Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Published: May 27th 2010
Number of pages: 432
Purchase: Amazon, TBD
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.
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.
Let's start by saying that I got a bit rusty at writing reviews, since I didn't write any for a very long time... but I'm gonna do my best and try to fix this.
Forbidden caught my attention actually a couple of years ago (it was my first purchase from the Book Depository YAY!) but I didn't picked it up until last week. I have to admit that I thought that it would affect me way harder than it actually did, but it was nonetheless a fantastic, overwhelming, read.
If you read the plot you immediately understand how original the story can be and how touching the book turns out; I would say it was almost perfect if it wasnt' for some minor problems that I will discuss later. One of the things I loved about the book was the author's approach to such a big taboo; Tabitha decided to analyse deeply the psycological aspect of Lochan and Maya's bound, focusing on their emotional involvement, but she did it so well that she succeeded in presenting them almost as two friends: their complicity was so deep that the reader completely forgets about the fact that they are actually brother and sister. The author's capacity indeed, certainly helped at making the reader at ease with consensual incest and I wouldn't underestimate such an ability ! I loved how the writer focused on the family context and on Maya and Lochan's situation because I thought it greatly influenced the growth of their passion. Being left by their father and forced to look after their siblings because of their mother's addiction to alcohol, Maya and Lochan find themselves living like two actual, adult, parents. The fact that they had to take on adults' responsabilities and that they could never let their siblings down, pushed the one towards the other; the two of them, indeed, could only share their sadness and their pessimism toward their future life only with each other, and their bond was actually the only thing that keep giving them hope. I think that the family condition really helped at giving the reader a sort of justification for Maya and Lochan's attachment and therefore coping better with such a difficult subject.
Moreover the author's style is so great that she perfectly knows how to make the pain feel real and how to drag you into "pitying" them. As I already told, the reader grows so fond of the characters and their condition that for a moment you wish you could toss aside all the brother-and-sister thing.
What I had some problem with was actually the beginning, I thought it was very slow and I couldn't really see the turning point approaching - my twisted mind so wanted to have more of Maya and Lochan's moments ! On the other hand I have to admit that the low pace of the beginning actually increased the emotional suspense of the last 100 pages. I would have never thought about such a tragic ending, but I admire the writer so much for this not "happy everafter", because it certainly feels more realistic than any other option.
Altough I thought I would have cried more, I certainly recommend this book to all those who love a good, heart-wrenching, novel. You can bet that I will immediately add more of Tabitha Suzuma's novels to my to-read pile!