Friday, July 1, 2011

Forbidden by Tabitha Sazuma

Cover Image

Synopsis: 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.

First of all, sorry I haven't reviewed any books in awhile. However, this book is the reason I decided to start reviewing again, or at least try to, because this is a book I will not be able to stop thinking about.

Forbidden starts out by taking a very real and heartbreaking look at a family, in particular siblings Lochan and Maya who have been forced to grow up too fast. With an often absent, alcoholic mother, and a father who deserted the family years ago, Lochan and Maya must assume responsibility for their 3 younger siblings: Kit, a 13-year-old who has taken to smoking and hanging out with a nasty crowd of kids, Tiffan, a rambunctious 8-year-old, and 5-year-old Willa.

Lochan and Maya are only 13 months apart, and have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Due to Lochan's overwhelming fear of speaking in public, he is often looked at as a freak and a loner, but at home he is the surrogate father in his dysfunctional family. As Lochan and Maya begin to work harder to keep their family from being split up, as their mother begins to make her full exit from the family, they realize that their love for each other goes deeper than just siblings or friends.

Tabitha Sazuma has a true gift for writing. The way she portrays these five siblings will make you fall in love with them, rooting for them despite everything that is thrown their way. Even as the romance aspect begins to be part of Lochan and Maya's life, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't wish for there to be a happy ending for them.

This story was haunting and beautiful. I honestly don't remember the last time I cried so much after reading a book. I know that I won't be able to stop thinking about these characters and their story for a very, very long time.

Rating: A+
Warning: This book is not suitable for younger readers. It contains intimate details of Lochan and Maya's relationship that might make some readers uncomfortable.

Other Recommended Books: (I haven't read either of these books, I just know that they also involve similar incestual themes and could perhaps be of interest to readers of Forbidden)

  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
  • Illyria by Elizabeth Hand