Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 28th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult (14+)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.Review: Forbidden is a difficult book to review. I think that each person will take something different from this story. As seen from the summary, it is about a brother and sister falling in love. That may turn off some readers but please don't let it! Forbidden is much more than what it seems.
Maya and Lochan have been more like mother and father to their siblings than anything else. That may have originally been what brought them closer together. Their mother is never there and her alcoholic tendencies seemed to get in the way of any real parenting while she was in the home. The younger siblings depend on Maya and Lochan to feed them, get them ready for school, and deal with their day to day fights with each other. They give up everything in order to make sure their family is taken care of.
Their attraction seems to begin just from the love and respect they have for each other. They realize that when looking for a partner, they want many of the same qualities seen in each other. But it's rare to find teenagers who are dealing with so much responsibility. They are both wise beyond their years and they know that no matter who they are with, no one will understand them.
Lochan has a lot of anxiety issues. He tends to avoid people at all costs. This means he puts even more focus on Maya because she is really all he has; the only person he feels comfortable with. It's not easy to read about their attractions but I found myself understanding where it came from. Although some of the anxiety issues got a little repetitive, it was a critical part of the story. It helps readers truly get a sense of what Lochan's life had been like previously to create such social anxieties.
Tabitha tackled a very taboo subject with beauty and clarity. I couldn't imagine it being represented in a better way. Forbidden is not a light read and I think that most readers will feel emotionally invested in the story at the end. This is a book that I couldn't stop thinking about long after I read it.
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