Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Book: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Simon Pulse, June 28, 2011

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format/pages: Hardcover 464 pages

Format read/Source: eGalley from Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab, read June 24 2011

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Forbidden is a brave, powerful and complex book about a taboo topic. The story had me breathlessly on edge, completely consumed in the heart-wrenching tale. This book is a story of taboo love between siblings that develops due to their extremely difficult family circumstances. The author writes the story in such a raw, emotional and believable way that I could not help but be sympathetic to the ill-fated couple’s plight. That the story can elicit such a response with this subject matter is quite an achievement for this author.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan has always been close with his sister Maya, who is thirteen months his junior. They have three younger siblings that they have the responsibility of looking after, since their father abandoned the family and their alcoholic mother is seldom around. Their lives are high-stress as they balance high school with running a household and looking after their siblings. Lochan and Maya have always relied on each other and shared the burden that they are saddled with at home. They grow closer as they take on the roles of parents to their siblings, and soon a romantic type of love develops, though they know it can’t last.

I knew a little bit about the story going into it so was prepared for the taboo subject matter. And of course a similar relationship is explored in the infamous Flowers in the Attic.  As I was reading, I was filled with dread waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop in this unorthodox love story. The story alternates points of view between Lochan and Maya, and we get to know the characters well and the complex feelings they have for each other.

The sibling’s chaotic family life is vividly painted. The younger siblings are their own personalities with their own heartbreaking struggles. Their family dynamic is fascinating to watch as we see them hanging on the edge. It’s incredible that five kids can hold it together alone for so long under the radar. Their mother is a train wreck and it is sad to see the gratitude the older siblings have for her for simply taking the kids out for a few hours once in a while. The family relationship is one of the most compelling aspects of the book. The characters are well written and their emotions hit you straight in the heart.

The tension runs high throughout the book as Lochan and Maya struggle with the intense feelings they have for each other. Their desperate relationship is heartbreaking to watch, as you know it can’t end well. They seem to be meant for each other, which makes it so hard to see their longing and struggle. It definitely made me think about love and relationships in general.

Forbidden is one gripping and emotional tearjerker that I won’t soon forget. It’s beautifully well written with a bold and passionate story.

Find out more, buy the book, or read more reviews here:

Tabitha Suzuma’s website| Goodreads | Amazon

Read more reviews here:

Persephone Reads

Witch of Theatre Going

YA Book Haven

Bibliophilic Monologues review and interview with author Tabitha Suzuma

The Book Nerd



7 thoughts on “Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

  1. Loni says:

    I’m reading this book right now and I find my mind thinking about it constantly. The relationship I see so far between Lochan and Maya, is beautiful and heartbreaking. I feel so sad for them already and I’m only about half way though. I know this will not end well and I kind of dread reading the ending. It’s horrible that I want them to have that kind of loving relationship even though ‘I’ know how wrong it is….I love how the author has developed these characters so well that you just feel for them as two people in love and nothing else about their life should stand in the way of that.
    Ok…I’ve rambled enough. Great review…I have know idea how I will manage this review when it comes time for me to write mine! 🙂

    1. Loni, I just finished this book today and I know what you mean. This review took forever to write- I was so wrecked after finishing this book. The author really does an incredible job with this story to have so many readers wanting the relationship to succeed. I think if anything it is making me try to be a more compassionate person in general.
      We’ll cry together when you finish it. Looking forward to your review.

  2. Ashley says:

    I’m so glad you like this one! I don’t think I’m going to read it, but I’ve been reading reviews and it’s interesting to see such polar reactions to the same book.

  3. bookchilla says:

    hey lucy! everytime i read another Forbidden review, my heart breaks for Lochie and Maya all over again 🙁 glad you liked it.

  4. amymckie says:

    This sounds like a really complex book. I’ve been hearing a lot about it and keep meaning to give it a read. One of these days!

  5. […] 6. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – I know this book is not for everyone, but I found the story very gripping and powerful. Couldn’t put it down. […]

  6. […] Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – the subject matter is uncomfortable but it’s such a powerful book. Want to Go Private? is another book that got under my skin. Also, I enjoyed reading books written in verse such as The Day Before and Audition. […]

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