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Forbidden

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Author: Tabitha Suzuma

Published: May 27th 2010 by Definitions

Format: Paperback , 418 pages

Isbn: 9781862308169

Language: English


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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 c 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 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.

30 review for Forbidden

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    So... *awkward pause* How many of you little sisters out there have come to a point in your life when you look at your older brother and think "Yeah, I'd hit that," and not in the punch-you-in-the-arm kind of way? Raise your hand. No one? Oh - you haven't?! Really? Are you sure?! Well, maybe it's for the best that you've never thought about your sibling like that. And maybe you wouldn't be interested in this book. Or maybe you still would... Let's see, shall we? Now, I'm going to be very blunt about So... *awkward pause* How many of you little sisters out there have come to a point in your life when you look at your older brother and think "Yeah, I'd hit that," and not in the punch-you-in-the-arm kind of way? Raise your hand. No one? Oh - you haven't?! Really? Are you sure?! Well, maybe it's for the best that you've never thought about your sibling like that. And maybe you wouldn't be interested in this book. Or maybe you still would... Let's see, shall we? Now, I'm going to be very blunt about the premise of this book. This book involves incest. It is a graphic depiction of a brother and sister who struggle with their personal lives as a result of Disappearing Parent Syndrome. They begin to fall for and explore each other, physically and emotionally. There is actually a condition called "genetic sexual attraction" that can lead to relatives (most commonly, those who meet as adults) to be sexually attracted to each other and may possibly be a result of attraction to similar facial structure. You might know a famous almost-couple who may or may not have suffered from this condition... And, of course, there are the Royals who would take a look at their first cousin and think "Man, I need to get me a piece of THAT." Or rather... more accuratly, "Cheerio! I say I shall fancy a bit of the rumpy pumpy with that lass." Incest has a very long and sordid history. As long as there are relatives, there will be incest. Unless humans soon evolve into a Vulcan-like race that suppress their emotions and always base their decisions upon logic. Which sounds most illogical. Who should read this: Let's just say that "brotherly love" or "sisterly love" is not for everyone. In fact, it's not for most people. Firstly: The large majority of siblings just aren't interested in each other. Second: If everyone participated in it - the human race would quickly devolve and be lost into genetic disorder. That's just genetics. Sorry, I just seriously can't stop with the Star Wars thing. I suggest that only MATURE teens read this. It would be completely accurate for me to say that I have NEVER read a book like this in my life. Forbidden is the very definition of sexual tension. Let's face it. Teens have raging hormones. I know I did. I would have in NO way been able to handle this book as a young teen. I already wanted to do all kinds of naughty things without having an influence like this in my life, and I know that if I had read it before I had matured hormonally - I would have rushed out and tried to seduce the first "off limits" guy I could find. And I could have done a lot of damage to myself and other people. I was not emotionally mature enough to handle this book then and many young girls will be in the same situation that I was. It is difficult to say for sure how or to whom this book should be marketed. This is a young adult book with ADULT content. I am in no way an advocate of censorship, but honestly some teens are just NOT ready for the material in this book. It's just my recommendation that this book not be taken lightly. This isn't the new generation's Princess Bride. This book deals with things that not every teen needs to or would want to read about. All I'm saying is please, please - use discretion. Teens need to decide whether they are really interested and prepared for this book; they may even need help making their decision. Obviously, if a teen wants to read about certain issues, they will probably find a way. But I get the feeling that a lot of people wouldn't necessarily realize just how graphic this book turns out to be without researching beforehand. Personally, I really enjoyed it and couldn't put this book down. But I am an adult. Not to mention an only child. Sometimes discouraging teens from doing something can lead to more curiosity on their part. But you could always use reverse psychology. If a parent said something like, "Oh, all my friends are reading that in book club, Hun," what teen wouldn't immediately put that book back on the shelf without even opening it. Just sayin'. If you have a sibling close to your own age and never want to think of them as anything other than a sibling, maybe you should avoid this book. I have zero brothers and sisters, so I can't speak to whether or not this could change the way someone sees their brother or sister. What I got out of this book: I liked the book and story, apart from almost all of the characters being absolute douches most of the time, particularly the mother. The pace was involving and addictive, but I'm still rather disturbed by the whole thing. Maybe that's the point? Mostly, I'm left wondering what the message of this book is. That sex is bad and bad things happen because of it? Or that incest shouldn't be illegal? I guess what I took from it was that perhaps if people weren't so intolerant and judgmental, others wouldn't be driven to self-destruction so easily. Judgement not only hurts those it is directed toward, it can also hurt those doing the directing. Intolerance is a slow-working parasite, draining the empathy and joy out it's host and replacing it with it's own fear and discontent. Intolerance is just fear in disguise. And you know what that means. Fear leads to anger... Anger leads to hate... Hate leads to suffering. I'm not a big fan of judgement. I was judged most of my adolescent life, so I'm going to skip over any morality issue. No one is taking advantage of anyone else in this book. There isn't forcefulness or blackmail. It is just an anomaly of love. Or an anomaly of lust. Despite the blunt statement at the beginning of this review, honestly, I don't think this book is about incest. It's about making the best of a bad situation. It's about overcoming the struggles of abandonment and loneliness. Sadly, it is all too common an occurrence. Disappearing fathers, mothers chasing their youth and social lives instead of their children, and the kids, left to pick up the pieces of their broken family. ________________________________________ On a lighter note: apparently, this book has already awakened non-existent latent desires in me , an adult in a committed relationship, because the other night I had a dream that I had a step-brother and that I was totally making out with him in public. Not quite as awkward as a biological brother, but still pretty damn awkward. Then, of course, there is the possibility that my latent desires had nothing to do with the step-brother and everything to do with being in public. Yeah, that sounds much better...let's go with that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dd

