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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409097426
  • Imprint: RHCP Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

Forbidden




Tabitha Suzuma is award-winning author who never shies away from challenging subject matter for older readers. This beautifully written, powerful new book tackles the biggest taboo of all . . .

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed.
He is seventeen; absolutely gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future.
And now they have fallen in love.
But . . .
They are brother and sister.

Forbidden will take you on an extraordinary emotional journey. Passionate and shocking, this is a book you will remember long after you have put it down.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409097426
  • Imprint: RHCP Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the Author

Tabitha Suzuma

Tabitha Suzuma was born in 1975 and lives in London. She has always loved writing and would regularly get into trouble at the French Lycée for writing stories instead of listening in class. She used to work as a primary school teacher and now divides her time between writing and tutoring. A Note of Madness is her first novel and was the TES Book Award runner up.

Also by Tabitha Suzuma

See all

Praise for Forbidden

“Forbidden will take you on an extraordinary emotional journey. Passionate and shocking, this is a book you will remember long after you have put it down.”

Chrissieâ??s Corner, http://www.chrissiescorner.co.uk/?tag=tabitha-suzuma

“... this book is one of the most extraordinary pieces of writing that I have read for a very long time. Without sensationalism, but with so much sensitivity in the writing, this is passionate, horrific, empathic and so well handled... This is a beautiful story, for both adults and older children. Tabitha Suzuma is a gifted author who will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. An ideal read for book groups - there is much to discuss. This story will stay with the reader for a long time after closing the book.”

Anne Carter, http://forums.readitswapit.co.uk/forums/t/75513.aspx

“'Tabitha Suzuma has once again weaved her magic making a story that has potential to be a car crash into something that touches your heart. Congratulations Tabitha!'”

Chaosmos, http://chaosmos-outofchaoscomesorder.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“'I encourage everyone to pick up this book... I'm glad I did, because it has opened up my eyes to so much more.'”

http://blueicegal-fantasy4eva.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Forbidden is a brave, poignant and powerful book... for older readers looking for a novel that really challenges our expectations of Young Adult storytelling, this is the one.'”

http://iwasateenagebookgeek.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-forbidden-tabitha-suzuma.html

“The streak of passion that is so expertly weaved in makes the story amazingly sexy.'”

The Shelftalker, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7600924-forbidden

“'Absolutely intoxicating and heart-breaking. A really tough one to get through, but so worth the journey and heart-ache.'”

Alexandra, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7600924-forbidden

“"I have just finished reading Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I'm in pieces. I can't explain in so few characters. It was so deep, it took you beyond perceptions. Made you think so much."”

The Bookette via Twitter, http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/2010/06/wishlist-i-wants-these-books.html

“The climax of this book is fantastic and something that really shocked me. I think Suzuma is a brave, honest writer and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future."”

Carly Bennett, http://carlybennett.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-forbidden-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Not only did Suzuma deal with the central tangle of incest, she also covered abandonment, depression and social anxiety: issues that a large number of teenagers will be handling silently. This is an incredibly powerful book that I think should be read by a large audience, so that they realise they are not alone when they suffer panic attacks and feel as though it is an effort to make it through each day.”

Magemanda, http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Forbidden was that hardest book I have ever read. But it was also one of the most poignant and capturing books I have read as well. Unbelievably sad, and somehow beautiful...if you are looking for a story that will completely take over your emotions and never fully leave you, I urge you to give it a try. Painful. Powerful. Brilliant”

http://yaaddict.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“I'm just pulling myself back together after reading Forbidden. Yes, it tackles a very conversial topic - consensual incestuous relationships. But the author does not do it lightly. There is so much depth to the characters in this novel and so much consideration of the topic, I really think Tabitha Suzuma deserves to be applauded for her bravery. I have to say that I am bursting with questions about norms and values, crime and deviance, freedom and abuse from reading this book. If you are at all interested in sociology, you will find this book completely absorbing. I have very little answers. Except to say that Forbidden is a fascinating, dark, emotionally challenging novel that left me sobbing and contemplative. I really encourage you to be brave and read it!”

