Thursday, August 18, 2011
Forbidden by Tabitha Sazuma
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 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.
I think I originally picked up this book out of sheer, morbid curiosity. But I was immediately hooked, drawn into this tragic story to the point that I couldn't put the book down. The book follows a family of five siblings who have been all but abandoned by their mother. Lochan, the strong "man of the house" at home, is brilliant and driven but so terrified of public speaking he can barely utter a single word to anyone outside of his own family. Maya, the mother-figure, peacemaker, and loving sister is the nurturer her siblings desperately crave. Kit, headstrong and angry, acts out as many teenagers will. Tiffan, a hyper but lovable child, is the whirlwind of the family. And little Willa is sweet, adorable, and made me want to jump into the book and scoop her into my arms. I fell in love with each and every one of them and distinctly experienced every joy and pain throughout the story right along with them.
When the romantic aspect of Maya and Lochan's relationship began to develop, I was sympathetic, a bit appalled yet understanding, scared, and heartbroken for them all at once. It was actually difficult not to wish they could have a happily ever after - something I didn't expect at all.
As I got closer to the end of the story, I found myself reading slower, not wanting to reach the inevitable end to a truly beautiful, tragic story. I cried through the last two chapters of this book and I think this will be one of those stories that will haunt me forever.