    I hate this book!! I hate,hate,hate it!! I thought I was prepared.And I was,to deal with a story depicting a forbidden and taboo relationship. But.... But I was not prepared for this!! I was NOT prepared to encounter something so pure,so beautiful,so tormented....something so stunning!! I was not prepared for him. Lochan. ----------------------------------------------------------- Hello Readers!! I find myself utterly captivated by terrible beauty this book possesses. I was disgusted.I was exploited.I wept I hate this book!! I hate,hate,hate it!! I thought I was prepared.And I was,to deal with a story depicting a forbidden and taboo relationship. But.... But I was not prepared for this!! I was NOT prepared to encounter something so pure,so beautiful,so tormented....something so stunning!! I was not prepared for him. Lochan. ----------------------------------------------------------- Hello Readers!! I find myself utterly captivated by terrible beauty this book possesses. I was disgusted.I was exploited.I wept.I screamed. But I could not stop. I became that proverbial moth who can't stop even though it knows it will burn. And I did burn. So tell me Readers,how do I explain Lochan to you??How do I explain something so exquisitely beautiful in a few mere words??How do I do it?? I can't. ---------------------------------------------------------- "At what point does a fly give up trying to escape through a closed window - do its survival instincts keep it going until it is physically capable of no more,or does it eventually learn after one crash too many that there is no way out?At what point do you decide that enough is enough?" Meet Kit--- A 13 year old being corroded away by pain,bitterness and hatred.He does everything to refute authority.Does everything to drive Lochan mad. Meet Tiffin--- A beautiful,spirited young boy who has to beg for every scrap of attention from his mother.He knows that when Maya tells him that their Mom actually cares about them,she's lying. Meet Willa-- "At the age of five she has already come to terms with one of the life's harshest lessons:that the world isn't fair..." And now meet with Maya--- A 16 year old girl who has to play the role of a mother for those three younger siblings.Because their mother is too drunk and selfish to even care.And their father left them years ago. The only reason she can cope with a cheerful visage....is Lochan. "I can't bear to think I might have lost our closeness,our friendship,our trust.He was always so much more than just a brother.He is my soul mate,my fresh air,the reason I look forward to getting up every morning.I always knew I loved him more than anyone else in the world...." ----------------------------------------------------------- Yes.She loves Lochan.The kind of love that has no boundaries.Which is endless. "How can something so wrong feel so right?" Readers,I will not try to justify their love.Because no matter however I present it, it will be a difficult concept to grasp. "Let's face it,this is all pretty sick.Maybe the rest of the world's right.Maybe we're just a couple of fucked-up,emotionally disturbed teenagers...." So no,I will not try to justify it. "There are no laws,no boundaries on feelings.We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want.No one,Maya,no one can ever take that away from us." ----------------------------------------------------------- And nothing prepared me for the ending.... "At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. NEVER." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I guess that's all for now.'Cause no matter what I do,I will not be able to convey the beauty of this story to you. Goodbye Readers. P.S-I LOVE this book!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    After reading recent comments, I feel the need to stress an important point about this book: it is not about accepting incest. It's not a book like Flowers in the Attic or How I Live Now where incest is romanticised. It is a sad story about the danger of dysfunctional families and should never be regarded as another angsty tale of forbidden love, even though the title suggests otherwise. So, first let me say that this was a very brave book to tackle such a controversial subject matter and the After reading recent comments, I feel the need to stress an important point about this book: it is not about accepting incest. It's not a book like Flowers in the Attic or How I Live Now where incest is romanticised. It is a sad story about the danger of dysfunctional families and should never be regarded as another angsty tale of forbidden love, even though the title suggests otherwise. So, first let me say that this was a very brave book to tackle such a controversial subject matter and the author must have some real bottle to take it on. I know quite a few people who would read the synopsis and put it straight back down, shaking their heads at the thought of another "Flowers In The Attic" scenario. But this book is far from that. "Flowers In The Attic" was about two teenagers who had grown up isolated from members of the opposite sex, all they had during puberty was each other and their sexual relationship was based on desires that are natural but they had been prevented from feeling them in a natural environment. But "Forbidden" tells the tale of two teenagers, Lochan (17 - later 18) and Maya (16), who both go to school with other people their own age, including plenty from the opposite sex but they have been forced to live quite unlike their other schoolmates when at home. Neglected at an early age by their mother after the sudden departure of their father, Lochan and Maya begin to play the roles of parents to their three younger siblings who they refer to as "the children". This ensues a relationship in which they support each other and share parenting roles like a couple would and not at all like a brother and sister. They are prompted to feel that they are related by some biological accident. Characters: Lochan is an excellently constructed character, when he is narrating the story you feel his pain every second of the way. You almost feel his nerves when he struggles to speak to people and, most of all, you really care about him. He's a troubled guy and that becomes apparent from the very first page when he is sat in class; he has many sides, all of them passionate. And then there's Maya. Maybe it's the strength of Lochan's character that does it, but I just don't feel any real connection with Maya and I don't feel like the author did either. For a female author she writes her male characters far better than the females, a fact also true of her other books. Maya is bland and, instead of feeling her pain and pitying her like you do with Lochan, she seems whiny and irritating. Also, incredibly naive. Now, I know there are plenty of pretty girls who are virgins at 16 and much older; I also know that there are pretty girls that haven't been kissed at 16, but I don't know of any quite so innocent... I mean, she goes to high school for godsakes. Lochan's blushing at sexual hints is forgiven because of his character that has been built up around his timidity, but Maya is supposed to be outgoing and full of life to balance him out. But it's hard to believe she knew what a penis was before this with Lochan. Ok, so you get that Maya didn't do it for me. But Kit did, surprisingly. I was expecting a throwaway character in the form of a bratty teenager, and yes, we got the bratty teenage stuff but Kit was a lot more than that. I loved the other side to him, he wanted to rebel and he didn't like that his older brother got to boss him around but he also understood the importance of them staying together and he wanted to keep them away from the eyes of social services. I felt really sorry for him when he's chasing the police car near the end, even though it was partly his fault, but I did like what it signified about the relationship between him and Lochan. His other siblings were just tools to move the plot along, Tiffin is only memorable because of his unfortunate name. Willa, though seemingly a sweetheart, was only their to reinforce the idea that Maya and Lochan were like parental figures, not siblings. Ending: If my review was of the ending alone then the book would have got 5 stars without a doubt. It was shocking, beautiful and tragic. That one scene after Lochan has been arrested, stayed with me afterwards and I was crying for ages. I got to a couple of chapters before the end and I thought "well, yeah, it is a good book", but the ending propelled it into awesomeness. Even if the story had been poor, it would have been worth reading just to get to that ending. I loved the simplicity of the final chapter - it could have been dragged out but it wasn't and that made it all the more effective. The final scene is told so well, you can see it clearly in your mind, imagine exactly how it would have looked. I cannot fault the ending at all. The Incest Issue: I understand what this book was trying to achieve and the question it was putting to the reader about different types of love. I feel the need to compare it to "Lolita" by Nabokov and the way in which Humbert is almost forgiven his perversity at the end and the reader is with him, inside his pain and wishing that Lolita would be with him. Paedophilia is viewed as one of the most disgusting acts possible, and yet Nabokov manages to get the reader to forgive Humbert, feel sorry for him, almost excuse him. Suzuma with "Forbidden" wants you to question the taboo that is incest. She is not saying "incest is okay", that's not the point. Like the many 'coming out' novels, Suzuma wants you to recognise a different type of love from the norm. Assuming they didn't have children because of the genetic issue and both were consenting... why legally prevent two people from loving each other just because they came out of the same woman? Can you answer it? Without the bible and comments like "it's just wrong" - do you have an answer? I don't. I think it's weird and creepy and makes me feel slightly sick but I can't put my finger on why the law forbids it (note: this does not include having children, because there are obvious reasons why this would be wrong). That said, for me Tabitha Suzuma didn't quite manage it the way Nabokov did. But I must stress how much I enjoyed this novel and how much it really made me think.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    This is a review I've put off writing for over 3 years now. It's always hard finding the words for a book I loved so much. I feel like everything that can be said about this book already has been said, and far more eloquently. As verbose I can be sometimes, it's so difficult to find the words to write in favor of a book I truly love. To put it simply, I will just reiterate what so many other reviewers have said before about it: This book broke me, completely and utterly. In the very worst ways, in This is a review I've put off writing for over 3 years now. It's always hard finding the words for a book I loved so much. I feel like everything that can be said about this book already has been said, and far more eloquently. As verbose I can be sometimes, it's so difficult to find the words to write in favor of a book I truly love. To put it simply, I will just reiterate what so many other reviewers have said before about it: This book broke me, completely and utterly. In the very worst ways, in the very best ways. This book's subject is quite frankly, not to everyone's tastes. I think most readers will either be a) appalled or b) touched and moved by this book. The subject matter and how it is handled ensures that there is no grey line. You will either love it, or you will hate it. There's going to be very few opinions in-between. I think it is a completely divisive book. If you start reading this book thinking it's going to try to convince you to fuck your brother/sister or that it's ok to screw around with them, you would be wrong. I don't think there is a message in this book as far as "it's ok to do X or Y given Z circumstance." I do not feel that the author is trying to impose some sort of morality or send a message of acceptance of incest. It is just a story, albeit an extremely well-written story. It is about two people who have come to rely on each other, having been forced to grow up ahead of their time, under circumstances beyond their control. It is a survivor's bond, of sorts. It is a relationship based on friendship, mutual experiences, trust, love...and a shared background of hardship. The two people just happened to be brothers and sisters. I'm not going to take a side and say whether the relationship was correct, or morally repugnant, or abusive. What I can say is that this book sold me on the idea of Lochan and Maya, and how their relationship eventually wound up to what it was. I think it's a lot harder for people to accept the idea of contemporary incest. The cases we've read about these days in the news like the parents abusing and impregnating their own kids, are pretty damned horrific, and I do not judge anyone at all for choosing to stay away from this book and its subject matter. It is a extremely hard issue to address, much less in this manner. I think society is more open...wrong word, not so much open, but more like grudgingly accepting of incest in the past because it was a part of history within ruling dynasties, and therefore viewed as inevitable or even acceptable within some settings and places. It's certainly out there a lot lately, with the rampant incest in House Lannister between Jamie and Cersei, with the "shipping" of Cesare and Lucretia in The Borgias. Hell, there are awkward fanfiction of Supernatural's Wincest all over the place. However, putting this subject in a contemporary setting, with realistic characters, is a totally different story. Maybe it's easier for me to take the concept of incest lightly, having no siblings of the opposite sex, but I entered this book with an open mind and this book turned out to be such a reward. Lately, my reviews have been set out to prove a point, to prove the rating that I wound up giving the book is justified. I tend to use quotes when permitted, and I will highlight most of the relevant points to emphasize the facts as I make note of them. There will be none such here, because if I do it for this book, I will have to reread it, and that's not an experience I wish to repeat. Did I say earlier that it broke me? Because it did. There are books I love that I can reread repeatedly, and this is not one of them. I'm not an emotional person; I was, but life tends to slowly erase most of our weakness, and the child who once cried in 5th grade during a class reading of Where the Red Fern Grows has grown up to be an adult who doesn't blink at seeing blood and guts onscreen and who laughs her way through the majority of tearjerkers films. Life has a tendency to desensitize the most delicate of personalities. Which is why I was so utterly unprepared for the pure visceral reaction this book wrought upon me. Which is why after an all-night marathon session of reading, at 6 AM, I found myself muffling my choking, heaving sobs into a pillow so that my sister wouldn't hear me from the next room to save myself from having to reply with "I just read this book about a brother and sister who fell in love, and it was really sad." Talk about awkward. I've cried that hard about five times in my life, and if one of those times happens to be this book...judge me how you will. You might end up loving this book as much as I do, you might end up absolutely revolted by it. However your opinion might fall in the end, I think this book at least deserves to be read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    This is the story of a boy and a girl who fall in love. Lochan and Maya are best friends who have known each other their entire lives and have helped each other and fiercely loved one another through the many brutally painful experiences of growing up. The thing is, they also happen to be brother and sister, and the unholy mess of the repercussions from their choices looms over this entire story. No one who picks up a book like this can be unaware of the potential pitfalls. It's all too easy for a This is the story of a boy and a girl who fall in love. Lochan and Maya are best friends who have known each other their entire lives and have helped each other and fiercely loved one another through the many brutally painful experiences of growing up. The thing is, they also happen to be brother and sister, and the unholy mess of the repercussions from their choices looms over this entire story. No one who picks up a book like this can be unaware of the potential pitfalls. It's all too easy for an author to resort to the tasteless exploitation of sticky sentiment or breathy fumblings that heighten the excitement of a taboo relationship. What you'll find instead with Forbidden is a book written with stunning insight and incredible compassion, and two characters who will absolutely break your heart. There is very little dialogue in this novel, and the narrative alternates in chapters between Lochan and Maya's points of view. As such, the reader gets to know both of them very well and experiences in minute detail the complicated terror of their lives at home. The two of them essentially function as the parents of three younger siblings in their household, as they have no father and their alcoholic mother neglects them for weeks at a time. The relationship between 17-year-old Lochan and 16-year-old Maya, already close since they were children, changes subtly and realistically as they gradually become aware of each other as adults. The clarity of vision and strength and selflessness of both these characters is unparalleled in any young adult book I've ever read, and the way the author draws the reader in with their relationship is astounding. The intimacy and companionship, the joy and maturity, and the self-doubt and heavy responsibilities of these two young people drawn together in a terrible situation is described with extraordinary empathy and understanding. Without the cruelty and selfishness of similarly challenged characters in books like Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden or the confused, casual amorality of Janet Inglis' characters in the novels Darling and its follow-up Father of Lies, Forbidden intelligently and passionately explores emotions that feel desperately genuine and impossibly tragic. As the book builds unbearably to its unforgettable and devastating conclusion, the things that Lochan and Maya will sacrifice for the ideals of love and responsibility are astounding. This is perhaps not a perfect book, but it is one that may open up a tiny crack in your armor and flood you with unexpected feeling. Whatever your pre-conceived notions about the sensitive subject of this novel, I defy anyone with a heart to experience the vibrant, pulsing emotions in this story and remain unmoved. I wept like a child--I bet you will, too. This review may also be found in The Midnight Garden.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jude

    So Wrong It's Right... Shit. This book was... Shit. I’m at a loss of words, so emotionally drained that I am actually cursing. And I never Curse. Period. So shit. This book reminds me of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher; not in the story, they are total and complete opposites, but the same feeling afterwards. A hollow in me, at the pit of my stomach, hands shaking and my heart nowhere in sight. It was an Amazing book. Not the kind of amazing where I’m jumping up and down begging you to read i So Wrong It's Right... Shit. This book was... Shit. I’m at a loss of words, so emotionally drained that I am actually cursing. And I never Curse. Period. So shit. This book reminds me of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher; not in the story, they are total and complete opposites, but the same feeling afterwards. A hollow in me, at the pit of my stomach, hands shaking and my heart nowhere in sight. It was an Amazing book. Not the kind of amazing where I’m jumping up and down begging you to read it, but the sort of amazing where you are just staring at an empty wall before you and the only word you can think of is... Shit. And then you exhale. The relationship between Maya and Lochan is complicated from the beginning. In my words, here’s how I see it: There’s a line between brothers and sisters. You can tell to each other your most intimate secrets, share a room, even sleep in the same bed for fear of nightmares; each other the half of a whole. But you never become more, because of that line. That label that says Brother/Sister. And that’s okay. But when Lochan and Maya are forced to watch over their siblings, pay the bills and take care of just about everything in the house since a very young age, that line, that label, becomes blurry; and it is not something that happens in a blink of an eye in the book, it’s something that came from long before. So it was only a matter of time that this line dissipated and they fell in love with each other. This may all sound so disgusting but I never felt repulsed during the book, and I think this is what made it Amazing. Tabitha Suzuma managed to make their love relationship seem so right and not once did I forget they were brother and sister. It wasn’t like “OMG! I had totally forgotten they were siblings!” No, I was conscious always of what they were and it never felt wrong. By the ending my heart was beating so hard I thought it would just burst out of my chest, and in the last page it just stopped. I can feel that hollow. My shaking hands. And the amazingness of it all. Ask me if I recommend this book and I’ll say yes. No doubt. No hesitation. Forget it, this book wasn't amazing. this book was Epic. Life Changing in every sense of the word. No kidding. This book has many lessons, and the one that stood most with me is that I am no one to judge someone, or a situation or just about anything. I don’t think my review does any justice to this book but. . . you should just read it. Wow. After the initial shock review: I still feel the hollow, and it hurts to think of the book. Even though it hurts I can’t stop thinking about it, I’m still in awe, but I can think more clearly now! And I totally forgot to mention some things: The writing is fantastic! I loved it. It made it so easy to flow through the book, practically poetic. Also, I was a bit thrown of at times when they used words like Bloody Great! Or Hey Mate! And snogging. The Author is from the UK so it's natural, it still got me into giggles when I read them.... And one last thing: I'm Emotional. I cry easily and get deply engaged with books. I saw reviews that described the ending as Amazing and Cool.... I was crying ^^ depends on how you are I guess, but the one thing most bloggers agree with: Read it. :) More Reviews Over At In Between