Rebecca Scott, The Bookette Blog http://www.thebookette.co.uk/2010/06/review-forbidden.html

“One of the things I always ask myself when writing a book review is did I enjoy reading the book and how much did I enjoy it. So, did I enjoy reading 'Forbidden'? No, I didn't. But, as strange as this may sound, I do not mean this as a criticism of the book. This is not a book written to be 'enjoyed' it the traditional sense. It is a book that means to make the reader think and to induce strong emotions. I really don't think I have ever been so emotionally involved in a book before. I felt anger at the mother, pity for both Lochan and Maya, hope for them and all through the book I felt their anxiety over the possibility of getting caught. I also continually felt like I wanted to crawl into the pages of the book to help them with everything that was going on in their lives. There was always the constant feeling that maybe if they had not been forced to grow up so quickly and become parents to their siblings at such a young age then maybe things would not have ended as they did. This book is definitely worth a read, but only when you are feeling strong, as it is impossible not to be dragged in emotionally by the story and the characters. It is the type of book that really questions everything that you think about the world and it will stay with you a long time after you have finished reading it.”

Chrissie, Chrissie's Corner http://www.chrissiescorner.co.uk/?p=1939

“The narrative is written very intelligently from the perspective of Maya and Lochan, the siblings that the story centres around. It would've been nice to see a difference in writing style between characters as a way to identify who was telling the story but other than that minor criticism, I thought the writing and imagery was very strong. Suzuma does well to ensure that the story isn't just about Maya and Lochan falling in love. There were other great subplots, such a Lochan's struggle with confidence, a power struggle with their single mum who doesn't want to look after her kids and the constant fear that social services will take their brothers and sister away. Despite the synopsis, this book is about a lot more than incest. This story reminds me of the tale of Romeo and Juliet, showing that our world isn't that different from Shakespeare's day regarding social attitudes. "Forbidden" has to be read with an open mind for it to be enjoyed. A great read but quite mature, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of 15. If you enjoyed "Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman and are open to new ideas, I think you'll find this an unforgettable read. 5/5”

Luisa Plaja, Chicklish http://keris.typepad.com/chicklet/2010/07/review-forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“I think from reading the synopsis you will know if this is a book you will want to read or not. It is certainly a controversial subject but I applaud Tabitha Suzuma's decision to write it. Before reading it you may have a strong opinion of what you think is right and wrong but reading this story certainly humanises those behind a label of incest. When I think of incest straight away I associate it with abuse. By giving us a dual narrative and telling the story from both Lochan and Maya's perspective I was assured that the relationship was consensual - which is imperative to make the story work. Although I still questioned the relationship and their motivations I did believe it was their decision and neither one was forced in any way. Reading this story has raised so many questions in my mind - and to be honest they are questions I just can't answer. All I can tell you is that regardless of whether what they felt was right or wrong I just cared about them both and wanted them to all be happy. This is such a powerful read and I would highly recommend it. I would hesitate to recommend it to younger readers though, not just because it contains some graphic scenes but also because it packs such a strong emotional punch. I feel as if the author ripped out my heart and stamped on it for good measure. It felt so raw and emotionally honest that by the end I just felt devastated. It's been a while since I have read something that has had such a strong affect on me and it is a story that will stay with me for a very long time.”

Sammee Hicks, I Want To Read That http://iwanttoreadthat.blogspot.com/2010/07/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“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. The story was shocking and difficult at times, but it was worth it. FORBIDDEN is a stunning read that shouldn't be missed. I highly recommend it.”

