Sunday, 22 September 2013

Book Review - Forbidden

Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Series: Standalone
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 27th May 2012
Publishers: Definitions
No. Pages: 432
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But.. they are brother and sister.

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 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.

I've found it must difficult to both read and rate this book. Not only because of the story behind it, but also because of how this book made me feel. I do feel like I should stress that this book does not condone incestuous relationships, encourage them or romanticise them. I must also stress that this book is entirely fictitious.

This book gripped my with the plot, and entirely that. Not the cliche parts of the characters, the sections that centered around her being 'never kissed' and him shy. No. It was the fact that the plot was about a biological brother and sister, embarking on a romantic relationship, that was what gripped me. So much so, if I tried to explain the plot to friends, it was too delicate of a conversation to have with them, and this is why I must first, congratulate Ms Suzuma on this novel. Not only is incest a frowned upon subject in near enough every country worldwide, the topic itself is also a part of our society. The incest story line is fed to teenagers through the porn industry, which almost leaves the viewer to believe that it's okay, that it's accepted in today's world, but it isn't, and I was fascinated by how a delicate subject, such as this, would be portrayed. I'm pleased to say, on the whole, I was impressed.

I deducted a star for a number of reasons, all small, but made a difference to my enjoyment through reading this. The first reason being, that I felt both our main characters, Lochan and Maya, were a little too cliche for my liking. I felt that the confident girl and shy boy has been portrayed before in a number of novels, and felt that, although this helped through their character development and the story of them becoming closer, it was just not for me. Reason number two was that they followed another trait in relationships in novels that bugs me as well, and that is the 'I can't survive without you' trait. Yes, I understand that as a teenager, you have pent up feelings that require you thinking of your loved one, or wishing to see them more, but in your bog standard relationship, that's what happens, but I felt that in this one, is was to the extreme! There's only been one other novel in which I felt the level of extremity was the same, and it annoyed me in that one too, so it's not a personal vendetta with this one in particular. The third and final reason, was the repetition throughout the novel. I do also understand as part of the plot, that there is a certain amount of routine within it, but I just got bored on too many occasions, and left it days not picking it up in some cases. This is also just a personal thing for me, but it mattered.

The other parts of the plot also pleased me, specifically that of the estranged Mother and Father. I felt that this is a sad representation of a section of society that people don't want to confess to, but does happen all the same. The character development of Lochan and his anxiety problems were also covered well, and I'm pretty impressed with this book on the whole.

I am glad I bought this book, as although, I would put a 20% chance of me ever reading this again, my eyes were opened to the world of incest and the relationships of that kind that do happen, and I would definitely says it's a must read for people who like realistic and raw novels, containing delicate subjects and for me personally, mild sex scenes are also included in the novel, as to be expected.

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