  7. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Wow! That was some deeply disturbing and super depressing stuff. I'm thinking this was somewhere between a 3 1/2 and a 4 star read for me. This one will take some time to digest. In fact, as I write this review days later I'm still not sure exactly what to make of this story. Lochan and Maya have been forced to grow up too quickly. As the oldest, these two siblings have had to take on the responsibility of raising their three younger siblings. Their drunken, deadbeat mother breezes in and out of Wow! That was some deeply disturbing and super depressing stuff. I'm thinking this was somewhere between a 3 1/2 and a 4 star read for me. This one will take some time to digest. In fact, as I write this review days later I'm still not sure exactly what to make of this story. Lochan and Maya have been forced to grow up too quickly. As the oldest, these two siblings have had to take on the responsibility of raising their three younger siblings. Their drunken, deadbeat mother breezes in and out of their lives when she chooses, leaving all of the day to day responsibilities up to her two oldest children. As a result, Lochan and Maya have a relationship that more closely resembles that of a husband and wife than that of a brother and sister. Since I knew where this story was heading from the start, I wasn't surprised at all when the siblings' relationship started to take on a more romantic feel. However, I was incredibly surprised when I found myself rooting for them as a couple. Going into this book, part of me had convinced myself that they were going to be step-siblings or half-siblings or some other relation that would somehow lessen the taboo nature of their relationship. That wasn't the case and I had to deal with some very uncomfortable feelings. It was so wrong, but they were just so damn right for each other at the same time. Okay, I know what you're thinking. You'd be right too. Awkward, right? I'm going to get it out and just say what we're all thinking, "Ew!" I'm not going to try and deny that this was some seriously messed up stuff. Just the thought of incest makes me cringe. To say the least, this was a very uncomfortable read as a result. Nonetheless, I found myself hoping that Lochan and Maya would somehow get a HEA. Even as I knew it was totally improbable, I wanted them to be happy. No teenagers ever deserved happiness more than these two. They bore the weight of the world on their shoulders. Right to the end, they sacrificed for their younger siblings. Of course, this is not that kind of story. This is the type of story that you go into knowing that it will break your heart...and it does. I cried big, fate tears and probably went through half a box of Kleenex while reading this story. Aptly titled, 'Forbidden' is taboo and controversial. While I won't try to justify incest, consensual or not, I will say that this story was a heartbreakingly beautiful love story. You will fall in love with each of the siblings, as you hate their worthless mother. You'll respect Lochan and Maya for their strength and dedication to their family. You will feel their love, anger, and desperation, even as you curse the injustice of it all. No way around it, you will FEEL while reading this story. As much as anything else, this story made me feel conflicted. I usually don't waver much in my convictions. However, this book made me question my values and morals. I found myself pondering "what if" more than I was comfortable with. Days later, I have to say that this story still has me feeling unsettled. Will it make you highly uncomfortable? Yes. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! In my opinion, the books that challenge the status quo and make me look at life through a different lens are the best kinds of books. Agree or disagree, but consider alternate viewpoints. Books like this aren't necessarily there to change what you believe, so much as they are there to make you examine why you believe what you do and consider other perspectives. Are there situations in which there should be exceptions to some steadfast rules of morality? This book will make you think about that type of thing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Reynje

    So, About Taboo Subjects in YA Literature Or: Do Teenagers Really Use the Word “Ensconced”? Somewhere deep in the world of technical things I don’t really understand, there is an algorithm that persisted in listing Forbidden in almost every shelf of personalised recommendations. Based on my previous reading and shelving habits, it insisted that I should read this book. But I dug my heels in: “Stop trying to make Forbidden happen, Goodreads. It’s Not. Going. To. Happen.” (Because I have a pretty go So, About Taboo Subjects in YA Literature Or: Do Teenagers Really Use the Word “Ensconced”? Somewhere deep in the world of technical things I don’t really understand, there is an algorithm that persisted in listing Forbidden in almost every shelf of personalised recommendations. Based on my previous reading and shelving habits, it insisted that I should read this book. But I dug my heels in: “Stop trying to make Forbidden happen, Goodreads. It’s Not. Going. To. Happen.” (Because I have a pretty good idea of my own tastes, and sometimes I talk to inanimate objects like that). I guess I could have just clicked that helpful “Not Interested” button. But perversely, I wanted to see how long Goodreads would continue to push Forbidden on me as I carried on updating my shelves. And the inevitable happened. I decided to read it. There was always the possibility my gut had misinformed me, right? It’s happened before. And thus, after much thought, I have Things To Say about this book. The Things are not going to be overly positive. Hence, if you loved this book – and I know and respect many who do (hi, friends!) – you may not wish to proceed with reading this review. I will make it clear upfront: I did not like this book. And while I apologise in advance to anyone who finds my comments in any way offensive, I do not make apologies for disliking it. Part of my employment history directly relates to child protection. The sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children was on my radar on a daily basis. No doubt that colours my response to this book to some extent. I freely admit that this affected the way I approached it, read it and am able to process it. I spent a lot of time arguing with myself upon completion: was I simply having a knee-jerk reaction to the subject matter? Why was I responding this way to this particular issue? Was I a hypocrite because I had a different response to other books which contained, arguably, equally controversial subject matter? My answer, which may not satisfy all, is that it’s not the subject matter I object to. I am not unfamiliar with incest in works of fiction. Rather, I take issue with the manner in which it was handled in the case of Forbidden. I would like to believe that this book is a stroke of literary genius in which the author masterfully makes use of unreliable, self-deceived narrators to thrust us into and examine their solipsistic minds, subverting the usual use of sympathetic and unsympathetic characters to powerful effect. However, I suspect that this is not the case. It’s clear to me that Suzuma’s heavily introspective, densely descriptive writing style will appeal to many. But personally, I found the prose distastefully soapy and melodramatic. The viewpoints of Lochan and Maya were strikingly similar and also ridden with language that felt awkward, so I was never fully convinced that this was a story narrated by teenagers. What little action takes place in the book is interspersed with long, ponderous interludes of the characters’ angsting over their mutual attraction and subsequent horror as they consider the ramifications of it. This is a book largely dependent on the tension (especially sexual) between the characters in order to balance the long internal ruminations which were, even for me, tedious. However, I was always conscious of Suzuma’s presence behind the scenes, pulling the characters’ strings. This is especially evident in some of the dialogue, where Lochan and Maya muse on the outside world’s hypothetical response to their relationship, to the judgement they would be subjected to should they be found out. At this point, Lochan and Maya ceased to be characters and sounded more like mouthpieces, which bothered me immensely. I am capable of reaching my own opinions and making up my own mind. I do not appreciate being clunked over the head with poorly veiled commentary. I won’t go so far as to say that I think there was a particular agenda being pushed - I don’t know that, after all. But in these sections the dialogue felt out of place and laboured, in a bald-faced effort to make the reader question, and ultimately sympathise with their predicament. Similarly, the characters’ (Maya in particular) preoccupation with how their love transcends sibling bonds also felt like a manipulative reach for sympathy. I can’t help but think this novel would have been all the more powerful had it not relied so heavily upon insistence that the characters don’t perceive each other as “brother” and “sister”, but rather as “soulmates”. Instead of being brutally realistic, straight-talking and heartbreaking, this pushed things into the realms of PNR-style tropes and creepy wish fulfilment for me. And on the topic of “creepy”: Lochan. While I sympathised with his emotional and mental struggles, and I think his experience with anxiety was portrayed with a great deal of insight, I hated the manner in which his mental illness was used as a plot device. I hated the fact that he engaged in sexual activity with a girl who, sister or not, had just suffered a head injury. I hated this book’s fixation on his sexual gratification. I have no strong comments on the explicitness of the intimate scenes, that’s up to each reader’s personal taste. However I objected to the romanticised tone – it’s all exploding suns and ecstasy and oh-so-wonderful and it has me wondering what exactly the intention is? To make readers believe in their connection? To simply be honest? To shock? And a plain fact of the matter is – even if these two were not related by blood – I still would not be shipping them, on the basis of Lochan’s propensity for violence and jealousy alone. Again, I do not take issue with the portrayal of dysfunctional relationships in fiction, whatsoever. This is simply, sadly, reality for many. But I do feel that care needs to be taken with the subtext that is being communicated. I thought the characterisation of the younger siblings was well done, and although Kit occasionally read a little older than his thirteen years, I did sympathise with him. Their interactions and responses to their home situation felt realistic to me, especially the way Willa and Tiffin’s awareness of their neglect occasionally seeped through. This, in my opinion, was the most heartbreaking part of the book – the fact that while not fully understanding why, they were cognizant of their abandonment and the fact that their lives were different. While Lochan and Maya have, for all intents and purposes, taken on the parental roles, their inherent immaturity was highlighted by the way their need to get into each other’s pants gradually took precedence over everything else. Which is realistic, of course, but felt at odds with the way I thought the story was trying to present them as an object of tragedy. I have spoken in a previous review about my strong feelings on the commercialisation of grief, and how I deeply resent anything I perceive to be a grab for an emotional reaction. Which is why the ending and epilogue of Forbidden made me sick to my stomach. It felt gratuitous and tear-jerky in the most literal sense, a lunge for a strong reader response, the literary equivalent of going for the jugular. I strongly dislike seeing (view spoiler)[suicide (hide spoiler)] used this way. As mentioned earlier, I don’t want my rating to be misinterpreted, or taken as a statement that I don’t believe these kind of subjects have a place in literature, young adult or otherwise - because that is simply not the case. I just did not care for this approach – which I felt was exploitative, calculated and overwrought. Obviously, many will disagree. Some will see this as the tragedy of neglect and abuse. Or a thought-provoking challenge to the parameters we put around “acceptable” love. Or a heartbreaking examination of society failing its young people. Or just a love story. There are plenty of excellent reviews that discuss these interpretations. But I’m afraid this book simply didn’t prove groundbreaking or revelatory to me. What I wanted to be complex and respectful felt melodramatic and toxic, a serious subject sacrificed on the altar of “edginess”.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Forbidden was a book I thought would be easily forgettable, and I have never been so wrong. Throw out your moral compass and pick up this book When I read what this story was about I was weirded out beyond belief... Brother and Sister get it on... No thank you, but after reading the reviews I finally put on my big girl panties and bought it. This book is like the show Shameless but with incest... Yeah I know still sounds insane! The character of this book couldn't have been written better. Maya Forbidden was a book I thought would be easily forgettable, and I have never been so wrong. Throw out your moral compass and pick up this book When I read what this story was about I was weirded out beyond belief... Brother and Sister get it on... No thank you, but after reading the reviews I finally put on my big girl panties and bought it. This book is like the show Shameless but with incest... Yeah I know still sounds insane! The character of this book couldn't have been written better. Maya and Lochan are character I find myself even struggling to sum up in words. (I will say I did end up calling him Loki the whole time so sorry about that Tabitha.) They are strong, they are weak, they are irrational, stupid, genius, wild, and so much more. I will warn you that this book did start off slow, took around 120 pages to start picking up. When it gets going though it doesn't stop. The last few chapters are the definition of a page turner. This had me laughing, praying, cheering, and then crying my eyes out. Never in my life did I think 1) I would read a book about incest or 2) that I would read a book about incest and end up in tears. The ending of this book has me so shell shocked and I don't think that feeling is going to be something I'll be able to shake off anytime soon. It is so rare to come across a book that make you feel so many emotion, makes you question your beliefs, and leaves you utterly breathless. This book is that book. I will probably have to come back and add more this this review later, or go more into detail on my blog, but right now I'm still just so surprised by how truly moving this book was.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dinjolina

