Published: Simon Pulse (June 28, 2011)
Source: Galley Grab
GoodReads Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: I will warn you guys straightaway that I did not go into reading this book completely blind, because some champion on GoodReads didn't mark their spoiler and the ending was ruined for me. That being said, I was not deterred from cracking open this book and subjecting myself to some highly controversial and disturbing topics.
Did it make me want to crawl out of my skin because I was cringing so much? Absolutely.
Do I now support the idea of a bro/sis love affair? NO NO NO.
If I had a brother, would I have probably been hesitant to continue reading at certain points? Probably.
But was the writing beautiful and emotional and raw and vivid? So much so that I couldn't put this book down and completely devoured it in almost one sitting, despite knowing exactly how it all ends? YES.
This book's reputation precedes it by close to a year, for me. Back before I was a blogger, I heard from some fellow GoodReaders how horrendously beautiful this book was. And the waterworks it induced. I, being one who loves taboo and difficult reads, immediately went to order it overseas. WOE OF WOES, it was out of stock. Luckily, I caught word of Simon Pulse releasing it and was joyous, because I couldn't wait to start reading it.
I had a really hard time absorbing that Lochan and Maya were brother and sister, because the idea of them as being mother and father figures to their three younger siblings overshadowed everything else. Maybe that's what Tabitha Suzuma wanted. Maybe it was a coping mechanism on my behalf. I don't really know. But I found myself emotionally invested in an illegal relationship. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I was in favor of their love, but rather their happiness with their lives. I wanted a good ending for both of them. Both Lochan and Maya are good, sweet, kind people. The fact that their mother was a good-for-nothing drunk only fueled my feelings for them. (HATED HER SO MUCH.)
There are so many subjects that I've read about time and time again that were presented to me in a whole new light in Forbidden: crippling social anxiety, drunken, negligent parents, broken families, sibling rivalry, first loves... except all of it seemed magnified and brand new, thanks to Suzuma's painfully raw prose.
I just finished and I feel cheated, because I knew what was going to happen. I definitely did not get to experience the full spectrum of emotions that I've heard so much about. I didn't cry. But I still wanted to tell you guys that if you're up for a difficult, powerful, gripping, unputdownable read that leaves you feeling just a little bit gross, but also warm and fuzzy in a sick, twisted way... this is the book you should be picking up.