In a short blurb? We talk books.
I just finished reading Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma for my YA book club.
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Maya and 17-year-old Lochan tell, in their separate voices, of their confusion and longing as they fall in love with one another after years of functioning as parents to three younger siblings due to their alcoholic mother’s neglect.
As you can see, this is not your typical forbidden romance story. Suzuma tackles an incestuous relationship that is presented to a young adult audience. I like to think of myself as an open-minded person so when this popped up as a choice for my book club, I ended up casting my vote for Forbidden. I remember thinking to myself, “This would make for a really interesting book discussion”.
When it came to buying the book, I decided that I might as well tackle another book that dealt with a controversial subject. It was time to finally read Lolita. Why not just go for all the forbidden romances? (Side Note: I do hope my father doesn’t look through my order history. He might voice some concerns though he very rarely says anything about what I’m reading) I was a bit dubious when I received in the mail, when I flipped through the first couple chapters, until I got hooked about 100 pages in. It wasn’t so much that it was engrossing; I was just really curious to see where this was going.
I only have two complaints about this book. #1 is that the first half of the book was slow. Now I realize that Suzuma did this to ease the reader into Lochan and Maya’s relationship… so I kind of wished that I didn’t know that the book contained incest- also I wondered if I would have picked up on the little hints that Suzuma had written early on in the book. #2 is that I didn’t need both Lochan AND Maya’s POV. Both views were written too similarly and I had to check a couple times to see who POV I was in. I think the book could have done just as well with just one character’s voice- if not better.
I was wavering on how I felt about this book because of the subject matter, the way it was written, the way that it was handled. But I felt that Suzuma did justice in the fact that Lochan and Maya did think about their actions. That they did do some research, ask around, think about their forbidden relationship, and that they did realize the repercussions of their actions. It adds a more mature tone to this novel and I appreciate that she did this instead of glossing it over to focus on their romance.
The last half of the book threw me in a frenzy. Most of the novel, the author is trying to persuade the reader to open their mind and heart to Lochan and Maya’s relationship. But with the turn of events, we are exposed once again to the way the world views incest.
Consensus: 3/5 Stars. If you have an open mind, are not too squirmy when it comes to graphic details of physical relationships, and curious to see how things play out… then go grab a copy!