    Before everything: This review is soon to be edited and posted on Rain Hart's & my book blog. You can find our blog here. Be sure to subscribe and see all the fun we have in store for you! Now, on to the review! If you are starting this book or are planing to, put this song on your player and have it as a theme song for the book. Believe me. It helps when you get to the crying part :) Together First of all I have to tell you that what I am going to write will not please a lot of people. So don't agree Before everything: This review is soon to be edited and posted on Rain Hart's & my book blog. You can find our blog here. Be sure to subscribe and see all the fun we have in store for you! Now, on to the review! If you are starting this book or are planing to, put this song on your player and have it as a theme song for the book. Believe me. It helps when you get to the crying part :) Together First of all I have to tell you that what I am going to write will not please a lot of people. So don't agree with me. Don't read. Don't comment. I don't care. This book was so powerful I simply do not care if somebody thinks that what I feel is wrong. Ironic, given that if something is or isn't wrong is a big part of the theme of this work. The book made me feel alive. Maybe somethings, like the charges against Lochi were puffed up out of proportion. Maybe, but I still do not care. Maybe the ending was harsh and unnecessary. I do not agree. And again, do not care. The anticipation I felt for them was real. And I fretted. I even had a feeling of dread and moments of doubt. But after all of it I just can't force myself to think their love was wrong. If a lot of hands go up in the air in order to point out to me that this was incest… Just stop! We tell ourselves that we live in the age of acceptance of things and people that are different. We support gay people, give our blessings to new found churches, give the people the right to hurt themselves emotionally in any way they can, and a lot of time don’t even care that they can hurt themselves physically. Sure there is child molesting. And that is wrong and sick. But here, in this beautiful heart stopping story, we have two young adults that even pressed by the weight of the world, knew, without a doubt, that they love each other. I stopped to think if they could know love at 17 and 18...and I think they could. They were already forced to grow up. And there is the fact that true love can hit you when you are 18,27,30,55...70 even! As Lochan says, it is not fair for so many men to go around and use who ever they like and not be sanctioned, but his love is labeled as deranged. It's not. It just isn’t. Not to me. Not when it comes to Lochan and Maya. I didn’t want to redeem this couple like some readers did. I didn't want somebody to make them believe that they were wrong and to separate them, make them have different lives. I think that they were just an aberration. Hormonal aberration (and when I say hormonal I do not mean sex!), galactic misunderstanding, fate glitch…but they were for one another. They just were. I really wished them well. They knew they could not have children. And they did not want them. They already raised all of their kids. They just wanted to have one another. To be able to do the things others had, and discarded as every day convenience. And my heart made painful little flips for every moment of their happiness. I wish, oh how I wish they had more. And wish, and wish and wish that they were left to tend to the smaller children until one day they could have a world in which to hold hands, kiss,and love as with nobody condemning them for it. I hated their mother. She was a horrible person. And her fanatic involvement in the end was so in her character! I know some people do not see her as the type to care. And she was not. She was the type to fuss. Like she fussed about her kids but done them no real good. Like all the things she did in order to lie to herself that she cared for them or did something for anybody accept herself. She was just a (beautifully portrayed)selfish slut. As much the description of their mother and fate is brilliant, how the author gave us the lovely formed thoughts of sister and brother is majestic! They sound like teenagers but their intellectual rants hold real everyday fears,problems and solution. The mother and father along with a lot of other situations and people made this book really hard and painful. And this was all good,.. no! Superb writing that kept me on the edge. But God, there are so many moments in the book that I hold so dear now! Maya getting the bracelet, their strong support for each others troubles, tears, even the fact that in one day Lochan had the best morning of his life-with the kids as happy as they were, with Maya in her bedroom- just to fall from euphoria in to the worst and last night of his life … And all this…all of it coming to that final chapter and Epilogue. When I read the last chapter I was emotionally broken. But when I read Maya's struggle after that... She still had to be strong. She still had to try. To fight. I cried. I cried in big gut wrenching sobs that I could not stop. Poor Lochan. The poor lovable bright Lochan. And sweet pretty Maya. Innocent little Willa that won't really remember him. And Kit. That had no idea what his silly petty fit will do. How it will destroy lives. Destroy love. Destroy all of them in a cruel joke of destiny. Oh how happy they would have all been if they were born different. Born like Maya’s and Lochan’s kids. And loved, loved loved. I write this rew and still cry, silent beautiful tears that make me almost feel pure. Why? Because I remembered a thing from my past... When I was 16teen a friend of mine killed himself. And the pain was big. How will I go on? He was my firstdoor neighbor for so long,friend,companion,so many things. Five years later I saw his girlfriend still putting flowers on his grave. But how long will she remember? How long will I? When will his face become a blur? Love that people felt for him subdued and burned out? When? This book gives us the answer at the end. Yes I knew all the answers when I read the last few lines of this perfect book. They told everybody that read them that you should never give up. And remember forever. But live on now. Looking forward to the small things. To pink panties and a smile of a little girl. So... Summer is here. And they will try. We can always just try. If you read this book, and I hope that you will, you will love it. But you will also curse your self for wishing what could not be. Their love. It was like watching Titanic as a kid over and over again. The ending is always harsh. And breathtaking. But mostly sad. Love can touch us one time And last for a lifetime And never let go till we're gone Love was when I loved you One true time I hold to In my life we'll always go on

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aestas Book Blog

    *SOB SOB SOB* “How could something so wrong feel so right?” This book reduced me to a inconsolable, uncontrollably sobbing, shaking, and wailing WRECK!! My heart is utterly SHATTERED !!!!!! Why? Why?? WHY???? I have no idea how to write anything that describes the depths to which my heart ACHES! Its like a physical pain. The ending of this book was “heart-shattering”. Pure, gut-wrenching, PAIN. It takes the concept of a “forbidden love” to a whole new level. It does not have a HEA and the end *SOB SOB SOB* “How could something so wrong feel so right?” This book reduced me to a inconsolable, uncontrollably sobbing, shaking, and wailing WRECK!! My heart is utterly SHATTERED !!!!!! Why? Why?? WHY???? I have no idea how to write anything that describes the depths to which my heart ACHES! Its like a physical pain. The ending of this book was “heart-shattering”. Pure, gut-wrenching, PAIN. It takes the concept of a “forbidden love” to a whole new level. It does not have a HEA and the ending is guaranteed rip your heart to shreds. The story is raw, emotional to an extreme, powerful, achingly painful, beautiful, and devastatingly tragic. I was beyond apprehensive about this story because, yes, this is a love story between a brother and sister (*cringe/gulp*, right?). It is only for the most open minded and non-judgmental readers. But I absolutely PROMISE you, after reading their story, you will be wishing they could have a happy ending. With a self-centered, uncaring, and alcohlic mother and a father who abandoned their family years ago, siblings Lochan (17) and Maya (16) have always felt more like friends than siblings – being the defacto parents to their 3 younger siblings – 13-year-old Kit who is unhappy, self-destructive, and rebelling against life, mischevious little brother Tiffin, and sweet adorable baby sister Willa who is too young to understand the desperation all around her. Lochan and Maya work themselves into the ground trying desperately to hold together the broken pieces of their family for fear that social services will separate them if they learn of the absentee parents. The stress of their lives brings them closer and closer together to the point where they fall in love. They know its not right, they know its impossible, but they cannot deny the feeling they have that are so strong and feel so right. The romance is slow building and comes as almost (dare I say it) a very subtle, natural, beautiful and progression. Its about two people drawn together by their circumstances, who are as close as two people can be, who rely on each other, support each other, have been through hell together… The pain, lonliness, and desolation of their life pushes them together. Everything in their life is so overwhelming, but with each other they feel safe. “… how to get across to the outside world that Lochan and I are siblings only through biological mishap? That we were never brother and sister in the real sense, but always partners, having to being up a real family as we grew up ourselves? How to explain that Lochan has never felt like a brother but like something far, far closer than that – a soul mate, a best friend, part of the very fiber of my being?” The book is told in alternating POVs between Lochan and Maya. Their thoughts and perspectives made me question everything I was naturally feeling and forced me to think with my heart instead of with how I was naturally inclined to automatically feel about a sibling romance. It filled me with so many conflicting emotions. My natural reaction was to cringe at the storyline and scream ‘NO!”, but when you read and understand the emotion behind it, you can’t help but want to root for them as a couple. The writing style is absolutely stunning. It conveys the stifling desolation and desperation of their life so vividly, you can feel with all your heart. It clouds the book, clings to the story and by extension, you as the reader are utterly wrapped up in their world. This is a story that is going to stay with me for a long time. It’ll make you question right and wrong and think twice about preconceived prejudices. In so many ways, their relationship didn’t feel weird or wrong. All the realtionship lines in this story were blurred anyways – friend and sibling, parents and child, authority figure and equal… When the situation isn’t a normal one, where are the lines drawn? As a reader, your natural, biological instincts are screaming at you to think of it as cringe-worthy, sick and both Lochan and Maya were realists about their feelings for each other. They knew how taboo it was and struggled long and hard with coming to terms with being able to accept the things they were feeling. Their torn anguish at dealing with what they were feeling but at the same time being true to themselves and not being able to deny the strength and reality of their feelings and passion for each other was heart-wrenching. “I scrape the fingernails of one hand against the wall, violent sobs running in shock waves through my body, tears soaking my sleeve. “Help,” I find myself gasping, “I don’t understand what’s wrong with me!” And like I said, they were realists about their situation. They knew they could never have kids and that wasn’t a problem – they just wanted to be together. And in another world, one where they were just Lochan and Maya and not also raising three younger siblings, they could very well have made it work. But the responsibilities of their family kept them from being able to put themselves first and ultimately was what led to the tragic ending. With all your heart, you feel their desperation as they fight to hide something the whole world will judge them for. “But its the whole world,” he says in an anguished whisper. “How – how can we make it against the whole world?” There was just no way to doubt the heart-breaking depths of their love for each other. “I think I’m going to die from happiness. I think I’m going to die from pain… At the end of the day, it’s about how much can you bear, how much can you endure.“ Their desperation just seeps into your soul as they fight against the cruelty of fate and the odds of the world. *sob* Lochan was such a gorgeous character, inside and out. To have been able to hold it together for so long and to make the ultimate sacrifice for the people he loved… I can’t even write about this without tears coming to my eyes. Everywhere they turned, there was another closed door. The ending just ripped me to emotional shreds. I’ll repeat, NOT a HEA. My heart won’t heal. The ending was un-fixable, irreversible, and horribly tragic. The tragic ending didn’t come out of the blue. You could feel it building from the start. I even know about the twist at the start before I began the book and thought I was fully prepared mentally for it, but it didn’t help one tiny bit and did nothing to shield my heart from the sheer, unbridled PAIN of the ending… around the 80% mark events started unfolding and my heart just sank. It felt like it stopped. I just read with my hand over my mouth, rocking back and forth going ‘please no, please no, please please &$%# no NO NO!!!“ . It didn’t help that I was prepared, even writing this now and thinking about it, I’m starting to cry again. It brought to light a lot of questions. Why is our society/world so obsessed with who loves who?? I can understand certain misgivings from a biological perspective. Yes, siblings should never be allowed to have biological children. THAT is wrong, from a scientific standpoint, not a judgmental one. Its damaging to the gene pool. But if two people love each other and just want to be together… who are we to judge? So long as they are not having kids, why shouldn’t they be allowed to have a relationship? Their story shattered my heart. It was haunting, beautiful, agonizing and tragic. If you are ever feeling brave enough to try it out, I’d highly recommend it. But you have to be in the right mood…. *sniff* This isn’t a story that I’ll ever forget. For more of my reviews, visit Aestas Book Blog And come join the Aestas Book Blog Facebook Page

  12. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Rating Clarification 10 stars Or rather… the highest rating I can ever imagine giving a book As an avid reader you come across dozens and dozens of books hoping the next one you pick up will either move you to uncontrollable tears, challenge your belief system, take you on an emotional rollercoaster, show you love, make you feel hate, sigh with happiness, leave you with a sense of longing, or simply just close the book when you're done and say to yourseslf "wow, that was absolute perfection." This Rating Clarification 10 stars Or rather… the highest rating I can ever imagine giving a book As an avid reader you come across dozens and dozens of books hoping the next one you pick up will either move you to uncontrollable tears, challenge your belief system, take you on an emotional rollercoaster, show you love, make you feel hate, sigh with happiness, leave you with a sense of longing, or simply just close the book when you're done and say to yourseslf "wow, that was absolute perfection." This book didn't just do one of those, it did ALL of the above and then some. For those that know me, they can attest to the hard fact that I don't cry over books...ever. Well, I can no longer claim that fame. My eyes are still watery as I write this review. I am truly exhausted emotionally and psychologically after reading this book and all I can think of is torturing myself by starting at page one all over again and reading through this masterpiece from the beginning to end. Angst to the 10th degree... BY FAR! I don't think I'll ever…EVER… forget this book or Lochan and Maya for that matter. The content shocked me but the writing and delivery left me in awe. I truly believe not just any author could have taken this taboo subject and delivered it with such flawless execution that you begin to root for the main characters as they make choices and feel emotions that are so NOT socially, or legally, acceptable. Forbidden takes the reader into the lives of Lochan and Maya Whitely. They are two teenage brother and sister forced to care for a family of five when the father exits their life and the worst mother in the entire world abandons them. Together they raise Kit, Tiffin and Willa, and do their best to keep their family together despite ongoing challenges and struggles. Lochan and Maya cry together, comfort each other, and see one another's vulnerable side, but unfortunately, they also share a burden inexplicable to the outside world. Their burden is a love so strong that it crosses boundaries society deems unacceptable as it goes deeper than sibling affection. I despised the loser mother of this book with such a passion, and that just propelled my level of compassion for Lochan and Maya. My heart broke for the smaller children as they learned too early that for some... life just isn't fair. For Lochan and Maya, I was in constant angst as the logical side of my brain wanted to counsel them and tell them, "no.no.no, guys you can't do that. it's not right." But at the same time, the emotional side of my brain was thinking, "oh thank gawd they have each other. what they are doing isn't wrong." Then I'd stand back and think WTF did I just say? My mental babble… or rather battle was constant and the conflict I felt was emotionally charged to a level I wasn't prepared for, especially the ending. But to be honest with myself, I wanted them to love each other the way that felt natural to them… so yes, at the end of the day… I rooted them on. There you have it. To anyone that feels this is disgusting, I challenge you to read this book because believe me, it's insane to feel or see yourself seamlessly accepting and rooting for two people as they cross that forbidden boundary. I don’t know what else to say but that I don't regret reading this book one bit and I certainly don't feel guilty about my feelings for the main characters and their choices. I absolutely love and slightly curse this book for how and what it made me feel and I know for certainty that I'll read it over again… and again… and again.. I tend to be on the conservative side with the books I recommend to my fellow avid readers, and this one would be one that I'd probably not openly share and say, "you must read this book" but if you do, I'll be here when you're done and we can talk or cry together. :(

