siblings. They had to keep that house in order to keep the social services from hounding them. Because of this, I really hated their mother to no extent. The way she acted just made me sick to my stomach, not Maya or Lochan’s behavior. It’s no wonder her children are the way they are. I solely blame their mother for everything.

If anything, I was so consumed into Maya and Lochan’s love. I was so confused because I knew it was wrong. I knew that this shouldn’t happen, but Suzuma convinced me otherwise. I learned to understand Maya and Lochan and the situation they were placed into. I no longer saw right or wrong. I just opened my eyes and heart to these characters.

This book changed me in more ways than I could imagine. Suzuma left me breathless and astonished. She shattered my soul and left me gasping for air. This book is a true vision. This book is so astounding it will leave you thinking about this book weeks after you’ve read the last page. You will never ever be the same.

“At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. Never.”

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


  1. It's great to see more people reading this book and not having a knee-jerk reaction of, "OMG, incest is so icky and this book is so gross." Thank you for your insightful review!

    1. Yes! I completely agree. People should give this book a try and set aside their feelings and views. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review!

  2. Wow. What an amazing review Jessirae! I never thought I would read this book, but now I am totally reading it. This review is amazing and totally convinced me to read it. :D

    1. Oh Bailey! It's really really good. I know the topic makes some readers stray away from it, but people really should give it a chance. Thanks so much for reading my review! I hope when you pick it that you love it just as much as I did. :]

  3. Based on your blog yesterday and this review, I bought it last night and read it this morning.

    You were right.

    It's haunting and beautiful and soul destroying (in a good way). It's also so original (in that you think you're reading the YA version of "The Cement Garden" and then it just veers into another place entirely)and courageously written.

    I am grateful that Tabitha Sazumu wrote it and that you recommended it so highly.


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