Mckenzie Tritt, Teens Read Too http://www.teensreadtoo.com/ForbiddenSuzuma.html

“It was impossible to read this book in a single sitting. Not because I wanted to put it down, but because I had to put it down at certain intervals. I was compelled to do so. It was so overwhelming with emotion and tension, it left me breathless. Forbidden is told in dual PoVs - Lochan's and Maya's. While Maya's shows most of the action, Lochan's is more internal, more about his mental state -and it left me reeling, reeling under the sheer power of the prose. This isn't a sensationalized love story. It's just so very real, with so many emotions - guilt, despair, elation, helplessness, euphoria - sometimes it's claustrophobic, but all the while it's something you can't stop reading. Something you can't get over thinking about. See, I like books that offer me escapism (I think that's an important reason why we read) but I love books that make me think. That put me through hard realities and make me feel both scared and powerful. It's very cathartic. And this book, made me go through every kind of emotion that's known in this world, perhaps. My heart was hammering the whole while, because I was so scared for Maya and Lochan. Because I couldn't imagine what would happen if they were caught. Tabitha Suzuma takes an extremely taboo subject, goes beyond the bounds of conventional storytelling, beyond the boundaries of Young Adult fiction, and creates a novel that explodes in your mind, takes you on a journey and leaves an unforgettable impact on you. It frightened me. It thrilled me. And it made me fall in love. Forbidden is a devastatingly beautiful story, one that shattered me...and left me with hope. This is a book of immense power. I urge you to read it.”

Bee, Dreamcatcher's Lair http://talkmusebanter.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-urge-you-to-read-this.html

“...a harrowingly tragic story...Suzuma's writing is compelling and its quality beyond question but there will be many (and not just those in the "young adult" category) who will be genuinely shocked by what they are reading here.”

Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times

“possibly the most horrifyingly moving book I have ever read http://book-lovers-inc.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html”

Book Lovers Inc, http://book-lovers-inc.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“FORBIDDEN is the incredibly compelling and heart wrenching love story http://readingteenagefiction.blogspot.com/2010/08/publishing-deal-tabitha-suzuma.html”

Karen, http://readingteenagefiction.blogspot.com/2010/08/publishing-deal-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Suzuma's writing is compelling and its quality beyond question”

Robert Dunbar, Irish Times

“Usually when the blurb of a book guarantees you will remember it long after you have put it down, I tend to take it with a pinch of salt since it is designed to pique the interest and draw in new readers. In the case of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, this comment is 100% true: I finished this book last night, at two in the morning, having been unable to put it down over the preceding four hours, tears wet on my face, and I don't think I will ever forget it.”

magemanda, http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“As with all of Suzuma's books it takes hold of you and dares you to put it down. You are immediately empathetic with the two main characters Lochan and Maya and they way they cope with difficult mother and keeping the home together. The illicit relationship is dealt with in such a sensitive way where as it would be so easy to sensationalise the whole thing making it crude and offensive. You cannot help but want to hug the two young people. Tabitha Suzuma has once again weaved her magic making a story that has potential to be a car crash into something that touches your heart. Congratulations Tabitha!”

http://chaosmos-outofchaoscomesorder.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Basically, the book was fantastic but it's one of the saddest, most heartbreaking books I've ever read -- Romeo and Juliet have nothing on Lochan and Maya, in this book the love was felt so real that it almost jumped off the page and it was the true definition of forbidden.”

Lanna, http://bloggers-heart-books.blogspot.com/2010/07/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“I'm so pleased that I overcame my reluctance and actually read this book because I know it is one that will haunt me for a long time to come and I don't think I'll ever forget Maya and Lochan. This story has taken everything I thought I knew about incest and turned it upside down. Yes, I still feel that incest is wrong but I don't think I've ever wished so hard for a happy ending as I did when I was reading Forbidden, even though I knew before I started reading that the likelihood of that happening was practically zero...Tabitha Suzuma has taken a difficult and taboo topic and handled it with sensitivity and tact. The fact that she managed to make me empathise with both of the characters despite my built in abhorrence to incest just proves what a good job she did with this book... Forbidden is a heartbreaking story that I know I will never forget and one that I would highly recommend for older teens and adults even if you find the subject matter offensive. It is a book that will leave you with many questions and feeling like you've been on an emotional journey, just be warned that you will need tissues by the end. For a book that I didn't even think I wanted to read it has turned into my favorite book of the year so far and one that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. I'm very much looking forward to trying more books by this author.”