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marie Lu

    The second book this year to make me bawl my eyes out (the first was Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein). I've never seen such a taboo topic like sibling incest handled in such a poignant and heartwrenching way. It's a testament to Ms. Suzuma's skill that I found myself desperately wishing for Maya and Lochan to be together. Simply amazing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    xrysa

    This story is forbidden...Their love will have devastating consequences... Lochan “I mean, at the end of the day, what the hell does it matter who I end up with if it can't be you?” Maya “Out of the millions and millions of people that inhabit this planet, he is one of the tiny few I can never have.” I dont want to review this book!I just cant!I've only slept three hours today because I HAD TO finish it!I needed to know how it ends and when that moment arrived I cried my eyes out. Lochie's and Maya's This story is forbidden...Their love will have devastating consequences... Lochan “I mean, at the end of the day, what the hell does it matter who I end up with if it can't be you?” Maya “Out of the millions and millions of people that inhabit this planet, he is one of the tiny few I can never have.” I dont want to review this book!I just cant!I've only slept three hours today because I HAD TO finish it!I needed to know how it ends and when that moment arrived I cried my eyes out. Lochie's and Maya's love is doomed from the beginning.They are siblings and it is against the law to have an affair.What they feel may be considered as twisted or even sick but in this case you cant even feel disgusted by the events.While she is looking back to her life all she can see is Lochan.Under other circumstances they would have never fell for each other.Their life has always been difficult and they never acted like children.Their drunk mum loaded them her responsibilities while she decided to relive her "teen" years and have fun with her boyfriend like she's in highschool.That leaves Lochan and Maya to take care of their youngest siblings.As you can see they act more like parents instead of siblings. They have to take care of a self-destructive 13 year old boy,Kit who never experienced the true maternal love,Tiffin and Willa who will do anything to draw their mum's attention but like always she's too busy to occupy herself with her kids. Their attempts to keep the family alive are futille but they manage to find a way and stop falling apart. Lochan is probably the most broken person of the family.His ongoing battle with the world around him is wearing him off.He has fears, he feels lonely but he is not.At the end of the day Maya will always erase his pain because she is the only one who can understand him.Her compasion and the way she loves him make me feel grateful that they have each other. However they cant be together.They have already broken too many rules..The fear of their illegal actions coming to surface haunts them every day but they are in love,they dont hurt anyone,right?It's amazing how this story does not feel wrong at all.They try together to survive and face the ghastly face of life. The story is heart wreching.Every chapter left me with tears not only becasue their mum was a total idiot but also because their love was so heart warming.I was living it with them.I was feeling every emotion that Lochan and Maya felt*praises the dual POV*. About the ending.... Read it and you'll see... (view spoiler)[I'm glad it was Lochan the one who died becasue if Maya died he wouldnt have survived without her because he was always broken. (hide spoiler)] . Last but no least the writing style is so captivating and everything is written so poetically that you will find yourself hung by the lines.Totally amazing! ****The story is not for everyone.It's when the YA genre collides with the utter MINDF*CK.***

  15. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    4.5 stars I have NO idea who allowed this to get published in the YA genre. It's risky, disturbing, and altogether, a masterpiece. It's not inappropriate just to be obscene; there's a moral behind it. It's so hard to describe. Lochan and Maya are self-aware, trapped in this miserable lifestyle that is so impossible yet I found myself absurdly empathizing with them. A book that tugs on the heart strings, and definitely veered in a direction I wasn't expecting. The reason I took off half a star is b 4.5 stars I have NO idea who allowed this to get published in the YA genre. It's risky, disturbing, and altogether, a masterpiece. It's not inappropriate just to be obscene; there's a moral behind it. It's so hard to describe. Lochan and Maya are self-aware, trapped in this miserable lifestyle that is so impossible yet I found myself absurdly empathizing with them. A book that tugs on the heart strings, and definitely veered in a direction I wasn't expecting. The reason I took off half a star is because this book was a bit "borderline" for me. Borderline too cheesy. Borderline too unrealistic. However, this was written so beautifully and and it is so different than anything I've ever read before, I have to give it credit. (also i'm upset because I didn't cry reading this book and I was so expecting that I would. I guess I jinxed it.)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    My second time reading this one was no easier than the first, in fact... it may have been more difficult. I would like to say I would never read this again, its too hard, but I know I will. One of my favorite books ever, it’s not an easy read, and it’s not for everyone, but I still stand by this: The most beautiful book I have ever read. LOVE IT! Lochie and Maya are unforgettable characters. This is an incredible and unforgettable story. My original review posted 12.5.12: You can close yo My second time reading this one was no easier than the first, in fact... it may have been more difficult. I would like to say I would never read this again, its too hard, but I know I will. One of my favorite books ever, it’s not an easy read, and it’s not for everyone, but I still stand by this: The most beautiful book I have ever read. LOVE IT! Lochie and Maya are unforgettable characters. This is an incredible and unforgettable story. My original review posted 12.5.12: You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel. I am a complete mess- a total wreck after reading this book. I’m not sure If I’ve ever felt quite as devastated after any book I have ever read. Two people in love- a love that nobody else could possibly understand. This is a love story. Between Lochan and Maya. Two best friends, who happen to be brother and sister. “You’re not just my brother, you’re my best friend.” Lochie and Maya are not typical teenagers. After being abandoned by their father, and having a absent mother, who spends way more time with her younger boyfriend than at home, Lochie and Maya bear the responsibility of running the household and caring for their three younger siblings. They love each other and count on each other. They are not much like siblings, more like partners. In school, Lochie is a little socially awkward. But at home with Maya, he is able to be himself completely. “No one’s ashamed of you Lochie. God, how could anyone be? We all know that without you this family would fall apart.” Only with Maya can I really be myself. We share the burden together and she is always on my side, by my side. I don’t want to need her, to depend on her, but I do, I really do. Lochie and Maya both started to develop romantic feelings for each other. Neither of them know what to do with these feelings, they try to fight them, but you can’t help how you feel. “There are no laws, no boundaries, on feelings. We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want. No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.” “We haven’t done anything wrong! How can love like this be called terrible when we’re not hurting anyone?” “How can something so wrong feel so right?” I know there is a huge stigma about love between siblings, but I swear, while reading this book- you will be rooting for them and their relationship. I wanted nothing for than for Lochie and Maya to be able to be together, love each other and have a happy ending. They loved each other so much and they just wanted to be together. “You’ve always been my best friend, my soul mate, and now I’ve fallen in love with you, too. Why is that such a crime? I want to be able to hold you and kiss you and- and do all the things people in love are allowed to do. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“We will. We’ll find a way, Maya, we have to.” This book was beautifully written. The characters were wonderful. I loved Lochan and Maya so much. It is a book that will have you contemplating everything you’ve assumed is right or wrong. Why are people so judgmental? Who is to decide who can and can’t love each other and be together? Why is it anyone’s business? If their love is consensual and not hurting anyone, what is the problem? I don’t see one personally. I do understand family members should never be able to procreate for obvious reasons, but It they just want to be together whats so wrong with that??? “They’ll never stop us. Not as long as this is what we both want. But you’ve got to stop thinking it’s wrong, Lochie. That’s just what other people think; it’s their problem, their stupid rules, their prejudices.” The end of this book seriously broke my heart. I can’t even think about it with out crying. Not only did I cry while reading, I cried after reading, I am still crying writing this. Such a tragic ending. I am hurting. I wanted so much more for them. (view spoiler)[ The very last thing I wanted was for Lochie to die. I saw the ending of this playing out in a lot of different ways, but him dying??? NOOOOOOOO! It was so awful. I am happy that Maya didn’t kill herself, even if it was just for the kid’s sake. Lochie never would have wanted that. He gave up his life to rescue mine, to rescue the children’s. That was what he wanted; that was his choice; that was the price he was willing to pay for me to continue living, for me to have a life worth living. If I die too, his ultimate sacrifice will have been in vain. (hide spoiler)] The writing was excellent, the story was one I will never forget. A ‘forbidden’ love story that everyone should read!!! Read: 12-2012 Re-Read: 5-2013

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lainey

    I am legitimately sobbing right now. Silent tears. I just need a couple days to collect my thoughts for review. This is honestly a book that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nomes

