Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Simon Pulse, June 28, 2011
Summary 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.I was really, really looking forward to this book. I know, I know, the topic--incest--is gross and revolting, but I was really hopeful that this would be one of those highly-uncomfortable-but-still-engrossing novels that I've started compiling on my MAHROAT list.
I'm sad to say that I felt this book wasn't nearly uncomfortable enough for me. Most other reviews I've read are very positive, say that this book will stick with you, the topic is uncomfortable but compassionate, etc. I just didn't feel that way at all.
I couldn't relate to Maya at all and I thought Lochan was just creepy (I know he's described as handsome and girls fawn all over him, but something about that social anxiety problem just strikes me as odd. Can't really explain it.) And I was under the impression that the pair were really, actually responsible for the upbringing of their three siblings. Yes, while the mother is a shifty character and is gone more often than not, she's apparently around enough to drop off just enough money so Maya and Lochan can stay in school and not have to take on jobs. Granted, Mom wanted them to drop out and get jobs, but still. Maya and Lochan were in charge of the kids, running the household, etc., but something about it just didn't feel real to me.
Not to sound like a degenerate or anything, but I thought the siblings would have developed a deeper relationship earlier in the book. Instead it was all, "We can't! It's illegal!" "But I love you and that's more important!" So it was, like, a romance novel. I just thought it would be much more illicit. Instead it was tons of discussion about their feelings and how the general public would perceive them.
Sigh. Maybe I AM a degenerate, and that's why this book didn't disturb me as it did others. I hesitated even reviewing it, because everyone else on the planet seemed to love it. Perhaps I was just in a bad mood when I read Forbidden, and maybe I'll give it a second try once it's released. I think that my expectations were too high for this one--I really thought I'd be throwing my nook aside in disgust, and that just didn't happen for me.
In the meantime, I still think you should read it, if you like uncomfortable reads. Then come back here and tell me what I missed. I will say that the ending was indeed explosive and shocking, though.
eGalley received from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab.
Enjoy your reading!