Sarah, http://bookreviewsbysarah.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-forbidden-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Gosh, this story really tugged at my heart, as each page unfolded and I learned more of this family, so dysfunctional but yet it had a lot of love between all the siblings. A large chunk of the book didn't even touch on the taboo, instead you were taken day by day through the struggles the family had to deal with... It is during the first half of the book that you can understand why the pair would be drawn to each other, Lochan and Maya were heavily reliant on the other for everything, keeping their family together was a huge burden for them. I felt so invested in them both that when their first kiss happened i began to want a happily ever after for them despite their fate being set. The author pulled at every heart string i had, here was two children who had this whole world of responsibility thrust upon them and all they had done wrong was to care for the person the world said they couldn't. They tried to stay apart, to suppress all those feelings and emotion but ultimately it was too strong to last for long and thy gravitated back together and the forbidden. I wasn't surprised at the outcome, it was inevitable, the last few chapters were so hard to read, they take you on such an emotional heart wrenching roller coaster that i did want to abandon the book, but i was so invested in these characters i had to pull on my big girl panties and see it through to the end. Forbidden is a book that will stay with me for a long time, the content shocks and makes you war with your inner beliefs because all you want for the pair is happiness together. Wonderful writing from the author, at times i wished the pace was a little faster, and although i understood why we needed to know each and every daily activities i felt there was a few chapters too many of this but overall this is a book i will think of often, Lochan and Maya made me laugh and smile and feel utter sadness and turned all my inbuilt beliefs on their head. Sidenote: I liked that it was set in the UK, it was nice to see familiarity in places and phrases.”

http://sparklybearsy-bookbitch.blogspot.com/2010/08/forbidden-review.html?zx=1ce62f9449351cf2

“That was possibly the most horrifyingly moving book I have ever read... Forbidden was in a way painful to read. There was no excitement at the unknown, no daring anticipation at the fact that they could be caught at any second. You start out thinking ok, well this will be a standard story about traumatised kids finding comfort in each other, but it is so much more. You weren't made to like the idea of incest, even Lochie and Maya hated it at first, you couldn't sympathise with them, but you could understand what was happening. After their first kiss I had to put the book down and walk away, to be honest, I was disgusted. You didn't want them to succeed in finding a way to make their love work, but you almost didn't want it to end. You didn't want to continue reading because about halfway through it is easy to see the outcome but you couldn't put it down. Suzuma in a way forces you through their pain, by completely consuming you with their lives even though you don't want to keep going, just like them, somehow you find a way to continue. By the time Forbidden was finished, I was a mess because it forced me to think of things that I didn't want to think of. You want to write off Lochie as a nutcase, consumed by his own madness but that's not fair to him, because he fought for so long. I almost can't bear to give Forbidden top marks, but it has to have them. I hated Suzuma for what she did to me, what she made me feel. I have never felt so depressed after reading a book, but that is what I want in a book, to be consumed, to be lost, to be pounded, to feel. I am honestly terrified of reading anymore of her work purely because of what Forbidden did to me. So, as her characters had to do; it will just be one step at a time.”

