Friday, August 31, 2012

Review - Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

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. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
I wasn't sure what to make of this novel when I first picked it up. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma sat on my shelves for a LONG time before I ever even decided to open the cover. I knew what the book was about and that very subject matter was what made me severely dislike The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I am aware that turns out not to be the case in that particular series, but the way the author goes about the relationship made me nauseous in that story.

I'm not sure why this book was so different for me. In the back of my mind I'm agreeing with Lochan every time he says "This is sick, disgusting..." But then there's another part of my brain that is heartbroken for him and Maya and their younger siblings. Even Kit, the overbearing, know-it-all, jerk of a teenager.

I think that the author has definitely accomplished what she's set out for. Reading through the story you can't help but loathe the mother who is a drunk and just absolutely horrible, feel angry with the absent father who's got a nice new family in some other country far away, and be so overwhelmed with sadness for two people struggling to take care of responsibilities they should never have had to take on.

I found myself wishing that things could be different for them. All of them. But Lochan and Maya most of all. Abused and neglected they really didn't feel they had anyone else they could count on but each other. I felt sad for them because the whole situation was completely out of their control. And the ones responsible couldn't have cared less. Shame on them for ruining these kids.

This book... I don't know who I'd recommend it to. Honestly I believe it's subject matter too mature for the typical teenager. I wouldn't say you'd have to come at this book with an open mind... more like an expectant one. Know the book you're reading, and that probably a lot of what you read is going to make you balk at the rest of the book.

Like I said, it is heartbreaking. The ending was a gut wrenching and awful surprise. It was a story that I didn't want to put down, but one that I'm sad I had to read.

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