Saturday, January 19, 2013

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Format: Hardcover, 454 pages.
Pub. Date: June 28th 2011
Source: Half Price Books


Five stars. I wish I could give more.

Lochan, seventeen, is the head of the Whitely family. His mom is bitter and resents her family ever since her husband left them all behind for a new woman and a new family. Eager to cling to her youth, she drinks and parties and spends her money on time with men who will never marry her, neglecting her family. Lochan has stepped up to the plate, with his year-younger sister Maya, and helped to raise their three younger siblings. Because they were thrust together as parents, they were hardly ever brother and sister. They were always equals.... The pair realize that their love goes much stronger than that of siblings. Somewhere among all of the skinned knees, overdue bills, and dirty dishes, Maya and Lochan have fallen in love. They're on fragile ground- the kids can never know, for fear of police intervention and a chance of breaking apart the family. The world can never know.... But how can a love so strong be illegal, be so wrong?


I have never read a book that was so heart wrenching, soul crushing, tear inducing, and so utterly beautiful. Forbidden broke my heart a few times over, but is one of the best books that I have read in my twenty years of life. My review will be short and probably a bit incoherent, because I am still crying over this piece of work.

+I was hesitant to read this because of its subject matter: incest. But at the same time, that is what intrigued me enough to go out and buy this book to see for myself just how "taboo" it would be. I've read reviews that loved this book, and others that thought it was disgusting. I side with the former.

+The writing is beautiful. Tabitha Suzuma details the emotions of not just Maya and Lochan, but of all of the siblings with pinpoint precision. The book has a dark, shadowy underlying tone that makes it read a bit like a poem. You can tell that each word was picked for a reason, and it makes the book that much more real and gritty.

+The way this piece is written, I couldn't help but to mentally cheer for Maya and Lochan's relationship. Wrong as it may be, I have to admit this book made me think long and hard about what love really means, and what it means to be together. I found myself ignoring the incest part of this story at parts, just wanting them to be together and to be happy.

+Lochan is a character that I grew to love over the course of the novel. Truth be told, he would have been one of the boys I looked twice at in high school. He's studious, cares for his family. He doesn't talk much and keeps to himself, but is very smart. He has been added to my mental list of fictional boyfriends. I adored this character.

+Though my relationship is far from incestuous, I did relate to Lochan a bit. He has thoughts of bitterness and jealousy at the relationships of his classmates because they get little tokens of affection that are taken for granted; hugs in the hallway, sitting together at lunch. He can't do these things with Maya without arousing suspicion. My girlfriend and I are in a long distance relationship, and I share these bitter, envious thoughts when I see couples walking around my college campus. Even now, I am sobbing at my keyboard, and my girlfriend can't do anything about it. Passages like this definitely rang true for me, despite being in a completely "legal" relationship.

+I am writing this review with as few spoilers as possible, so I'll keep this bit to the short side. I didn't see the ending coming, at all. I probably should have, but I didn't, and it hit me with the force of a MACK truck. I have never cried so hard over fictional characters, save for maybe Dumbledore's death in the Harry Potter. I couldn't believe I was out of pages when I was. Nothing broke my heart more than seeing the words "Epilogue", knowing that that was it, there's no going back, no rectifying or fixing or problem solving.

If you have a problem with taboo relationships or if the notion of incest sickens or upsets you, then this is not the book for you. But if you believe that there is no love that is unjust or immoral, and that everyone deserves the right to be happy with the spirit of their choosing, then let this book wrench your heart and crush your soul too. It's a book that is easy to read but hard to swallow, and left me in tears.

Now, a happy reading to you all. I must fix myself a hot beverage and try to pull myself back together.


  1. I don't even know if I can let you borrow it.

  2. I will dog ear this for when I'm PMSing wand in need of a good cry. That way I can blame the book for my erratic behavior.

    Now following you!
    Talk Supe

  3. It's so funny that you say that, blaming PMS is exactly what I did lol!

    Thanks so much for the follow!