http://storywings.blogspot.com/2010/08/book-review-forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“When I first heard about this book, I heard that it was all about a brother and sister falling in love with each other. So when I picked it up to read I was expecting to be shocked by a tale of incest. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, the story is about sibling incest, but it is also about so much more than that, including things that I found much more shocking than Lochan and Maya's love for each other.... Because of the situation they find themselves in, it is impossible not to fall in love with the two main characters and hope that they find happiness, in whatever form that may take for them, by the end of the story. Throughout the book there are several scenes of neglect that I just found heartbreaking... Although the relationship between Lochan and Maya is clearly wrong, because of the authors brilliant storytelling I really didn't feel as disgusted as I possibly could have done whilst reading about this topic. Is it really any surprise that they feel so closely bonded, and so isolated from the outside world, after everything that they have been through during their childhood? And because the story is told jointly by both Lochan and Maya, it is obvious to the reader that the feelings are mutual and that nobody is being forced into something they don't want to do. They try so hard to fight the feelings that they know are wrong, but in the end they just become too overwhelmed to be able to fight it any more. I actually found this book quite difficult to read because of all the issues that the author tackles. And there are overwhelming feelings of sadness and desperation throughout. The only happier moments come from Maya's narration, and I couldn't really feel her optimism as I felt she was being incredibly naive about her and Lochan's chances of a future together. This book also contains possibly one of the most tragic endings I have ever read and I don't mind admitting that I shed a few tears over the last couple of chapters. One of the things I always ask myself when writing a book review is did I enjoy reading the book and how much did I enjoy it. So, did I enjoy reading 'Forbidden'? No, I didn't. But, as strange as this may sound, I do not mean this as a criticism of the book. This is not a book written to be 'enjoyed' it the traditional sense. It is a book that means to make the reader think and to induce strong emotions. I really don't think I have ever been so emotionally involved in a book before. I felt anger at the mother, pity for both Lochan and Maya, hope for them and all through the book I felt their anxiety over the possibility of getting caught. I also continually felt like I wanted to crawl into the pages of the book to help them with everything that was going on in their lives. There was always the constant feeling that maybe if they had not been forced to grow up so quickly and become parents to their siblings at such a young age then maybe things would not have ended as they did. This book is definitely worth a read, but only when you are feeling strong, as it is impossible not to be dragged in emotionally by the story and the characters. It is the type of book that really questions everything that you think about the world and it will stay with you a long time after you have finished reading it”

Chrissie, http://www.chrissiescorner.co.uk/?p=1939

“I first heard about forbidden when Sara mentioned it over at her blog, "Along For The Ride" the subject at first threw me of, "Incest" something which almost seems taboo and within all the terror and horror that is going on in our world right now this topic is shied away from, its not exactly a pleasant topic and not one we would like to imagine and accept, when someone says the word incest out initial reaction is to cringe away, and say something along the lines of disgusting or vile. Yet we know nothing of it, we couldn't possibly know what someone goes through when they are faced with loving one another yet knowing they are brother and sister, isn't that the biggest curse possible to be in love with your brother or sister? how do you live with yourself? Yet for some reason, i fell for this book, i just knew that i had to read it, i got the feeling that it was going to be very different and eye opening, You get a little insight of that answer through Forbidden... This book has made me understand so much about this topic, if i read a case such as this now, i would not be so quick to judge and to say negative things because that's easy anyone can be horrid, what isn't easy is to understand the situation, that boy can be Lochan that girl can be Mia, and they can simply just be in love, they didn't ask for it, you cant choose the person you love. When it came close to the end, i really didn't expect it i wasn't prepared. i don't know what i was hoping for but it wasn't that, i had to put the book down because i was trying so hard to hold back tears, i felt so angry, why are people so ignorant and unfair? why couldn't they just let them be? i took a deep breath and willed myself to read on, when i finally finished the book, i just sat in silence and thought to myself, i used to be one of those people, are we really that damaged and ignorant to the extent where we are willing to ruin someones life because we don't want to listen and understand? as the book came to a close i didn't see a solution nearby, i felt so bitter and lost, yet i found that there is something at the end, even if it is small, it has the potential to be larger, in the last page i saw hope, and i was glad because as Long as you have hope no matter how terrible things get, theres a Chance even if it is small to move on. Forbidden makes you appreciate the smaller things, like being able to walk across the street with the person you love and not be scared, to hold their hand and to be affectionate, and to not be afraid of the consequences, things a lot of us take for granted. I encourage everyone to pick up this book, i understand that some of you haven't read a topic such as this before neither had i but now I'm glad i did, because it has opened up my eyes to so much more, I will leave you all with a personal quote that stayed with me after i had finished the book I look at him, numb. "Then how come its gone?"He stares at me, aghast, tears wet on his cheeks."W-what are you talking about?"I take a steadying breath, bracing myself against an onslaught of tears."I mean, Lochan, how come i don't love you anymore?"”

