Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

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.

Oooh ~ what a blurb O.o 

I am not sure if FORBIDDEN needs much introduction? It's been making it's waves through the YA reading world since it's UK release last year and has had a recent boost with it's Aussie release and (upcoming?) US release.

The premise is as per the blurb. The drama is as per the tagline on the cover. The overwhelming verdict (as per goodreads and bloggers) is that this book will break your heart, shock, anger and resonate. 

As for me ...

I am out on my own little limb here in saying I did not care for this book *waves to all my buds who love it to the max*

It is not the subject matter that irked me but rather the heavy-handed and melodramatic way in which it was handled.

This book, IMO, is the equivalent to a daytime drama ~ complete with sappy character names (Lochan, Maya, Kit, Tiffin and Willa are the children), over-wrought "true love" sentiments, sensationalist parental issues of alcoholism, abandonment and abuse, and an oh-my-gosh extreme climax (designed either to make a statement or just for forbidden love shock angle?).

The love Lochan feels for Maya (his sister) is all-consuming. In his mind it is love, no doubt, but it is a dark, all-consuming force. He is possessive, jealous, brooding and manipulative as he clings (and wrestles) with his desire for his sister. His intense love for Maya, and the way in which he declares it, is reminiscent of the romance Edward and Bella share in TWILIGHT (in intensity/forbiddeness/ and i-would-rather-die-than-face-the-world-without-you sentiments). It's hard-core, and Suzuma goes all out with poetic prose and cheesy statements.

While Lochan's behaviour is certainly plausible (in a teen who's view of himself and the world is so polarised), I struggle with this version of "love" being shown as romantic ~ and being written in such a way to gain the sympathy of readers. It is rather creepy and obsessive (although softened somewhat by Lochan's own 
social phobias/mental health problems which make him a character some readers would long to care for).

The only characters I really cared for in this book were Lochan and Maya's siblings, who are neglected and abandoned and I genuinely ached for them (although their problems take a back seat behind the incest-love-drama).

I found the prose a little heavy to trudge through and the sex scenes a bit too explicit (okay, they were too tackily explicit) for my preference.

FORBIDDEN is like a Romeo & Juliet forbidden love story with a sensationalist incest twist and an ending designed to shock and enrage readers on behalf of the characters. I get why it has garnered so much curiosity and also why so many people are gasping and weeping at the end. It is gripping and shocking and makes for an unrelenting read. It's quite dark and I felt like a heavy weight was sitting on my chest as I was reading it.

Unfortunately, melodrama and all-consuming sweeping love acts/declarations in a "day-time drama setting" is just not really my thing.

Forbidden @ goodreads

on a side note: remember when Flowers in the Attic was all the rage? LOL. 


  1. My reaction to this book was not instant love. it was shock, anger, and yes, sappy hope. I picked it up late last year because of all the peeps telling me, 'yes, you must read this. it will change your life'

    i finished it, a little confused. did i love it? NO. hate it? again no. an odd mixture of both. HELL YES. for me lochan was the character i sided with. i kept thinking that he had all these issues, and then falls for his sister, and now hes torn. I hated Maya. it was like she was this tease who kept leading lochan on, even as he was fighting against this attraction.

    did it wander into cheese territory? yes. were the sex scenes far too explicit for anything besides erotica, esp YA? HELL YES.

    ok. rant over...i think

  2. LOL. i felt the same way about maya too. )but my review was getting ranty enough as it was, haha.

    the sex scenes ~ what was with that O.o

    i finished it a while ago and on reflection it really is not for me. at all. i wasn't even going to review it, but it keeps coming up in my newsfeed, LOL. and, what can i say, i like to have my voice heard (i have not even read a negative review of it yet ~ just mine).

    thanks for the comment. and for being nice to me, it's a little weird going out there with a negative review for a such loved books :D

    i find it interesting you sided with lochan (and i see why he is compelling). i think i could've. maybe i just didn;t like how i felt a little manipulated by circumstances into rooting for them or something? also ~ it was the intensity of it all. it isn't just some crush and sexual experimentation. it's like FULL BLOWN angst and obssession. O.o

  3. I read Flowers in the Attic a few years back out of curiosity. I was bored halfway through lol.

    I can't seem to make up my mind about Forbidden. On one hand there are reviews which have praised it a lot and on the other, people have said it's melodramatic. And I detest melodrama in books! Hmmm... maybe I will read it in the future some day when all the hype has died down.