    I am out on my own little limb here in saying I did not care for this book *waves to all my goodreads buds who love it to the max* It is not the subject matter that irked me but rather the heavy-handed and melodramatic way in which it was handled. This book, IMO, is the equivalent to a daytime drama* ~ complete with sappy character names (Lochan, Maya, Kit, Tiffin and Willa are the children), over-wrought "true love" sentiments, parental issues of alcoholism, abandonment and abuse, and an oh-my-g I am out on my own little limb here in saying I did not care for this book *waves to all my goodreads buds who love it to the max* It is not the subject matter that irked me but rather the heavy-handed and melodramatic way in which it was handled. This book, IMO, is the equivalent to a daytime drama* ~ complete with sappy character names (Lochan, Maya, Kit, Tiffin and Willa are the children), over-wrought "true love" sentiments, parental issues of alcoholism, abandonment and abuse, and an oh-my-gosh extreme climax (designed either to make a statement or just for forbidden love shock angle?). The love Lochan feels for Maya (his sister) is all-consuming. In his mind it is love, no doubt, but it is a dark, all-consuming force. He is possessive, jealous, brooding and manipulative as he clings (and wrestles) with his desire for his sister. His intense love for her, and the way in which he declares it, is reminiscent of the romance Edward and Bella share in TWILIGHT (in intensity/forbiddeness/ and i-would-rather-die-than-face-the-world-without-you sentiments). It's hard-core, and Suzuma goes all out with poetic prose and cheesy statements. While Lochan's behaviour is certainly plausible (in a teen who's view of himself and the world is so polarised), I struggle with that version of "love" being shown as romantic ~ and being written in such a way to gain the sympathy of readers. It is rather creepy and obsessive (although softened somewhat by Lochan's own social phobias/mental health problems which make him a character some readers would long to care for). The only characters I really cared for in this book were Lochan and Maya's siblings, who are neglected and abandoned and I genuinely ached for them (although their problems take a back seat behind the incest-love-drama) I found the prose a little heavy to trudge through and the sex scenes a bit too explicit (okay, they were too tackily explicit) for my preference. FORBIDDEN is like a Romeo & Juliet forbidden love story with a sensationalist incest twist and an ending designed to shock and enrage readers on behalf of the characters. I get why it has garnered so much curiosity and also why so many people are gasping and weeping at the end. It is gripping and shocking and makes for an unrelenting read. It's quite dark and I felt like a heavy weight was sitting on my chest as I was reading it. Unfortunately, melodrama and all-consuming sweeping love acts/declarations in a "day-time drama setting" are just not really my thing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "How can something so wrong feel so right?" AMAZING. HEARTBREAKING. BEAUTIFUL. POWERFUL. AND SAD. SO, SO SAD... Forbidden was not an easy story to read. In fact, reading it was a real struggle at times. It made my heart ache and my eyes hurt with unshed tears. Until the very end, when the tears eventually did flow freely. But in the end, it was all worth it, because Forbidden was such a thoughtprovoking, powerful and emotional story and despite all the anguish and heartbreak in it, it's eas "How can something so wrong feel so right?" AMAZING. HEARTBREAKING. BEAUTIFUL. POWERFUL. AND SAD. SO, SO SAD... Forbidden was not an easy story to read. In fact, reading it was a real struggle at times. It made my heart ache and my eyes hurt with unshed tears. Until the very end, when the tears eventually did flow freely. But in the end, it was all worth it, because Forbidden was such a thoughtprovoking, powerful and emotional story and despite all the anguish and heartbreak in it, it's easily one of the best books I've ever read. ♦ Forbidden is the story about a sixteen year old girl and a seventeen year old boy who both mean the world to each other. Their life isn't an easy one. With a father that has left them several years ago, a mother who drinks more than is good for her and who doesn't have a sense of responsibility for her children whatsoever and 3 younger siblings to take care of, they're going through a rough patch to say the least. Bills need to be pain, dinner has to be made and the younger children need to be taken care of and all of these tasks fall upon the shoulders of the two older children of the household, Maya and Lochan. But amidst all of the chaos in their lives, there is one constant piece of comfort; the love Maya and Lochie have for each other and the strength that love brings them in order to move forward. MAYA "I might appear confident and chatty, but I spend most of my time laughing at jokes I don't find funny, saying things I don't really mean - because at the end of the day that's what we're all trying to do: fit in, one way or another, desperately trying to pretend we're all the same." "Before there was anything, there was Lochan. When I look back at my life, all sixteen years and a half of it, Lochan was always there." Maya has always had a special bond with Lochan. She considered him her best friend, and despite him being a year older, they've always been equals. She knows Lchan has trouble connecting to other people and she does whatever she can to make him smile and be happy, even if it's just for a minute. Slowly but surely, however, the feelings she has for him turn into so much more than just the love between siblings. And although she tries to hide it behind smiled and meaningless words, after a while it becomes harder and harder to hide her true feelings for him. LOCHAN "Only with Maya can I really be myself. We share the burden together and she is always on my side, by my side. I don't want to need her, to depend on her, but I do. I really do." Lochan has a really hard time communicating with other people, especially people his own age. At school, he never answers questions in class, never participates in oral assignment, never talks to anyone. He's intelligent and handsome but he has no friends, let alone a girlfriend. The only people he has no trouble spekking to are his brothers and sisters. And the only person he can really be himself with is his slightly younger sister Maya. She's the only one who understands him and supports him no matter what. Together, Maya and Lochan always pull each other through. They're not only brother and sister, but best friends as well. They're soulmates who can always count and rely on each other. But what happens when their love turns into something more than just the love for a family member? And how come, even though what feels so right and natural to them, is frowned upon by all the rest of society? This story made me think about those "unconventional" types of relationships and realize at people should be able to decide for themselves who they want to be with. Especially in the case of Maya and Lochie, who love each other so unconditionally, so irrevocably, who are we, "the society" to judge them and decide they can't be together? I think it's wrong to condemn them for expressing their true feelings and that as long as they harm no one else, why shouldn't they be allowed to live their live together, in peace... "The human body needs a constant flow of nourishment, air and love to survive. Without Maya, I lose all three; apart we will slowly die." "At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. Never." If you want to read a story that will amaze you, move you and stay with you for a very long time, then Forbidden is the perfect kind of read. Days after finishing it, I often still think about this unconventional love story that will make you want to root for the unfortunate ones. Lochie has to be one of the most tragic, loveable and unforgettable characters I've ever come across (view spoiler)[which made reading how his life ended at the end of the story, all the more heartbreaking. (hide spoiler)] . All in all, it was an absolute MUST READ that will from now on forever reside on my absolute favorites - shelf. "At the end of the day, it's all about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves. ♡

  20. 4 out of 5

    karen

    three stars is indicative of my personal enjoyment of the book, but that does not change the fact that this author has done something extraordinary, and this book should probably be read by most people. let's call this 3 3/4 stars for fun. why did i read this?? duh, obviously, i wanted to see what kind of writing chops this lady had to think she could write a Y/A book about brother-sister incest. how do you market the taboo to the teen set? this is the same impulse that made me read living dead g three stars is indicative of my personal enjoyment of the book, but that does not change the fact that this author has done something extraordinary, and this book should probably be read by most people. let's call this 3 3/4 stars for fun. why did i read this?? duh, obviously, i wanted to see what kind of writing chops this lady had to think she could write a Y/A book about brother-sister incest. how do you market the taboo to the teen set? this is the same impulse that made me read living dead girl - to take a peek at the mechanics of this kind of writing. i find it fascinating. how do you handle this kind of subject matter without going all-out lurid and titillating shock-value tawdry? greg, upon hearing i was reading this, volunteered to write a YA book about "a teen that fucks a dead dog." that one would be harder to pull off without crossing that poor taste line. this one manages very gracefully, and i am very impressed with both her restraint and her candor. because when i was a teen, books like forever were the big dirrrty books, and although i never read that one when i was young, i read it recently, and lord, is it boring. this book may not ultimately have managed to fall into my "best books ever" category, but that's just me and realistic YA, it's nothing lacking in the book.i still find her achievement impressive, and it is never boring. there are so many amazing things about this book. lochan and maya are two older teens raising up their three younger siblings while their single mom goes out trying to make up for all the fun she missed out on while she was stuck making all of them. their relationship is very much like that of any tired and harried young couple with young children, except for that little curveball that they are themselves siblings. in this claustrophobic environment of bill-paying and lunch-making and emergency room visits, while still attending high school with all of its pressures, they cling to each other emotionally, and eventually cross that line. some of this is facilitated by lochan's having zero social skills or even any social contact outside of the family. despite being some kind of academic star, he has some pretty seriously stunted emotional development and difficulty communicating outside of the family. maya is more complicated. she has a social set, she has friends and schoolgirl crushes, but nothing can compare to the bond she shares with lochan - their difficult childhood made them one soul divided and all that. there is a lot of slow build, and a lot of pushing away and second-guessing, which makes the idea more believable. nothing is done without considering the danger of the relationship, and the nutty thing is, i totally found myself rooting for them. this has to go on my icky-sex shelf because incest is still icky, but in this example, it is much less icky than usual because it is wholly consensual, and the circumstances are so unusual. not flowers in the attic unusual, but pretty close. but like flowers in the attic, there are consequences to every action. and they unspool pretty much as you expect, on the bitter side of bittersweet. definitely worth reading, just to see how it's all done. come to my blog!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

    Monday buddy reading with Rosa,Melissa and Meli :D This book broke my heart into pieces and I am still trying to recover from this emotionally intense and chocking reading!!! I struggle for words to describe a book that put me the dilemma of fobidden love between two sibblings....This is one very special book. It is not a book that will give you the happy ending! You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel. Anon F Monday buddy reading with Rosa,Melissa and Meli :D This book broke my heart into pieces and I am still trying to recover from this emotionally intense and chocking reading!!! I struggle for words to describe a book that put me the dilemma of fobidden love between two sibblings....This is one very special book. It is not a book that will give you the happy ending! You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel. Anon Forbidden is a story about Lochan and Maya who were the two elder siblings in the Whitely household.They had to tend to their three other siblings because their Dad left them while their Mum was an alcoholic who spends most of the time drunk with her boyfriend, Dave. They were forced to be stand-in parents for their younger siblings as her mother was hardly reliable... Hardships brought them closer together not just in ways that brothers and sisters were supposed to be.. Lochan and Maya's situation was hard.They have become practically the parents in their family,doing exactly every little things their parents should be doing for them.They formed a unique bond,a distinctive understanding care for each other and a forbidden relationship. They fell in love... "I find myself filled with a mixture of excitement and euphoria so strong that I don't want the moment to ever end..." "I love you far more than just as a brother I..I love you in-in every kind of way" "There are no laws no boundaries on feelings.We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want.No one Maya, no one can ever take that away from us." They try to fight it,they try everything but just can’t stop to feel what they are feeling... This book is so emotional and beautiful.Tabitha Suzuma has created something extremely special with this book.Open your mind up a bit and allow your heart to feel for these characters..Because if you do,you will find a story that will rock you to your emotional core and stay with you long after the last page is turned... During the reading of the book i was wondering all the time,what If it is love... just because is different...does it mean is wrong???? For more reviews you can check mine and Kristinas's blog. :D my link text

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*

    At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. Never This is a story about Forbidden love... When I say this is about Forbidden love I mean it. I am kinda tired of reading about contemporary "forbidden" stories as I always find a way for the characters to be together, I never feel their love is really that forbidden but this book tells us a story about something really forbidden by the society, by the world we live in... I think this is the book I've be At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. Never This is a story about Forbidden love... When I say this is about Forbidden love I mean it. I am kinda tired of reading about contemporary "forbidden" stories as I always find a way for the characters to be together, I never feel their love is really that forbidden but this book tells us a story about something really forbidden by the society, by the world we live in... I think this is the book I've been waiting on FOR EVER. When I read the plot I just loved it (yeah, you are probably thinking I am sick but I don't care). I knew I was gonna love this book but OMG, I never ever thought I was gonna love it that much. Locha & Maya are siblings but they are also best friends, they are also parents for their 3 younger siblings and they are also IN LOVE. They don't see each other as we all see our siblings, they are like a married couple, they share responsibilities they are not supposed to have taking into account they are so young but they simply have to. You might want to read this from the author, she explains why she wrote this book and she tells how she also had to take care of her younger siblings: http://tabithasuzuma.blogspot.com.es/... If there's one thing my mother excels at, it's minding her own business Their mother just doesn't give a shit about her kids, she is just "leaving the dream", she is dating someone and she just doesn't care about her family... She thinks Locha & Maya should skip school and start working so they can pay for everything (as if taking care of their siblings is not enough). Because at the end of the day that's what we're all trying to do: fit in, one way or another, desperately trying to pretend we're all the same Guys don't panic, this story is not a drama all the time. Lochie & Maya are best friends and they care for each other, they are funny, they are PERFECT... "I've never seen anyone sleep with their head hanging off the back of a wooden chair before - was the couch not comfortable enough for you?" But one day everything changes because Lochie realizes he feels much more for Maya... I just forgot for one insane moment, that Maya was my sister How I wish she wouldn't walk around in that thing; how I wish her copper hair wasn't so long and shiny; how I wish she didn't have those eyes, that she wouldn't just wander in uninvited. How I wish the sight of her didn't fill me with such unease, twisting my insides, tensing every muscle in my body, setting my pulse thrumming And one day the are alone at home, they start dancing salsa and they both realized they love being together, they love the feel of their bodies together... Lochie decides to stay as much away as possible from her and she thinks dating someone else might be a good idea, although... "He is my soul mate, my fresh air, the reason I look forward to getting up every morning" It's always nice being fancied. It's always nice being wanted. Even if it's by the wrong person Lochie tries to convince himself that Maya's date is a good idea but he is obviously suffering... How it is possible to hurt so much when nothing is wrong Nico is a nice guy but Maya is not even remotely interested in him and when he tries to kiss her she just refuses kissing him and goes home... and this happens to be one of the best scenes of the book. Lochie starts questioning her about the date, he is so jealous he is even accusing her of being like their mother so she has to explain him everything, including the reason why she was not able to kiss Nico. Lochie's lips are rough yet smooth, hard yet gentle. His fingers are strong: I feel them in my hair and on my neck and down my arms and against my back. And I never want him to let me go [image error] How can something so wrong feel so right? But they know their situation is not easy so they try to stop their feelings but they obviously fail because they love each other too much. At the end of the day, what the hell does it matter who I end up with if it can't be you? I love you, so much that it's killing me, yet all I can do is push you away and hurt you until eventually your love will turn to hate Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves As I don't really want to spoil the story because the second part of the book is really hard (yet beautiful), I am just gonna talk about my favorite parts/quotes of the second half of the book: *The bracelet moment "Maya, love you for ever. Lochan x" *But I don't want to be fine, not if it means she's going to let go of my hand; not if it means we're going to go back to being polite strangers * "There are no laws, no boundaries on feelings. We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want. No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us" *Their Ashmoore Park moment: *The love they have for their younger siblings. I loved all of them, even Kit (I forgive you). * "Whatever happens, there will always be us" * "In sickness and in health?" she asks. "Till death us do part?" I shake my head. "Way beyond that," I say. "For ever" * "If the phone rings, I'm unplugging it, I swear to God-" "You'd do that to your five-year-old sister?" I gasp in mock outrage. "For one whole night alone? Jesus, Maya, I'd sell her to the gypsies!" This book make me stop and think. I am never going to forget the feelings I had while reading it, I am never gonna forget the tears, the good and bad moments. What I do know is I will never ever judge any kind of relationship as you never know what you would do until you experience something. Judging is easy and even though this is fiction we never know how many siblings have been in this situation before and maybe if people were less judgemental we could live in a better world. Tabitha many thanks for this book, for these characters that will live with me FOR EVER. One last thing, I would love this book to be published in spanish as there are a lot of spanish people who wanna read it and they don't speak english so if you can take a second and have a look on the below link I would really appreciate it: http://www.activism.com/es_ES/peticio... You just need to click on firmar con facebook (sign with you FB account) or twitter I really recommend this AMAZING book to EVERYONE, guys pls read it :) ----------- RE-READ & BR ON MAY 2013. RE-LOVED IT. Thanks Pavlina, Melissa and Meli for making me read this one again. x