http://blueicegal-fantasy4eva.blogspot.com/2010/06/forbidden-by-tabitha-suzuma.html

“Stories of forbidden love are a staple of YA fiction. Whether our heroine is falling for a vampire, another girl, or a regular guy from the wrong side of the tracks, there's something irresistible about that notion of two young people in love against the rest of the world. We devour these books, confident that true love can conquer all and that the rest of the world is plain wrong. In a strange way, forbidden love stories are often among the most safe and comforting books on the YA shelf. Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden is not one of those books. In fact, it's likely to be one of the most painful and difficult YA books you've ever read. Because while this is a story about two young people falling in love, it isn't a cosy romance. Dual narrators Lochan and Maya are a brother and sister who realise they love each other as more than just siblings - or, more accurately, not as siblings. It's a challenging subject, and one that could easily put readers off even picking up the book in the first place. However, Forbidden is also an extremely well-written and thoughtful novel. I'm a big fan of dual narrative, and in this case I think it's a huge part of what makes this book work. Suzuma appreciates that we need to be able to see for ourselves that Lochan and Maya both fall in love with each other, that they both try to ignore their feelings and that neither of them is manipulating the other. I can't deny that there are many passages which make for uncomfortable reading, but the main characters are sympathetic enough to carry the reader through. That said, there were occasional portions of dialogue between the two - regarding the consequences of their relationship and the kind of assumptions other people would make - that felt a little didactic. However, this doesn't lessen the achievement of Forbidden in any way. Tabitha Suzuma takes a subject that really is taboo for most people and creates a heartbreaking story of immense emotional impact. Forbidden is a brave, poignant and powerful book. I don't think it's for everyone. There are some graphic scenes and for that reason I probably wouldn't recommend it for the younger end of the YA demographic. But for older readers looking for a novel that really challenges our expectations of Young Adult storytelling, this is the one.”

Lauren, http://iwasateenagebookgeek.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-forbidden-tabitha-suzuma.html

“... the reader is immediately involved and emphatic”

Lesley Martin, School Library Association

“It is sensitively written (with one quite graphic sex scene), and alternating chapters from the protagonists' point of view lets the reader get inside their heads. Recommended for very mature readers.”

INIS (IRELAND)

“Forbidden is the latest young adult novel by British author Tabitha Suzuma. It's a contemporary love story with an edge. Reminiscent of V. C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, the protagonists in this young adult novel are star-crossed lovers in an untenable situation. Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya are in love. There's just one problem-they're brother and sister, hence the title of the book: Forbidden. After their father abandoned the family to start afresh, Lochan and Maya's irresponsible, alcoholic mother continues her downward spiral. She takes up with a younger man and all but abandons her children. The teenagers are two of five children. As their mother spends increasingly more time away from home, Lochan and Maya have no choice but to care for and protect their younger siblings. They'll do anything to keep the family together and under the radar of the local child protective services. Trying to parent a rebellious 13-year-old in addition to an 8- and 5-year-old, would try the patience and ability level of the most astute and patient adult. Imagine struggling to accomplish this feat as a child yourself with little money, few resources, and homework to juggle. Lochan and Maya develop a second sense about each other. The fear and constant stress they share draw them closer than the average teen siblings. Alone and left to their own devices, they're functioning in the role of parents. A slip into the husband and wife role is not far behind. Only heartache and tragedy can follow. Forbidden has a built in "yuk" factor: sexual contact between siblings. It's to the author's credit and storytelling ability that such feelings on the part of the reader are minimized. Ms. Suzuma does not accomplish this by glossing over the sexual activity. She thoroughly explores it and the accompanying feelings of confusion and disgust the protagonists experience. Author Suzuma plumbs the depths of emotion the star-crossed siblings experience. She gets into the heads of these teens and exposes their love, lust, doubts, insecurities, and needs. 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.”

