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.