Monday, 26 July 2010
Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
The relationship between Lochan and Maya isn't even there at the beginning of the book. Their love develops very, very slowly, but you can see it getting bigger and bigger until it finally emerges, at which point you almost want to start cheering. It's tender, sexy, realistic, romantic and just so right, and in such moments you throw aside all thoughts about it being sick, twisted, gross, etc. But when they realise it's wrong, it dawns on the reader, too.
It's not just their forbidden relationship that Lochie and Maya have to worry about. With their mother neglecting them more and more until she almost totally abandons them, three younger siblings to take care of, A levels and university looming, everything seems to be falling apart. I couldn't make up my mind whether or not I liked Kit, their 13-year-old brother. I know he was a pain to Lochan and Maya, but, well, I think what I felt for him was more pity than anything else. Willa, their 5-year-old little sister, was particularly sweet. It was just so tragic that Lochan and Maya had to deal with all of it.
Strangely, I think that although there is a dual narrative, the book seems to be focused slightly more on Lochan out of the two, although Maya is probably my favourite character in the book because...she changes. All good characters ought to develop and change and learn as they go along. Not that I didn't like Lochan- he was clever, sweet and three-dimensional despite his social anxiety.
And the ending? Oh my word. It's devastating, heartbreaking, tragic, depressing, and...hopeful? Ish? Right at the ending, the slight glimmer of wonder and joy made me want to curl up in a little ball and burst into tears, but I think I was too emotionally drained to even do that. Forbidden is that powerful- after reading it you just feel like a big, empty void, uncapable of any emotions because they've been sucked out of you. The last chapter before the epilogue...holy macaroni. That's all I can say. In my desperation for there to be some sudden twist in the plot to make everything turn out for the better, I didn't really realises the consequences of Lochan's actions. But no more can I say, lest I start babbling and give everything away.
Kudos for Tabitha Suzuma for dealing with such a tricky subject. Who could have done it better? The answer is, probably nobody.
In five words (because Forbidden deserves more than three) : a disturbing, devastating emotional rollercoaster.
Reccomended for: teens (probably older teenagers, as some parts of it are a bit, erm...graphic) and adults who don't mind the edgy and difficult subject matter.
Rating: 5, of course!