Review | Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Review | Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
by Tabitha Suzuma
Published by Simon Pulse
Release date : June 28th, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Family, Young Adult
Source: Library | Format: Hardcover
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) AudibleThe Book Depository

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.

So. This book. >.<

I have seen this everywhere for the past 4 years, since it’s publication. On Goodreads, blogs, the library, book stores. You name it. There is nothing specific that had me holding off to read this. Hype, maybe? It wasn’t the CONTENT – shockingly enough – because I have read my fair share of WHAT EVENS. What made me take the plunge was a fellow blogger that loved it, and since I respect her and her recommendations, I thought WHY NOT.

(Just a note – my thoughts maybe contradict what my rating says. Because I had FEELS about this book – but my rating reflects GOOD feels. Know what I mean?)

This book is powerful in the sense that it makes you think. I don’t know what the author’s intention was as far as MESSAGES go – but what I walked away with thinking about is how we can’t help who we fall in love with. And just because we don’t necessarily agree with someones relationship – be it because of race, religion, law – who are we to judge what we don’t understand? But I didn’t think too long about it.

However, this book didn’t impact me the way it seemed to others. Mainly because I never FELT anything for either character. For several reasons. First – I never got the vibe that these two were brother and sister. Could that have been the intention? Sure. But how am I suppose to feel such deep emotion and ROOT for (or not, depending on how you look at it) them – forbidden or not – when that feeling was never there to begin with? I never FELT it was wrong. It felt like two young people playing house with smaller kids – falling in love and talking about how WRONG their relationship is.

So then I think – okay, I pretty much feel like I am condoning this relationship. Because I don’t see anything wrong with it! I wasn’t – because I KNEW they were siblings. Was that the point of the book? I don’t even know.

The other reason I don’t think I loved this as much is because there was a lot of TELLING, no SHOWING. I would say at least 75% of this book is internal monologue; and because of that, I didn’t feel it. You can tell me all day long how much you love someone – but if I don’t SEE it? I can’t FEEL it. Make sense? I also felt like their voices were WAY too similar – the other difference being that Lochlan was WAY more dramatic than Maya. Not to mention that the dramatic attempt to add some extra angst was frustrating as hell. I didn’t feel the angst; I felt irritation.

Moving on.

The aspect with the “absent” mother didn’t hold such an impact for me either. She was a shitty mother, there is no doubt about that. And maybe it was an assumption I made going in, but I thought she was going to be 100% absent. Yes, Lochan and Maya were the sole care takers of their siblings – in the physical and emotional sense. But she was around, if not sporadically.

I don’t want to get into too much detail about this – but I think there was some sort of psychological issue with Lochan, besides the obvious. Which in turn – pushed him more towards Maya and the “relationship.” Not that something HAS to be “wrong” with him to love his sister, but I think because of these issues, it pushed him more towards her.

By 50%, I knew I am pretty much indifferent to how this story would play out. That’s not to say that there wasn’t SOME emotion there – because there was at one scene in particular that pulled at the heart-strings. But the ending didn’t shock me. The epilogue didn’t shock me. And when I closed the book, I just thought, “alrightly then.” (Like I said, I didn’t think much about this book after finishing.) 

I also want to state that although this book is considered young adult, I recommend for only MATURE young adult.

Overall – MEH. I kind of feel like had I read this years ago, I would have felt differently. My tastes have changed over the years and I handle these “tragic” stories a lot differently now than I use to. I seem to be in the minority here – so if you are curious about this, go for it.


Rating Report
Overall: 3


Tell Me Your Thoughts

Have you read Forbidden? If so, what did you think? If not, will you?

Does this type of subject appeal to you as a reader? Why or why not?

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4 thoughts on “Review | Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Oh, I’m sad you didn’t like this book, since it is an absolute FAVORITE of mine. I guess I can forgive you for having your own opinion, though. 🙂 If you didn’t connect with the characters, then I can see how you wouldn’t love it – for some reason, I completely connected to these characters and I still think about the book often. Sorry it didn’t work for you!!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – ReviewMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      haha It’s nice to be forgiven! 😀

      I think whether or not you relate to these characters, or connect with them, will make or break this book. I wish I could have loved it, because I know how much it deeply affected others. Makes me feel heartless, LOL

  2. Krystianna

    I’ve been quite curious about reading this book as well, like you were before reading. I’ve just heard that it has affected many people, so I’m sorry to see that it didn’t much affect you at all! I definitely understand what you mean by showing vs. telling. There’s not much to picture if someone’s just telling something, so great point! I’ll have to be a bit wary of that going in. Thank you for the review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. tonyalee

      I think going in with a slight hesitation would be my best bet. Maybe my high expectations played a part? I dont’ know. But I just never FELT anything. The forbidden-ness, the characters.. ya know? Sad:(

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