Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Love is right, incest is wrong. But can the two exist within the same relationship?

I love books that make me think, and I love books that make me feel. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma made me do both. It’s an incredibly powerful story about Lochan and Maya, siblings born only thirteen months apart. Though they are only seventeen and sixteen respectively, they act as the adults of their household: taking care of three younger siblings, managing financial affairs, all on top of completing their schoolwork too. Falling in love only complicates matters – their relationship is sinful yet impossible to stop, and they will do whatever it takes to keep it hidden while allowing it continue…

Incest. Incest, incest, incest. Incest is one of those dirty, taboo topics that are reserved for quick condemnation and hushed conversations. It takes some serious courage to write a book like Forbidden, and Tabitha Suzuma managed to not only make it thought-provoking, but emotionally moving as well.

Lochan and Maya’s romance was beautiful. The pacing and execution of the plot was perfect, as it developed the bond between the two but did not overshadow other aspects of the story. Their feelings of doubt, pain, and passion are so realistic and raw that you’ll end up cheering for this couple despite society’s predetermined bias against them.

This book raises a plethora of potential discussion questions. Is it really wrong? If it’s true and consensual love, should incest still be considered dirty and disgusting? Also, if Lochan and Maya had been raised in a “normal” household, would they still have turned out the way they did? Or would they have grown up and fallen in love with people other than each other?

To be honest, I’m still thinking about this book and the puzzles it presents. One thing I do believe for sure is that Lochan and Maya’s love was just as valid as any other couples’, if not more so. And yet, they are brother and sister… but does that even matter?

Forbidden has made me reevaluate my beliefs regarding an issue that I always held the same stance on, and I’m sure it’ll challenge many readers in the same way. Tabitha Suzuma is a talented author I now have my eye on and I’m looking forward to reading more books written by her.


Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

6 responses to “Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

  1. Adding this to my tbr now. I loved Stolen so much, and it sounds like this might be a thought-provoking read too.

  2. After reading Forbidden, it does made me think about the taboo-topic. Should it be legal? Or rather is it right?

    But, the end of the book it is really sad. The things you do for love.

    • Yeah, it makes you ponder whether things that are illegal are necessarily “wrong”. The ending made me cry, it was so moving… I was in public, too.

  3. Also reading the books through their perspective, I finally get what ” love has no boundaries” mean, a happy yet a sad thought describing their powerful and confessed love.
    Long time ago, incest is widespread, right? to think that there’s no harm done but still, look at what price it did to them.

    • It’s unfortunate that in Lochan and Maya’s situation their love did have a boundary – society and its prejudice. The entire story was bittersweet.

      I think the main reason incest became so taboo is because of the biological implications involved if the brother and sister were to try and produce offspring (which was discussed in Forbidden). Still, there’s always adoption, and no one deserves to be ostracized for loving another without violence.

      Now would be a good time to bring up the ending, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might be reading this conversation who hasn’t read the book. So, yes, the repercussions Lochan and Maya experienced were not fair at all and bluntly, what occurred really sucked. ):

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