Friday, July 29, 2011
Never have I read a book that made me feel such unbridled heartbreaking emotion before Forbidden. Tabitha Suzuma tackles such a taboo subject in this book and does it with such grace and beauty that you can not help but laugh and cry along with the characters. The two taglines that accompany this book say it all: "Sometimes love chooses you." and "How can something so wrong feel so right?" Forbidden is a story about a brother and a sister who fall in love. That's right, the heartwrenching emotions you feel are for an incestual relationship.
Forbidden is told from two perspectives, every other chapter switches from 16 year old Maya's view to 17 year old Lochan's. By doing this you can fully grasp how serious these feelings are from both sides of the relationship. You are welcomed into the family of Lochan and Maya at the start of the book and you see just how dysfunctional it is. Their father left them years ago and their mother is an alcoholic who is desperate to kept her youth and ignores the responsibilities of being a mother. She is dating a young new boyfriend and is around less and less. So Lochan and Maya take on the parenting role for their 3 younger siblings, Willa, Tiffin and Kit. As struggling partners and surrogate teen parents they confide in only each other.
The characters are so lovable from the get go. Lochan struggles with severe social anxiety and can only talk normally with members of his family but is truly a genius. Maya appears independent and protective of her family but really depends on Lochan to keep her going. Willa is an adorable 5 year old who is hardened by the tough life she has all ready lived. Tiffin and Kit are the middle boys; Tiffin only cares about soccer and Kit is the angsty 13 year old who is all ready involved in tough gang life. Through the struggle to keep the family together, Lochan and Maya mature way too fast and turn to each other for support and love.
The writing is beautifully done with a refreshing UK style. The bonds and relationship building is done slowly and realistically so you, as the reader, can fully see how it happens and doesn't leave you questioning anything other than your own morals. The characters acknowledge just how wrong the feelings they are having for each other but can't stop them. The physical part develops slowly but man, does it get steamy. *disclaimer* This is a very graphic and descriptive book, not for young readers. The love you feel between these two characters is so intense and real that you just long for them to be together and not have to deal with even more struggle against society. But you are on edge constantly through reading because you know something is going to happen to prevent them from being together. Definitely a white knuckle read.
I will not spoil the ending. But I will say that I have never reacted to a book the way I reacted to the ending of this book. By the end you are so attached to the characters that you react as strongly and passionately as if you actually knew them.
Breathtaking book. As weird as it sounds, I think this is the best love story I have ever read. And I am not ashamed to admit that. The development of love and passion is done so well that it negates the atrocity of incest. READ THIS BOOK! 5 out of 5 stars, top of the bookshelf, will read again...when my heart can take it.