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  • Published: 15 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9781862308169
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99


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.

  • Published: 15 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9781862308169
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

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

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Praise for Forbidden

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

'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

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

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

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

...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

... 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.


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/

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