Publisher: Simon Pulse
Forbidden is an emotionally gripping, gut-wrenching, disturbing, controversial read. A book you will stare at, think about and want to discuss with others. Lochan and Maya are the oldest sibling in a household of five, their mother is mostly absent and their father has completely abandoned them. Their well-educated father divorced his unbearable, alcoholic wife and moved to a different country with promises to see his children. He now has a new family, and has disappeared. Lochan and Maya, have had to mature quickly, and become the parents the household lacked. Thirteen-year-old Kit is one of the biggest challenges for Lochan and Maya, he refuses to be told what to do while Tiffen and Willa are looking for parental figures, and easily accept their new parents. While Lochan and Maya deal with their family life, they remain in school and excel. Lochan is a brilliant student, but completely socially awkward. He does not have the ability to speak in front of his peers; while he attracts the girls- he cannot befriend them. A simple “Hi” is almost impossible. Kit seems to be more effected by Lochan’s issues, embarrassed to have a brother that is teased. Lochan and Maya count on each other, they understand each other, and their feelings towards one another become something more than a brother-sister relationship. They understand that these feelings should not be but they don’t know what to do. As they try to fight the impulses they realize that they are truly in love with each other. They are no longer brother and sister, but best friends and soul mates.
First, I was completely uncomfortable with this novel but it took me by surprise by how much I appreciated Suzuma’s work. This was the first time I felt such emotion for a book that I couldn’t relate to. At times it felt like too much, and I had to put it aside. While my mind kept saying “no, no no” I kept reading. Forbidden draws readers in and tugs at your heart, it leaves readers emotionally depleted. I ached for Lochan and Maya, while I was disgusted by their new found relationship- so were they. I felt that their reactions and thoughts were completely real and raw. I could never get over the fact that they were brother and sister. I couldn’t accept their love for each other. My mind was left reeling. I thought Lochan and Maya deserved more. I felt like they were victims of their love, a love they couldn’t stop. They never asked for these feelings, but they had to figure out what to do with them. Their life went from bad to worse, and it seemed like a downward spiral. This has been my most difficult review to write. I loved the book, but I hated the relationship. It took me a few weeks to write the review. I had to no think about it for awhile, and come back. If you are looking for a challenging read, a read that will take you out of your comfort zone- try this one. Tabitha Suzuma has created an amazing read, that will not be forgotten. A powerful read that shakes you to the core.