Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences ... How can something so wrong feel so right?
**Summary taken from Goodreads**
I didn't have any desire to read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma when i first heard about it. Issues such as incest challenged my beliefs and frankly, squick factor. But after seeing all the wonderful reviews i knew i had to let my beliefs be challenged, to climb out of my comfort zone and read this book.
Forbidden tells the story of Lochan seventeen and his sister Maya sixteen. The teenagers don't have an ordinary life, they can't go out with friends and have fun, they don't have the pleasure of being a typical teenager. Their dad left when they were younger, and with a neglectful alcoholic mother who is only interested in herself, acting young and being with her boyfriend, i hated the mother with a deep intensity, i kept waiting for her to see these wonderful children and love them as they deserved but she never did. The responsibility of younger siblings Kit, Willa and Tiffin falls to the young teens. When other kids are worrying over the simplicity of what clothes to wear, Lochan and Maya have to deal with do they have enough money to pay bills, buy food and to keep social services from splitting them up.
Gosh, this story really tugged at my heart, as each page unfolded and i learned more of this family, so dysfunctional but yet it had a lot of love between all the siblings. A large chunk of the book didn't even touch on the taboo, instead you were taken day by day through the struggles the family had to deal with. Maya was a happy friendly loving girl, Lochan i felt so bad for him as the chapters went by, he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He suffered terribly from panic attacks and the author painted a wonderful description of this, i wanted to jump into the pages and help the poor boy breath and calm. His anxiety is so bad he can barely say a word while he is at school despite the help from a well meaning teacher, it's only at home with Maya and his family he can relax smile and speak.
It is during the first half of the book that you can understand why the pair would be drawn to each other, Lochan and Maya were heavily reliant on the other for everything, keeping their family together was a huge burden for them. I felt so invested in them both that when their first kiss happened i began to want a happily ever after for them despite their fate being set. The author pulled at every heart string i had, here was two children who had this whole world of responsibility thrust upon them and all they had done wrong was to care for the person the world said they couldn't. They tried to stay apart, to suppress all those feelings and emotion but ultimately it was too strong to last for long and thy gravitated back together and the forbidden.
we are being punished by the world for just one simple reason: for having being produced by the same woman
If i keep breathing, then i have to keep living, and if i keep living i have to keep hurting, and i can't - not like this
I wasn't surprised at the outcome, it was inevitable, the last few chapters were so hard to read, they take you on such an emotional heart wrenching roller coaster that i did want to abandon the book, but i was so invested in these characters i had to pull on my big girl panties and see it through to the end.
Forbidden is a book that will stay with me for a long time, the content shocks and makes you war with your inner beliefs because all you want for the pair is happiness together. Wonderful writing from the author, at times i wished the pace was a little faster, and although i understood why we needed to know each and every daily activities i felt there was a few chapters too many of this but overall this is a book i will think of often, Lochan and Maya made me laugh and smile and feel utter sadness and turned all my inbuilt beliefs on their head.
Sidenote: I liked that it was set in the UK, it was nice to see familiarity in places and phrases.
I give Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma 4 Sparkles out of 5. A captivating compelling read.
For Author/Release info go HERE