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Forbidden Hardcover – June 28, 2011
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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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
"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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Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.
The book is told through alternating points of view so we intimately get to know Lochan and Maya. They grew up in a broken home with an absent, emotionally abusive alcoholic mother. Not only do Lochan and Maya have to be totally independent, but they also have to care for their three younger siblings. This strange family structure forces Lochan and Maya to act as parental figures as they work together to raise their family.
While I felt for Lochan, he was an extremely difficult character to read about. Between his inability to talk to anyone (other than family) without having a panic attack and his sore below his lip from constant chewing and rubbing, I could feel the tension and anxiety coming off of the pages. Poor Lochan, he really struggled in this story. All he wanted to do was care for his family but his body and his mind were often against him. Lochan’s inability to socialize caused him to be ostracized and he was extremely lonely- the only person he cared about was his sister, Maya. She was really the only person he could be himself around. There were a few other disturbing aspects to Lochan’s character, such as his tendency to violent outbursts, that honestly made me uncomfortable to read about. Lochan is clearly a disturbed character but I couldn’t help but feel for him.
Maya has similar struggles, but seems to cope better than Lochan in some respects. She also has to play the role of mother to her three younger siblings and sometimes the only thing holding her together is Lochan’s support. Lochan is her partner in every way and he eventually becomes something more, despite how wrong both of them know it is to pursue a relationship. And that’s the thing that was so hard about this book- they knew it was wrong. They were disturbed and didn’t understand why they felt the way they did. And the sexual tension in this book was crazy, as disturbing as it may have been.
This book gave me the feels. I was angry with their mother, I was disturbed by Lochan and Maya’s relationship but I grew attached to them and also wanted them to be happy. I was frustrated and confused by Lochan’s character, and I was heartbroken by the ending. This book will take you for an emotional ride! This was certainly a heavy book to read, but I didn’t bawl my eyes out like I have in the past with other books (I’m looking at you, Colleen Hoover). However, it was absolutely heart-wrenching and I definitely needed a light book after finishing it. I highly recommend this book if you want to be challenged in your current way of thinking and if you want to see a well-thought out story on a very taboo subject.
If you find yourself sensitive to any kind of taboo relationship or other "scandalous" situations, this book isn't for you. I don't feel like you can grasp the true emotion from this book if you have a hard time looking past your beliefs for the sake of a story. I was hesitant at first because of the incestuous relationship but felt I needed to give it a shot and have an open mind, and I am so glad I did.
The kind of books that I fall in love with are the kind that make me physically feel the emotion portrayed within the pages regardless of genre or subject matter. This book was definitely that for me and my thoughts will drift back to this story for quite a while. I recommend this book to anyone who longs for that passion that only a well written story can bring.
Im trying to be open minded to ways this could have happened, the kids having low IQs maybe? But not getting there. I have a brother myself and too much experience with teens in the social services system and am not really buying into this book. Can I just say, though, the author’s writing style and words, and ability to create vivid pictures is really beautiful and I’d love to read something else written by her, so that earns it three stars.
Most recent customer reviews
Two siblings who were playing the role of parents to their younger siblings because their mother was a whore and an alcoholic, their father long gone.Read more
Joking aside, I don't think I was ever this stressed reading a novel before.Read more