June Goodwin, http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/review/forbidden

“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 rebelion. Most of all, though, it's Lochan and Maya's alternating first-person. present- tense narratives, both tender and heartbreaking, that will stay with readers.”

Hazel Rochman, Booklist USA

“OMG, I have no idea how on earth I can even review this book. I know I won't do it any justice but I will try my hardest. BE WARNED! This review may not make sense and may contain slight spoilers. OK Here goes. Breathe Forbidden is about two teenagers Lochan and Maya, they are brother and sisters and are forced to take on the role of parents looking after their three younger siblings after there father left and their mother turns to drink and is never there. Being thrown together as a team the soon realise they have feelings for each other that goes beyond the feelings a brother and sister should have And they fall in love. I wanted to read this book for so long. I had read nothing but fantastic reviews for it. I finally got a chance to read it after the publishers kindly sent me out a copy. However, I kept putting it off and putting it off. This wasn't anything to do with the incest. It was the fact that everyone who reads it seems to have a complete breakdown. So after having the book for a good while. I decided it was now or never. And let me tell you. I have never ever ever been so moved by a book in my entire life. Lochan and Maya are two people that I really like. Lochan is a shy boy who has social anxiety that stops him speaking in public Only at home and around Maya can he be himself. Maya is a rock to Lochan. She is just so likable. Together they make a great team looking after their two brothers, Kit and Willa and their young sister Willa. They have had to grow up so fast because their mother neglects them. The feelings they have for each other are so pure (and of course forbidden) and strong that its hard not to root them to have a happy ending. Not once did this subject matter bother me. Incest goes on the world.Whether you think its immoral or not its happens. Forbidden is consensual incest. I honestly didn't see a problem with it, (Please Dont shoot me) I am not condoning incest in any way. But who am I to Judge? Who are you to Judge? Maya and Lochan have a love that is so powerful and they truely do love each other. No one is forced into any thing. So it didn't gross me out or think it was wrong. Now saying that I do have a brother and the thought of anything like that is just a big no no and creeps me out. I just wanted to point out incase I get another person saying "oh you must not have a brother" just because I didn't think this book was wrong Just to say sorry if none of this makes sense. I am having a really hard time keeping myself together even writing this review. When I was reading this book. I did find the beginning very slow and took a while to get into but once I was I was hooked. I read like a really good romance but I kept wondering when something would happen to make the emotional break down happen. I though there was something wrong with me at first. However, there was nothing wrong with me. I did get my tears. It hits you like a tone of bricks in the 50 pages or so. And I mean tears. Oh my god I was inconsolable. My son thought there was something really wrong with me. I was breaking my heart. I have never ever felt anything like this in my life. My heart was aching. I was honestly in pain. Yes, I am now remembering everything and I am in tears again!! So I am going to stop and say sorry for this ramble of the review. All I can say is Please please read this book. Keep an open mind about the subject matter. Its won't be easy read. Its just heartbreakingly beautiful. This is a book that I will never be able to read again but its going to stay with me forever.”

Siobhan Phinn, http://thoughtsofamadhatter.blogspot.com/

“A complex novel that succeeds in exploring the controversial subject of sibling incest without sensation... A chilling, powerfully written tale with lasting effects for both teenage and adult readers.”

Jake Hope, The Bookseller


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