Saturday, July 02, 2011

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: When Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma was made available to me, I chose to ignore it because I didn’t like the cover. It’s a good thing then that Missie from The Unread Reader chose to review it because I totally would have overlooked an amazing book. The main theme in Forbidden is incest, but Suzuma has created a masterful love story revolving around a taboo love. Her characters have chemistry and it becomes hard to remember that Lochan and Maya are siblings.

Right from the start, it was easy for me to like Lochan and sympathize with him. Though he is good looking, he is painfully shy around strangers; and as the eldest at home, is responsible for taking care of his younger siblings. It’s not hard to understand why Lochan would fall for Maya, the one person he can truly be himself with.

It was a little harder for me to see why Maya would love Lochan back as more than a brother because unlike Lochan, she is sociable and has friends. Sure, she can never be entirely honest about her life at home, but it can still be possible for her to date someone else. But, then there wouldn’t be a story.

As I already mentioned, Lochan and Maya have incredible chemistry. However, my favourite parts of the book were when they were interacting with their brothers and sister. Suzuma did a wonderful job creating this complex family and making me feel like an insider. I wanted to strangle Kit at times for being mean to Lochan who is trying his best to keep it together for his siblings, and yet I understood that Kit as the middle child felt like he had no clear role. I felt sad for Tiffin and Willa who were still young but wise about so many things, and I loved it when the entire family came together to do things like play a game.

A brilliant book that will make you smile and also break your heart, Forbidden was released on June 28, 2011 by Simon and Schuster. 

Comments About the Cover: I’m still not a fan of the cover but I like that the heart is made out of barbed wire and that the background is red – the colour of love.

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Simon and Schuster) for free via Galley Grab.


  1. This book tore me up. It was hard for me to read. Thanks for your review.

  2. Wonderful review! I read it last year and it has to be the most powerful and gut wrenching book I have read.

    I am not a huge fan of that US cover either.

  3. First of all, I completely agree about the cover. Not a huge fan.

    Secondly, this book has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorite books, right under Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and The Giver by Lois Lowry. Ever since watching a heartbreaking documentary about incest a few years ago, I've been relatively open-minded about it so I didn't have trouble reading this book. I honestly don't remember the last time I finished a book and cried so hard. This book was so touching. I doubt there's a person who could read this and not feel the chemistry between Maya and Lochan.

    I'm so glad to see that Forbidden has been getting great reviews from everybody. Your review was excellent. I reviewed it on my blog as well at

  4. Very nice review. This is the first review I've seen that really mentions the other siblings. I had the impression that they were more just there, but your review makes them seem like fully developed characters, which is nice.

  5. Excellent review. I kind of had a hard time with Maya too. For me, Lochan really carried the story because of his pain, and his love. It was so emotional.

    And I have to agree, my favorite parts were just hanging out with family. Seeing them have some good times in the middle of all the bad.

    So glad you gave it a try and enjoyed it.

  6. You made me want to read this book. I don't know if it's the right book for me, cause I'm not sure if I'm going to adore the story. It all sounds so sad. Great review.

  7. Fantastic review but I'm still shying away from this one. I know, I know, it's great but I don't think I'm up for it.

  8. Normally, this would be a book that I would avoid because the subject matter kind of creeps me out on the surface but I keep reading review after good review for it... I think I really must give this book a try. It sounds like a powerful read!

  9. I've heard nothing but amazing things about this one, I really need to get it in the TBR pile! I love the sound of Lochan and Maya and I really want to know how their relationship plays out, so this is me going to the bookstore:)

  10. Wow you have me wondering what the ending is. I mean can there even be a happy ending for these two.

  11. The original UK cover has black background instead of red. I like that one better.

    Anyway, I'm really glad you liked it! I cried my guts out when I read this. I still get sad when I think about Lochie and Maya. And oh, I want to strangle Kit too, especially when he did 'that'. :/


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