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
"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
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"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