  23. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Actual Rating 4.5 stars I truly enjoyed this book. It is tragic, painful and beautiful. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND IT. It is a fantastic book, it makes you HURT, it makes you THINK, QUESTION; and I am sure it causes controversies for many people. I know that is classified as a young-adult book, but despite the fact that the main characters are teenagers I don’t really think that young-adults are the best audience, in fact I believe this book can be better understood, savored and felt if the readers Actual Rating 4.5 stars I truly enjoyed this book. It is tragic, painful and beautiful. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND IT. It is a fantastic book, it makes you HURT, it makes you THINK, QUESTION; and I am sure it causes controversies for many people. I know that is classified as a young-adult book, but despite the fact that the main characters are teenagers I don’t really think that young-adults are the best audience, in fact I believe this book can be better understood, savored and felt if the readers are adults. I am not saying that teenagers should not read, not at all, they absolutely should, I am saying that adults should definitely read Forbidden, that it would be a real loss to discard this book because is directed for a younger public. I think Suzuma did a great job showing us the isolation of the characters to the rest of the world, while at the same time showing the weight that the world, the society had on them, that it has on us all. It was a fantastic juxtaposition, we are alone in the world and yet we never are. It makes you think and wonder about the importance and pointlessness of it all, and about the great impotency that we can feel in our lives. There are two reasons I didn't give Forbidden 5 stars: 1- I saw the end coming a mile away since there was no other way left for the resolution of the book. 2- In my opinion, it could have been much much better with a slightly different end. Forbidden could have been more tragic, more powerful and thus the point better made. HUGE SPOILER COMING, IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK YET, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, OPEN THE FOLLOWING HIDDEN SPOILER, YOU WOULD RUIN THE ENTIRE BOOK IF YOU DO. I REPEAT: DO NOT READ THE SPOILER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I know many will disagree with me in this regard but (view spoiler)[ I do honestly think that Maya’s death would have made the book stronger and more coherent (I am talking about having two deaths not just the one) (hide spoiler)] . It would have brought the tragedy of it all to a higher ground, made it more palpable, MORE CATASTROPHIC and it would have made this book truly memorable. Of course I understand why the writer chose not to write this end, I respect her decision; I just personally believe it was a mistake not to do so. This book should be read, no matter what you think about the topic, whether it disgust you or warms your heart, IT SHOULD BE READ. Read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest It's been a while since I was able to finish a book properly. I've been so busy with work that when I get home, instead of reading, I just go to sleep instead. FORBIDDEN isn't really the type of book that keeps you coming back for more and leaves you with sweet dreams, anyway. It's one of those melodramatic tearjerkers that feels an awful lot like watching a train wreck happen in real time.   The plot of this story could basically be summ Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest It's been a while since I was able to finish a book properly. I've been so busy with work that when I get home, instead of reading, I just go to sleep instead. FORBIDDEN isn't really the type of book that keeps you coming back for more and leaves you with sweet dreams, anyway. It's one of those melodramatic tearjerkers that feels an awful lot like watching a train wreck happen in real time.   The plot of this story could basically be summarized as Romeo and Juliet with incest, written in young adult format. Lochan and Maya live in a dysfunctional household. Their father jumped ship and their mother is a low-functioning alcoholic. When they're not at school, they're taking care of their three younger siblings: Tiffin, Willa, and Kit. They've been forced into the role of parents, in a non-traditional relationship, so given how messed up their home life is, and the nature of their interactions with one another, it isn't too surprising then when they start to act more like husband and wife than brother and sister, or that behavior takes a more sexual turn. I believe this started as a self-published work. It's very polished and displays a depth and emotional complexity that I often find to be lacking from most self-published work (and most traditionally-published work, too, to be fair). Lochan and Maya both know that what they're doing and feeling is wrong, but find themselves unable to fight the tide that's driving them closer together as their attraction and obsessive need for one another mounts. This really isn't a romance, in my opinion, both because it doesn't have a happy ending and because their relationship isn't romanticized or eroticized by the author. The characters are attracted to each other, but it's still quite clearly portrayed as bad. Comparisons to FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC are inevitable, and while I really enjoyed that book and they are quite similar stories in some ways, I feel like the end goal is different. FitA was, in my opinion, written to shock and titillate, whereas this book feels less sensationalistic and more grimly realistic in its portrayal of dysfunctional families and the many shapes of abuse. I do think the relationship between them was abusive, and I think Maya was actually the worst of the two of them. She was the one who kept driving them closer, even when Lochan wanted to pull away. I thought it was very interesting that the author brought up female abusers, and how nobody ever believes their male (or female) accusers or even believes that there is such a thing, because in some ways, Maya really could be abusive (the things she said to Lochan when he tried desperately to end their relationship, how she didn't stop when he said 'no'). I don't think that was accidental. Honestly, except for Lochan, I hated most of the characters in this book. The mom was awful, of course. Maya was manipulative. Willa and Kit and Tiffin were so annoying. Lochan was the true victim in this story, in my opinion, and while the doomed relationship may have been initiated at least in part by both of them, Maya was the one responsible for carrying it to its cruel and final end. 4 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abbi Glines

    I don't know how to rate this book so therefore I'm not going to. I can say that it is very well written. The author is incredibly talented. To draw such emotion through an extremely taboo topic takes pure talent. I couldn't do it because I'm just not that good. The children in this story have such a sad but unfortunately real situation. The fact the two eldest of the five kids fall in love does bother me. I couldn't accept it. BUT that doesn't mean it wasn't a heart wrenching story. If you like I don't know how to rate this book so therefore I'm not going to. I can say that it is very well written. The author is incredibly talented. To draw such emotion through an extremely taboo topic takes pure talent. I couldn't do it because I'm just not that good. The children in this story have such a sad but unfortunately real situation. The fact the two eldest of the five kids fall in love does bother me. I couldn't accept it. BUT that doesn't mean it wasn't a heart wrenching story. If you like tear jerkers then this is the book for you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dilek VT

    Do dare to read this. It is an epic story... 5 stars multiplied by a gazillion more!!!! Sad story I have finished reading the book but not done crying yet... It ends incredibly painfully and I am writing these sentences in full bloody tears. (view spoiler)[ No HEA (hide spoiler)] Would I recommend it? Oh definitely, that was an epic read! You should read it if you can handle "pain" to the boundaries of “self-torture". It is heartwrenchingly beautiful and maybe the beauty of it is in its unbearable s Do dare to read this. It is an epic story... 5 stars multiplied by a gazillion more!!!! Sad story I have finished reading the book but not done crying yet... It ends incredibly painfully and I am writing these sentences in full bloody tears. (view spoiler)[ No HEA (hide spoiler)] Would I recommend it? Oh definitely, that was an epic read! You should read it if you can handle "pain" to the boundaries of “self-torture". It is heartwrenchingly beautiful and maybe the beauty of it is in its unbearable sadness. And the way it is written.. Wow, just wow... it is "poetic" ! You will read it with a lump in your throat – no other way is possible. Sobbing is inevitable every now and then but towards the end, the dose of the pain increases and the finale throws you on the floor crying out loud! I am still bawling my eyes out... Whenever I think of them, I start to burst into tears again and again.... The plot: The book deals with a very touchy/delicate topic: Consensual incest Well, I had never thought about consensual incest before so this story presented something new, something to ponder about. I am never judgmental about any kind of love so I read it with an open mind and heart. Although they were brother and sister, I was not disturbed or disgusted by their love as some may. I embraced them. I felt deeply sorry for them. I pitied them for their faulty upbringing by their worthless mother! (P.S. However, if it were a parent/child incest, I wouldn't even start to read it, it is off limits for me!) Purely emotional - no smut! This book is not smut, this is not erotica - if you expect it to be, then, you will be disappointed! The story of these siblings was told in such a beautiful way, revealing the hearts and minds of both Lochan and Maya that I felt their hopelessness, their sorrow, their desperation, their fear and struggle and then I found myself understanding and accepting them rather than judge or condemn them. I know many people felt the same way. In the reviews I have read, many people said they wished they could make it. They wished they could build a life together. So many readers wished there would be a happy end for them. Well, this is the success of the writer!!! If a writer can make so many people feel like that about a subject such as “incest”, then it is really the “proof of her talent”. To write a book about something so wrong and make it so good requires great talent! Even if you are disturbed by the idea of incest, I think you should still give the book a try and read their unbelievable story, how much they loved each other, how much they feared, how much they suffered, how much they questioned and tortured themselves and then I hope you will understand that "pure love" is never a crime and should not be treated as one and if no one is hurting anyone, and it feels so right, it can't be so wrong... No encouragement of incest If you are not only disturbed but also disgusted by the idea of incest, irritated to your bones, then maybe this book is not meant for you. But, don’t get it wrong, please, this book does not encourage incest. It just reveals the painful consequences even if it is consensual and leaves the readers with a lesson: You should not judge anything or anyone easily by just looking at things on the surface. You never know what they live or what they go through deep down. Here are some beautiful QUOTES from the book: “At what point does a fly give up trying to escape through a closed window–do its survival instincts keep it going until it is physically capable of no more, or does it eventually learn after one crash too many that there is no way out? At what point do you decide that enough is enough?” *** “Any guy, even imaginary, would just feel like second best. Second best to what? I don't even have an image of the perfect boyfriend. I just know he must exist. Because I have all these feelings-love, longing, wanting to be touched, dreaming of being kissed-yet no one to focus them on.” “I don't know when it started - this thing - but it's growing, muffling me, suffocating me like poison ivy. I grew into it. It grew into me. We blurred at the edges, became an amorphous, seeping, crawling thing.” *** “At the end of the day it's about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.” *** “I love you in–in every kind of way.’ ‘I feel like that too . . .’ His voice is shocked and raw. ‘It’s – it’s a feeling so big I sometimes think it’s going to swallow me. It’s so strong I feel it could kill me. It keeps growing and I can’t – I don’t know what to do to stop it. But – but we’re not supposed to do this – to love each other like this!” *** “And I know how he feels—it’s so good it hurts. I think I’m going to die from happiness. I think I’m going to die from pain. Time has stopped; time is racing.” “I mean, at the end of the day, what the hell does it matter who I end up with if it can't be you?” *** “If I keep breathing, then I have to keep living, and if I keep living, then I have to keep hurting, and I can't - not like this.” *** “Lochie. The boy I once loved. The boy I still love. The boy I will continue to love, even when my part in this world is over too.” *** “How can something so wrong feel so right?” *** “Everyone else is permitted to have what they want, express their love as they please, without fear of harassment, ostracism, persecution or even the law. Even emotionally abusive, adulterous relationships are often tolerated, despite the harm they cause others. In our progressive, permissive society, all these harmful, unhealthy types of 'love' are allowed - but not ours.” Well, let me end by saying that this is an unforgettable book and it is definitely worth all the tears I have shed...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Love is right, incest is wrong. But can the two exist within the same relationship? I love books that make me think, and I love books that make me feel. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma made me do both. It's an incredibly powerful story about Lochan and Maya, siblings born only thirteen months apart. Though they are only seventeen and sixteen respectively, they act as the adults of their household: taking care of three younger siblings, managing financial affairs, all on top of completing their school Love is right, incest is wrong. But can the two exist within the same relationship? I love books that make me think, and I love books that make me feel. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma made me do both. It's an incredibly powerful story about Lochan and Maya, siblings born only thirteen months apart. Though they are only seventeen and sixteen respectively, they act as the adults of their household: taking care of three younger siblings, managing financial affairs, all on top of completing their schoolwork too. Falling in love only complicates matters - their relationship is sinful yet impossible to stop, and they will do whatever it takes to keep it hidden while allowing it continue... Incest. Incest, incest, incest. Incest is one of those dirty, taboo topics that are reserved for quick condemnation and hushed conversations. It takes some serious courage to write a book like Forbidden, and Tabitha Suzuma managed to not only make it thought-provoking, but emotionally moving as well. Lochan and Maya's romance was beautiful. The pacing and execution of the plot was perfect, as it developed the bond between the two but did not overshadow other aspects of the story. Their feelings of doubt, pain, and passion are so realistic and raw that you'll end up cheering for this couple despite society's predetermined bias against them. This book raises a plethora of potential discussion questions. Is it really wrong? If it's true and consensual love, should incest still be considered dirty and disgusting? Also, if Lochan and Maya had been raised in a "normal" household, would they still have turned out the way they did? Or would they have grown up and fallen in love with people other than each other? To be honest, I'm still thinking about this book and the puzzles it presents. One thing I do believe for sure is that Lochan and Maya's love was just as valid as any other couples', if not more so. And yet, they are brother and sister... but does that even matter? Forbidden has made me reevaluate my beliefs regarding an issue that I always held the same stance on, and I'm sure it'll challenge many readers in the same way. Tabitha Suzuma is a talented author I now have my eye on and I'm looking forward to reading more books written by her. *cross-posted from my blog, the quiet voice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aya Hamza

