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Forbidden Hardcover – June 28, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.


Amazon Exclusive: Stephanie Perkins Reviews Forbidden

Stephanie Perkins is the author of the young adult novel Anna and the French Kiss. The companion book, Lola and the Boy Next Door, will be released September 29, 2011. Read her exclusive guest review of Forbidden:

Tabitha Suzuma has crafted a harrowing, sexy, heart wrenching, and heartbreaking masterwork about one of our last remaining taboos. Lochan and Maya are the oldest children of an alcoholic, absentee mother. The burden of raising their three younger siblings has fallen upon them, and they have been forced to mature into parents. As their friendship is strengthened, and as they become dependent upon one another for survival, their parental relationship develops into a new stage: romantic love.

An alternating first-person narration immerses the reader deep inside the hearts of the characters. Suzuma takes great care to help us understand how such a situation could arise and allows us to be sympathetic for it--even root for it--though we know, just as Lochan and Maya know, that the future of a Happily Ever After is unlikely.

This is a powerful novel about love in all of its forms. About teenagers forced to become adults, and about children forced to acknowledge new parents. Particularly stressful is the second oldest boy, Kit, whose every appearance carries an impending sense of disaster.

Forbidden never let me set it down. It never let me stop worrying. And it never let me stop hoping for the best. --Stephanie Perkins


Review

"Ms. Suzuma’s ability to dig so deeply into the various layers of human need and desire across several strata—physical, emotional, situational—renders a cringe-worthy premise another human experience to evaluate. The poignant and shocking ending will leave the reader pondering this story long after the final page is turned." --New York Journal of Books

"The novel’s surprises continue to the very end, and the secondary characters are well developed, including the needy younger siblings, who are shown in all their anger, sweetness, and rebellion. Most of all, though, it’s Lochan’s and Maya’s alternating first-person, present-tense narratives, both tender and heartbreaking, that will stay with readers." — Booklist

"There is nothing about this novel that is easy, but readers who snag the book for the controversy will stick around for the polished writing and compelling character development." --BCCB
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442419954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442419957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Gold Star Award Winner!

Lochan and Maya are brother and sister. Their three younger siblings depend on them ever since their dad left them and their mother no longer cares for them. With the pressure of this enormous responsibility, Maya and Lochan turn to each other. They find solace and comfort, but they find so much more than that. They find love. Not just sibling love, but real emotional, physical love. How can they love each other when the rest of the world sees their actions as disgusting and vile?

FORBIDDEN deals with an incredibly controversial subject, and readers should be warned. Lochan and Maya are brother and sister, but they love each other in the way that any normal couple would. The first half of the book doesn't even touch the subject; it sets the scene with depictions of a family falling apart and a set of siblings doing all they can to hold it together. The second half delves into their incestuous relationship and the torrent of emotions and consequences that come along with it.

Though this type of relationship is looked down upon by society, I couldn't help but hope that Maya and Lochan would work out. Their love was deeper than any other I've encountered and it was truly real because of everything they had suffered through together. It was hard to accept the fact that they were related, but also easy at the same time. Their relationship, as you can imagine, pushed boundaries to their breaking points. The emotional side balanced with the physical side. The thoughts of each character were drawn out and talked about comprehensively. They were real people with honest emotions.

This is one of those books that will rip apart your heart and make you question everything you've ever believed in. By the novel's end I was in tears.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By PK Reeves on January 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Lochan Whitely is only seventeen, on the cusp of turning eighteen, and he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As the eldest of the Whitley children, he juggles with the task of being a replacement father figure for his younger siblings: thirteen year old Kip, Tiffen, and five year old Willa. Through it all, his sixteen year old sister Maya has been his sole consolation in finding peace in the chaos of managing a family, where an errant mother's responsibility is thrown to the wind.

Lochan and Maya find themselves hard pressed to hide the reality of their mother's care since Social Service is only a knock away from taking their family unity and separating them permanently. A mother, whose only source of gratification is her own pleasure, desperately clinging to the nostalgic semblances of her past beauty and power to attract the wrong type of men. Her children are at the bottom ladder of priority, rather they hinder her pursuits and viewed as a sore source of cash expense. Imbibed and completely lacking of maternal instincts, she strives to break Lochan's spirit at every turn.

Through many intense and dysfunctional hardships, the two siblings Lochan and Maya discover love, however it is a love that neither can approach without fear of reprisals. They discover that "love" knows no boundaries, nor can they stop their hearts from beating for they have fallen in love with each other.

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Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden can only be described as mesmerizingly tragic tale of love. She engulfs you with brilliant writing and exudes a profound talent for taking your breath away as you embark in this very highly emotionally charged tale of forbidden love.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was casually browsing through the bookstore with a friend when I happend appon this book. I loved the cover, but was totally put off with the book's discription. How could someone write a book about incest? I turned around and left the store, but the thought kept popping up in my head, so I went and read the reviews for the book at Amazon. Not bad. Still, there was something that repulsed me as well as drew me to the idea of this book and in the end, curiosity won. I bought the ebook and read it cover to cover within 2 days. I could not put it down. I started to love the two main characters and started seeing their situation from their point of view. I started wishing that someway there could be a happy ending for them. That they would end up together, for how could a love so pure, be so wrong? I finished the book in my lunch hour at work and cried so hard that I nearly did not make it through the rest of the day. The ending floored me! I loved it! I hate it! I want more! I want to now what happened a year later. I dont want it to end this way! What I learned from this book, is to literaly not judge a book by it's cover. This book will pull your heart strings and make you think twice. A fabulous read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T's Book (KT Book Reviews) on June 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
**WARNING ENTIRE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**

There is no way I can write a review for Forbidden without just laying it all out there. Some books are just like that. You can't not talk it all out after reading. So sorry, if you don't want to know what happens please turn to another review.

Even now after giving myself time to think over the events in this book I am still very emotional. After reading other reviews I was thinking this was going to be some weird romance. IT IS NOT A ROMANCE. Not in any sense. It is a story of abuse by an alcoholic mother and a dead beat dad. Neglect plain and simple. The oldest son, Lochie, is incredibly smart. His teachers are so impressed with his work and dedication. Lochie is also silent, he doesn't speak in class averts his eyes when spoken to. Panic attacks assail him. Although it is never directly stated I am pretty sure he suffers from extreme anxiety disorder.

Lochie is in charge of his four siblings Maya 16, Kit 13, Tiffin 9 and Willa 5. Mom is a drunk who when she is home really doesn't care. She is trying to recapture her youth after a marriage she never really wanted ends. Her kids aren't her priority and never really had been. She has found a new lover and just wants to forget her old life and start new. I hate this woman. HATE. Her selfishness leaves these children lost and confused. Why would Lochie not have extreme anxiety, just look at the enormity of what he has taken on. He is terrified that what remains of his family will be torn apart if social services ever finds out their mother no longer comes home. These kids are afraid to ask for help for fear of losing each other.

With the help of Maya, Lochie cooks, cleans, does homework, bath time, plays and love his siblings like a parent would.
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