Forbidden by TABITHA SUZUMA
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 (goodreads).
It's a good sign when the only reason I will put a book down is when my boyfriend sleepily mumbles something about it being late and that he can't sleep with the lamp on. Forbidden was definitely worth the lack of sleep (and lack of productivity in my day), I was completely captivated from page one!
The Whitely's have an unusual family set up. The dad has uprooted and found a new family in Australia, the mother has all but moved in with her lover Dave and the two older siblings are forced to play the role of mommy and daddy to the three younger siblings. While they are busy sorting out who will pay the bills, cook dinners on certain days and then go tackle their own school work, Lochan and Maya fall in love and test the limits of how far they can go.
I love edgy topics, I love anything society deems forbidden and this seems like the ultimate taboo so I had to get my hands on it. First off, Suzuma has such a way with words it's breathtakingly beautiful. The descriptions are so poetic and the emotions are so raw, the reader will fall in love within the first chapter. Suzuma has this amazing talent where she can make the reader feel uncomfortable with the topic in one chapter, then have the reader cheer on the characters and feel for their love in another. It took me a while to figure out how I felt about the topic because Suzuma will make you uncomfortable, which I appreciate as a reader.The alternating perspective is always interesting in books, but the reader experiences it to the full effect with this book. With the alternating perspective we find out how both Maya and Lochan react to their secret love affair, how it affects their social lives as well as their role at home.
These tragic characters also continue to pull at your heart strings hours after you turn the final page. Lochan and Maya are such selfless characters, they do everything in their power to ensure that their siblings have a (semi) normal childhood even if it results in a nervous breakdown or utter exhaustion. Even though the audience is aware that these two lovers are headed for a dead end, you can't help but hope with them that they will get their happily ever after, away from the prying eyes of society. What I like about these two characters is that they both understand the consequences of their actions. They both know it's frowned upon, even though they don't understand why; they even go as far as to explore the psychological reasons why they are together. They aren't stupid, they know the dangers, but they can't stay away.
If there was a guidebook on how to do incest correctly, Suzuma was on point all throughout the novel. The book is edgy but filled with a lot heart. I recommend this for people who are willing to explore such a taboo topic with an open mind, and those who don't mind shedding a few tears throughout the novel.