Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: Forbidden

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: May 27th 2010
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right.

This has got to be one of the most magnificent and moving novels I have ever read. There are no mysteries, big twists, smoke or mirrors. It is just a simple story about two siblings and the hardships they face, but what a story it is. Beautiful. Perfect. Incest. Sex. Incest. Perfect. Beautiful. Get those things drilled into your head now, especially the beautiful part. I've never been one to shy away from taboo subjects, so I had no problem reading this and it felt just like any other romance. I was not squicked out in any way and actually cheered on the love scenes. Is that a little odd? Maybe, but I'm able to separate my worlds. I'd probably be disturbed by incest in reality but in fiction, I'm perfectly okay with it. I think the majority of readers will find it a bit confronting but again, this is just me.

Right off the bat, we are thrown into the chaotic lives of Lochan and Maya as they try to keep their family together, all on their own, along with keeping up their grades at school. Their mother refuses to take responsibility and constantly spends her money on and for her boyfriend who is simply using her. The younger kids just don't understand what their older siblings are going through, so what are they to do? At the end of the day, Lochan and Maya are burnt out and miserable until slowly they come to the realisation that being together brightens their day and provides them with the support they don't get anywhere else.

Lochan and Maya are adorably sweet from the very beginning. Honestly, chapter one and I was there, even though the romance (or even, the hint of romance) didn't come in until quite a while later. It was obvious and easy to see how much the two trusted and depended on each other. It was heartwarming and not sickening at all, natural even. Even without being comfortable with the subject matter like I am, I think you will find that the author writes the relationship in such a way that makes it beautiful. This isn't some sick and twisted psychological thriller. This is a romance between two best friends who happen to share the same devil of a mother.

There isn't much to say about this novel without ruining it. It's something that everyone must read and experience. I don't think I can say it enough: Forbidden is beautiful. The characters are amazing (the whole family!), the writing style flows and conveys the mood perfectly, the plot is interesting, the romance is gripping, addictive, heartbreaking and steamy… It's really not possible to read this without being emotionally affected in some way. You'll laugh with the characters, cry with them, start feeling a little warm and get completely agitated too. It's all there and waiting to be unwrapped, like the best Christmas present on the planet. This novel has an amazing ending. It is so powerful, like the rest of the book, and will stay with you long after completion.

Find Tabitha on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Forbidden on Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and Borders.
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