Book Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

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.

Release Date: June 28, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased

Oh my gosh.  I am just stunned.  I loved this book, just loved it.  Reading the summary, I never thought I would like this book as much as other people have.  I never expected to root for Lochan and Maya to end up together.  I mean, come on, they are brother and sister!  Gross!  Wrong!  Illegal!   It is all of those things, but I was never grossed out.  I felt for Lochan and Maya and I really didn't feel like they were wrong to love each other.

The lines of right and wrong are blurred.  Very blurred.  When you have two siblings so close in age, who are essentially playing mom and dad to their three younger siblings, things are bound to get confusing.  They have to keep the fact that their mom is an absentee parent a secret from everyone, to prevent social services from taking the children into foster care.  Lochan and Maya have only each other to confide in.  They have no one else to commiserate with, and as a result, the bond between them is very strong.

I liked Maya well enough, although she was a little dramatic and impulsive for my tastes.  I loved Lochan, though.  He struggles with social anxiety, and is painfully shy.  He has no friends and cannot speak in class due to nerves.  Lochan is really smart and a great student, but is crippled by shyness.  His only friend in the world is Maya, and she is the only person who really knows or understands him.  Maya and Lochan are best friends, and have been best friends their entire lives. 

There were a couple of things that bothered me about this book.  I could never work out how to properly pronounce Lochan's name.  I ended up looking it up on my Nook, but by then, I had gotten used to saying his name wrong.  So, every time I saw "Lochan" or "Lochie" I stumbled over it, first pronouncing it my way (sort of like Logan) and then pronouncing it the right way (Laa-ken).  The book did get a little melodramatic.  I guess it was the back and forth between Lochan and Maya's point of view, but experiencing the same thing through both points of view made it feel melodramatic.  Overall, though, these were small issues in light of how much I enjoyed the book. 

And the ending.  Oh my gosh, the ending.  I figured something like that would happen, but I had no idea I would be so affected by it.  I rarely cry while reading.  I may get misty-eyed over a really poignant love story or happily ever after, but I almost never go into a full cry.  I did here, though.  I cried, and all day long, was so sad I could barely focus on anything.  Even now, days later, I am still affected by the emotions Suzuma evoked in me with her writing. 

This book is not for people who are closed-minded.  You have to go into it with an open mind.  I was also surprised that it is YA.  I really thought it was more of an adult read, with regards to the romantic scenes and the premise.  If you want a book that will make you think, something that will really punch you in the gut, this one's for you.


  1. Fab review Kelli, I was sent this one for review last year and really didn't want to read it but I gave it a try after reading a few positive reviews and it absolutely blew me away. One of the best books I've read in the last two years and I totally cried my eyes out at the ending!

  2. What an excellent review. I really like the cover of this book. At first the storyline didn't appeal to me- because of the brother/sister love. However, after reading your review this book sounds fascinating. I loved Flowers in the Attic growing up and the theme sounds similar. I will give this book a try. Thanks for sharing!


  3. I've heard so many good things about this one, but UGH not sure I can wrap my head around the brother/sister love cause I know I would picture my brother the entire time and be grossed out.

    I always enjoy reading your reviews!


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