Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Forbidden, by Tabitha Suzuma

The first thing to know about this book, is that it handles a taboo topic -- incest. So if that subject immediately puts you off, then stay away from this book.

Personally, I will look past subject matter if the story is written well, so I went into reading this book with an open mind.

In Forbidden, Lochan and Maya are brother and sister. Seventeen and sixteen years old respectively, the two siblings run the household. While their mother is off drinking with her boyfriend, being an irresponsible adult at all hours of the day, Lochan and Maya take care of their three younger siblings as though they were there own children. Maybe that explains the attraction they have to each other, an attraction that grows throughout the book as the two realize that maybe they love each other more than a brother and sister normally would.

Like I stated above, I wasn't put off by the subject matter. In fact, I was intrigued. I liked that it was something different, something that most people wouldn't touch. I've read a lot of reviews from people who wouldn't even give this book a chance once they learned what it was about, but I really wanted to know how it was handled. I wanted to see how a taboo subject was viewed by someone involved in the middle of it.

I did have a problem with the way the story was told, however. It was told in alternating points of view, which is nice because it shows you both sides of the situation from each person involved in the romance. However, it seemed to do nothing but drag on for over 400 pages. I read through the first 150, and then skimmed through the rest, and I still understood what happened through the rest of the book. All the major events could have happened in half the size of the book, and those could have been shortened just a little bit. There were a lot of repeated explanations of "forbidden" feelings, broken up by a few family quarrels, which took pages and pages to get through.

You can start this book knowing the basic gist -- that's the selling point: brother and sister love each other in a romantic, and sexual way. The rest of the story is just describing how they feel, how they shouldn't feel that way, etc, etc.

I think there was potential in the story, but poor execution. Don't be put off by the subject matter. If you're going to read this book, please do so with an open mind. It just trudged through like a soap opera.

And fair warning, this book is better for the more mature YA readers, as there is a fairly descriptive sex scene. Read with caution if that's not your thing.

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