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.
Forbidden will take you on an extraordinary emotional journey. Passionate and shocking, this is a book you will remember long after you have put it down.
This? Was a definite emotional roller coaster. I really have to applaud Tabitha Suzuma for choosing such a controversial subject to write about, sticking with it, and finally for writing about it incredibly well. All the way through Forbidden, I still had that lingering icky feeling that I have when I think about incest, even consensual incest, AND at the very same time I am rooting whole-heartedly for Maya and Lochlan to just together, damnit. How did that happen?
The justification for this odd-pairing seemed quite believeable when placing the two lovebirds in the awful home scenario presented in the book. Their youngish mother, keen to live out some of her fading youth very close to abandons these five children to their own devices, while their father has emigrated to Australia to start a new family. This leaves the two oldest, Lochan and Maya to juggle high school and their three younger brothers and sisters.
I'm really glad there was a dual-narrative, the reader can definitely see that this relationship definitely is consensual. For Maya, she's never seen Lochan as her brother, but more a partner in life. Much the same for Lochan, but his social anxiety is at such a level that he feels increasingly alone and can only really interact with family members. Both are under enormous pressure. To do well in school, to keep their brothers and sisters fed and clean, clothed and doing their homework. Even doing the bills and worrying about things far beyond what they should be worrying at their ages. Add that to these feelings that they know nobody else will understand or tolerate? It was Maya's perspective that I found the most engaging, but I did feel as though both voices felt a little similar.
It was very difficult reading this book. It would have been bad enough, just reading about the level of neglect and poor parenting of their mother, but added to this the guilt and confusion of Maya and Lochan as they realise their feelings for each other and try to supress their emotions. All the jealousy and the build-up to that final explosive conclusion. Phew. I was absolutely frazzled by the end. There's such a feeling of foreboding to this book, that it can't possibly end well, can it?
Has anyone else read anything besides by Tabitha Suzuma besides Forbidden? Because I'm a little excited to find a new author that I love with a backlist! My only minor complaint with Forbidden is that I sort of hated all the kids' names apart from Maya. Still, one not to miss, if you can handle the subject matter!