Saturday, March 2, 2019

DNF Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publication Date: May 27, 2010
Publisher: Definitions
Pages: 418
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She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Everyone has told me to read Forbidden over the past few years. At least, it seems that way! As a huge fan of Flowers in the Attic, I decided that I could definitely handle the subject matter and that I'd probably love this too. "How bad can it be?" I said. Welp.

Forbidden is the extremely melodramatic story of Lochan and Maya, teenage children of a single mother, and siblings of several other children who they're increasingly responsible for. As they go about their lives taking care of their siblings while their mother lives her life as if she was single, they begin to realize their feelings for each other are more than what's normal between brother and sister. While I got all of that from the synopsis, I was not prepared for this actual book.

My issue with Forbidden is totally "it's not you, it's me." I know that this book is beloved by a huge number of people. I get it! But as someone with a brother who I have a close sibling bond with, I just could not. I love a good romance story as much as the next person. I don't know what exactly was different with this than Flowers in the Attic. Perhaps it's because in that book we see the relationship develop from earlier in their childhood. Maybe it's because they're so completely innocent for so long while the romance starts quickly in Forbidden. I'm not sure, to be honest.

Aside from the cringey relationship between Maya and Lochan, I also had problems with the way the characters were written. I can't stand the back and forth of their romance. The acting on feelings immediately followed by dramatic discussion of how they shouldn't have done it, again and again. It was just a bit too dramatic for my taste. I have read a spoiler for the ending and I have to say I'm not upset that I quit when I did. It seems like the drama continues until the very end.

If you are an only child, maybe you'll enjoy this book more than I did. If you don't mind the kind of drama that makes everything out to be more serious than it is, perhaps this is the book for you. Unfortunately, I just could not make myself keep reading.