“Forbidden” by Tabitha Suzuma
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like most, when I saw the back blurb for FORBIDDEN I was hesitant to read the book – I mean a story about incest, really? But after receiving an e-galley from S&S, I decided to give it a go….and I’m glad that I did.
FORBIDDEN is a story about Maya and her brother, Lochan. Their mother is a drunk who for the most part has neglected her family, which includes Maya, Lochan, and three other children. Refusing to let child protective services split up what’s left of their family (as the father left years earlier), both Maya and Lochan assume responsibility for keeping the household running.
The first half of the book consists of building up the incestuous relationship. You sense it coming, but when it hits you in the second half of the book – it’s still a shocker. And it’s the second half of the book where things begin to get graphic. The scenes between Maya and Lochan are incredibly detailed, almost allowing the reader to forget that they are brother and sister. For this reason alone, I’d say anyone under sixteen probably shouldn’t be reading this (that is just my opinion).
FORBIDDEN was a realistic telling on something most people would never think twice about. Incest? Yes, it’s in the book, but it isn’t all the book has to offer. The characters have feelings; they are people – people you actually feel for. I didn’t care for the ending because I felt as though after everything these kids had been through, they deserved some sort of happiness…no matter how wrong it was (yes, it did have me questioning my morals).
FORBIDDEN is unnerving at times, but it’s also a very powerful story worth reading.