    “How can something so wrong feel so right?” Don’t bring children to the world if you don’t want them, or won't take good care of them! * For both mothers and fathers. 3.5 stars because I predicted things that would happen along the last 20% of the book. Buddy read with my fav, Amira! (Click if you want to check out her review). TRIGGER-WARNING: Abuse (emotional) and incest. This book has an interesting and heart-breaking topic to discuss "Love between siblings, especially between a “How can something so wrong feel so right?” Don’t bring children to the world if you don’t want them, or won't take good care of them! * For both mothers and fathers. 3.5 stars because I predicted things that would happen along the last 20% of the book. Buddy read with my fav, Amira! (Click if you want to check out her review). TRIGGER-WARNING: Abuse (emotional) and incest. This book has an interesting and heart-breaking topic to discuss "Love between siblings, especially between a brother and a sister" , and I have never read about such a thing before! So, this was a new experience for me. It was a heavy book for me. Writing-Style: This book is written beautifully, even though it is super easy to read. But it took long time to read because I couldn't read about their pain and struggle. Plot: I didn't feel this book is mainly about incest, but is about their family dysfunction and how this affected their life. When you read it you feel that Lochan and Maya are like parents to their younger siblings. They had to struggle together to live with this Alcoholic mother's negligence. And I know if they had a normal environment, that would never happened to them. Characters: 1) Lochan: You feel he is making effort while talking to people. That's how I felt with his narration voice. Lots of stuttering and shaking in his voice. He suffers from "social phobia". I felt connected to this character and how it is so realistic. 2) Maya: I couldn't connect to this character. I felt her always pushing Lochan to do what he doesn't want to. She was so irritating to me. 3) Their mother: I can't tell how much I hate this character. And I think the author was very successful in making me hate such a character. When you read more and more through the book you will feel how bad this character is made. 4) Willa: The most one I felt she was like their child. She was so sweet. End: It was so heart-breaking and tragic but I predicted it! I don't know how but this was the only imagination for such a book. Overall: I enjoyed reading this book. It made me think a lot. It was an eye-opening experience because I never thought of this topic in a consensual not abusive way. But I don't feel the book was written to make us feel the incest may be something right and acceptable in the future, because I still feel disgusted, scared and mind blown -that's away from any religious thoughts because we all know it-.

  29. 5 out of 5

    V. A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you to include it in the choice awards

    Intense, dramatic, heart breaking well written and 100% "morally complicated YA" Above all this is a book about LOVE. And love is always a good reason to read a book. I'm all for books that are different and play with dark themes. However this is not an easy read. It's heartbreaking at times and the themes can throw off plenty of readers. But if you like me, have preference for books in which love is challenged, where the characters have to fight for their love, you have to read this. This book i Intense, dramatic, heart breaking well written and 100% "morally complicated YA" Above all this is a book about LOVE. And love is always a good reason to read a book. I'm all for books that are different and play with dark themes. However this is not an easy read. It's heartbreaking at times and the themes can throw off plenty of readers. But if you like me, have preference for books in which love is challenged, where the characters have to fight for their love, you have to read this. This book is a perfect example that the YA genre is more than what people give it credit for. I found this book to be more awe-inspiring than many books in which the main character is an adult. Read it if you want something different and full of love.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    Let's not beat around the bush - the "forbidden" of the title refers to incest. Between teenagers. The taboo that normally results in the immediate knee-jerk horrified reaction. In this way, it reminded me of Lolita - another book meant to disturb the reader, which is the point. And its sadness reminded me of another story of a consensual but doomed love - Brokeback Mountain. "Yet that’s who we’ve become. Two people in love." The doomed love between 16-year-old Maya and her 17-year-old brother Let's not beat around the bush - the "forbidden" of the title refers to incest. Between teenagers. The taboo that normally results in the immediate knee-jerk horrified reaction. In this way, it reminded me of Lolita - another book meant to disturb the reader, which is the point. And its sadness reminded me of another story of a consensual but doomed love - Brokeback Mountain. "Yet that’s who we’ve become. Two people in love." The doomed love between 16-year-old Maya and her 17-year-old brother Lochan is NOT ever depicted in the alluring "forbidden fruit" way. I would have thrown it across the room had it done that in the sick voyeristic way that is popular with fanfiction nowadays. But this book does not EVER stoop to that level. I cannot imagine readers wanting to ever find themselves in a similar situation as these two kids end up in. If anything, Forbidden is a cautionary tale of the consequences of letting yourself experience the emotions that go against societal conventions, against its deep and ingrained taboos. "Yet the one kind of love that will never be allowed hasn’t even crossed her mind. The one love so disgusting and taboo, it isn’t even included in a conversation about illicit relationships." To clarify my own stand on this - I have ZERO problem with any kind of sexual relationship between consenting adults, no matter whether I agree with their chosen practice or not. It's not my business to judge. However, Tabitha Suzuma, as though anticipating my "whatevs" attitude takes it a step further and makes it harder to stomach by replacing the 'consenting adults' with 'consenting teenagers'. In our society hell-bent on protecting our children this makes a difference, doesn't it? (Additionally, I've learned that consensual incest EVEN BETWEEN ADULTS is a crime punishable by prison sentence in England. Really tough luck for Lochan and Maya here). "We haven’t done anything wrong! How can love like this be called terrible when we’re not hurting anyone?" The incest part surely grabs the readers' attention - that's the point of breaking a taboo, innit? (See, I can so use my Britishisms!) But I could not let it overshadow the background in which it occurs. Because this book is not about incest alone - it is about the horror and dread of abandonment, fear, and despair. It is about the pain of children forced to take on the roles for which they are not yet prepared. Lochan and Maya's closeness is in part due to the shared responsibility of playing the parental role to their three younger siblings, who need these two teens to serve the role of parents, and yet often resent them for doing so. The five Whitely children have been abandoned by their father shortly after divorce, and their alcoholic promiscuous flighty and resentful mother is pretty much completely absent from their lives. Lochan and Maya desperately attempt to keep their family together and not lose each other to foster homes, but they are beginning to crack under the struggle of responsibility to keep the crumbling façade of normalcy in their family. And their forbidden love is making things even harder, adding a terrible fear of discovery and, of course, family break-up and imprisonment. Lochan is fully resigned to being a surrogate father to the three little siblings, and never even contemplates running away from this responsibility. But he is already in the place where he is about to crack. He is extremely lonely, suffering from crippling social anxiety, with his sister being his only friend. His siblings, especially Kit in his teenage cruelty, begin to resent him stepping into the father role. His mother denigrates him at every moment she's actually there. Maya, a friendly and sweet girl, is the only person who is keeping Lochan together while replacing the absent mother for the younger children. My heart was breaking for these teenagers. For them taking on the roles they were not prepared for, for this responsibility stripping them of their childhood and forcing them to be parents. I was so incredibly angry at their mother who would have seemed caricaturish to me if I haven't seen real life people behaving in the same despicable fashion to their kids (spend some time in pediatric ER and you'll be amazed and horrified). To say these kids are messed up is an understatement. They are biting off way more than they can chew, and they are doing it with such ADULT resignation and determination that I almost cried. At their age they are old enough for the responsibility - but as teenagers they also need the luxury of being self-centered and taken care of - the luxury they don't have. They are expected to be parents at home and regular ordinary teenagers at school. They are caught in the middle, unable to make everyone happy. No wonder they have no one else to turn to besides each other. But at the same time, Suzuma does not let the reader off the uncomfortable hook by attributing Lochan and Maya's forbidden love only to the loneliness and abandonment by the adults (the situation which we can righteously shrug off as the last resort of messed up children). She brings in the true feelings of love and longing and desire - which we would applaud if only these two did not happen to share quite a bit of their DNA. ‘So nothing is taboo any more?’ I interrupt. ‘You’re saying there are no two people who, if they love each other enough, should be forced apart?’ And to make it more explicit, Suzuma asks an uncomfortable question - what IS wrong with love between these consenting teenagers? Is it right to judge them? Who are they hurting with their little stolen moments of happiness? What is the point of our taboo, our instinctive "ewwwww!"? In a society that came to (often grudgingly) accept the "less conventional" forms of love, why are we as a society so uncomfortable with this situation and hell-bent on denying love to these young people? And no, "because it's icky" and "ewww" are not the valid answers to this question. Shouldn't we just let people be? This book does not condone incest as much as it condemns being judgmental and intolerant, and the fear and misery resulting from such attitudes. This is a book about abandonment and crippling loneliness in a broken environment. This is the book about the precarious balance of love and responsibility. It takes the uncomfortable and sensitive subject and treats it with respect and tactfulness, avoiding most possible pitfalls save for quite a bit of melodramaticism. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Is this book perfect? No, far from it. But it's brave and gutsy - especially for a YA book (it must be meant for mature teenagers), and for this I enjoyed it. It pushes the "agenda" of love and tolerance, and that's one of the few agendas that I don't mind. For all of this I will give it 4 stars, easily glossing over its faults.

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