Book Review: Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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.

CW: incest, panic attacks, parental neglect

Lochan, a seventeen-year-old boy falls in love with Maya, his sixteen-year-old sister, and the feelings are shared by her.Their life is not normal (obviously). They’re parenting their other three younger siblings because their family situation is weird. They’re almost abandoned by their mother who is usually gone from the house or is either passed out drunk, and it all embarks after her divorce with her husband.

Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. I feel like I’ve entered some weird dimension even though I’m just in the confines of my own bedroom. Sobbing into the pillow so no one is able to hear. I’m feeling weirdly claustrophobic, utterly devastated and a million things more that are described using a negative adjective.

I didn’t know a book could make you feel like that. I didn’t know I’d actually witness something so cruel unfold in front of me. Ever since I opened this book, I had a sharp pang in my belly. I didn’t know I’d feel so much about any character and their predicaments in my entire life. I didn’t know I’d want to hug someone so tightly and comfort them.

This is the only book I’ve read by Tabitha Suzuma and I am really impressed. The writing is so raw, so pure. This book doesn’t romanticize incest and is utterly painful. The confusion, hurt, loyalty, abandonment, and devastation of the main characters are truthfully portrayed. I love the main characters–and I hate their parents, who are absolute douchebags and pieces of shit. I knew what I was signing up for. I was secretly wishing for so many good things to happen to them and prevent all the tears and hurt that came their way.I wanted for the mother to appear and start investing in the lives of kids and make it all okay. I wanted to smack her so many times and make her understand that whatever she did injured the kids. I wanted her to act like an adult. I wanted Lochan and Maya to be responsible.I haven’t felt as much for other book characters as I’ve felt for Lochan, Maya and their little siblings. I’d say what I felt for the little kids was way stronger than what I felt for Lochan and Maya.I liked reading the story in both of their point of views. It made it a little more personal and it was like they were confiding in me, not just narrating it.

I’d like to recommend it to someone who wants to give themselves pain.If you are a mature teen who has no problem reading incest, you may read it. It’s definitely not for everyone and it involves some sexual scenes between siblings which may gross you out.It’s beautifully written with a lot of emotion. If you don’t like sad (depressing) books, just don’t touch it. Because obviously it is painful just like it has to be.

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