Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Published by Simon Pulse
Date Published: June 28, 2011
Rating: 5/5

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.
Never, ever have I had a book take my heart, break it, smash the pieces with a hammer, get some dynamite, explode it into dust and then continue to spit on that dust with relish. I was not simply shattered by this book, I was demolished, broken, cracked and wanted to cry during the entire thing. And what do you know, I actually DID cry at the end, pathetically.
What’s amazing is that this book had it’s little barbed wire talons in me at just a mere 23 pages in. Usually books NEVER grab me that fast. Sometimes the writing does, but this was due to the characters. The amazing, heart-shattering characters. OMG. Lochan.

So, let’s address the elephant in the room (if you read the summary above).
Yes, it’s one of those incest books.
Yes, I’ve read the Flowers in the Attic series *many* years ago and liked them (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here: http://bit.ly/iwz7Lb pretty much set the standard for incest books - I think!).
No, I don’t have a brother; younger or older, or for that fact any siblings at all.
And I’ll go ahead and say for the record that Lochan and Maya are very much like Jace and Clary. So wrong, but oh so so right... (If you have no idea who I’m talking about - just be ashamed). So you can sit there and tut tut over incest books, but I’ve read books about rape, death and loss, the Holocaust and more, and I don’t think any one of them has left this completely emotionally drained.

Lochan would probably get my Most Broken Boy Ever award. Every chapter of his, my heart was just stabbed over and over. Every thing he said, every moment of his behavior and attitude, broke me over and over. I admit however, I have a weakness for broken boys, especially from abusive families. I think I identify too much with the last part (whoa, Jennifer spilling her personal life in a review!). Then there’s Maya, who in some ways seems much stronger than Lochan, but is undeniably the strength to Lochan and yet not complete without him. Together they are perfect. Together is the only way that their lives are bearable.

While I’m giving my personal awards, this book also gets a Worst @£$&*!# Mother of the Year award. Reading YA, I obviously put myself at risk to reading about a lot of bad parents and can get rather … passionate about them (remember personal life note?) and horrible they are. Well, Mrs. Whitely takes some kind of awful, terribly tasting cake on this one. Horrid. Absolutely horrid woman.

I’m not quite sure where to stick this, but I’ll just get it over with. I think I need to make a point of reading more British YA, cause they do sexy times SO MUCH BETTER than us prudish Americans. That might be a slightly exaggeration overall, but SERIOUSLY! Let’s just say a few scenes had me redder than my hair and all ‘*blush blush giggle giggle* Wow’. I had to note that, I feel like that needs to be commended!

Not a lot of things invade my brain (thanks, Jackson Pearce for that term) but this has not only invaded my brain, but has raped, pillaged and plundered my poor brain. Even while driving earlier, I started thinking about it all and wanted to cry! What?! Since I did become one of THOSE emotional girls?! Well done, Ms Suzumi. Well done. What have you earned besides a really fabulous review from little me? A weak, self-destructive part of me buying all of your other books to see if my heart can be torn out all over again.

Final thoughts: (I’ll try to keep this spoiler free, it’s hard. The end is like SHOCK YOUR FACE OFF. Or at least it did that for me.) So, um, sequel please and thank you? Like I’m not kidding. I want to see them (purposely vague words) years later. I do. I really do. Especially Willa. (That’s not spoilery. Nothing too bad can happen to a seven year old - that would be against the laws of nature!)

This is for you, if you liked: the Flowers in the Attic series, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (raw emotions) and Rich and Mad (my review).


  1. Whoa! I loved Flowers in the Attic and its sequels, too, and I see that they've been repackaged and are out there in the wild again on booksellers' shelves. Maybe because of this, I'm not all taboo about this book. I won't read it just BECAUSE of the taboo, but it looks like from your review that there's much more to it than a shocking premise. Cool!

  2. Wow, broken and smashed, huh? Not words you often hear in a good review. :P But yeah, we totally want to read this one too. Thanks for getting us even more excited about it!

  3. OMG...I finsihed this book yesterday and couldn't sleep at all. Today I broke down into tears at least 15 times. I cannot get this story and the characters (Lochie) out of my head and more importantly, my heart. I have never ever ever experienced a book as moving as this. Anyone else having trouble moving on from this?

  4. If the cover didn't already grab me, your review certainly did. The blurbs make the plot sound like a great twist on the typical forbidden romance plot. The best is your comments though, because they're just so passionate. It's like having my best friend tell me about her FAVORITE new book. I'm sold.


  5. Oh that makes me smile. Thank you!!!

  6. I love this review!

    I agree, I've never had a book that gripped me this fast either. One of the most amazing reads of 2011 so far!!