  4. Hm, interesting to read a review from someone who didn't like it. Seems like everyone's ~in love~ with everything about it. The daytime TV/soap opera feel you mentioned makes me think I'll hate it, but the premise sounds so good I'll still probably read it soon.

    As always, thanks for the honest review!

  5. i heard about this book last year, and thought it sounded really interesting. unfourtunetly your review makes me think i really wouldn't like it.
    i love romance, i am a lover of sap (major sarah dessen fan). but i like it to be somewhat realistic, twilight was annoying.
    such a shame, it's a good idea for a novel.

  6. I was really planning to buy this one, now I'm thinking maybe I ought to just wait to get it at the library, and yes, it's out in the US now. I don't go much for soap opera type stuff either. I love your honesty here, Nomes.

    Oh - and I picked up Psych Major syndrome - was on sale at Amazon!

  7. lol! when i was 14 i LOVED flowers in the attic - so racy :-) I haven't read it for years, I really should pick up a copy. I am so interested to read this, mostly because I just can't figure how an author could take this topic and make it interesting. Thanks for the heads up on the melodrama, I'll be expecting it now.

  8. LOL Nomes.

    I read this review on goodreads a couple of days ago.

    *waves back from loved to the max side*

    Yes, I can see where you are coming from. I've thought of your review for a couple of days now and I definitely see the daytime drama, names include, flare to this book.

    I also thought the sex scenes were too explicit. It really makes me wonder who the target audience is.

    Great literary analysis mate. I'm glad to have your perspective on this.

  9. I'm kind of agreeing with you here Nomes, except I was pretty blown away by the ending; I know I'm probably a dufus, but I really didn't expect it. Plus, I kind of thought that the book's heavy, pretty dark tone suited it quite well, even if it wasn't really that enjoyable to read. So yeah, I was on the fence about Forbidden; I couldn't decided whether it was gripping, hard-hitting and dramatic, or whether it was too punch-in-the-stomach overdone.

  10. Nice review, Nomes. This wasn't on my list... and probably won't be.
    (Though not solely because of your review.)
    I am afraid this is just the beginning of the incest trend.

    I have heard incest is the new vampires.

    Was there ever a more cringe-worthy statement!?

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  12. I love this review... I honestly thought that I was the only person in the world who didn't like this book.

    Every time I read a book where there are siblings I get heart palpitations... just in case.
    I agree with KO, it's all the rage at the moment!

  13. I actually didn't like this book much. It took me forever to get into it and I agree with you that it was a bit daytime drama.

    Plus, I couldn't really get over the premise, it seemed weird to me all the while. I think the book didn't manage to pull me out of the premise and get me involved in the story.

  14. I have this one and may still read it but I have to confess I puked a little in my mouth when I read about the explicit sex scenes, not that I have a prob with explicit sex scenes but between brother & sister??

  15. oh dude: i heart everything about this review.

    i just need to say an: AMEN!

    i knew as soon as i read half a page i wasn't going to be able to get through it...

  16. I was looking for this book at the book store the other day and I could not find it. What's up with that? Is it not released in the US yet or what? Okay, so didn't know about the sex scenes. The names are really strange and I can see what you are saying about the soap opera feel. I get that. Still want to read it.

    btw. Your review wasn't a rant. It was more of a-- this is what I liked/didn't like.

    ♥ Trish
    Just a YA Girl

  17. You are the first friend of mine who hasn't loved this. Well, I guess Lynds only gave it 3/5 but still...

    My IRL book club picked it for this month so I'll be reading it in the next few weeks. I'm confused about how I'll feel considering we often share the same bookfeelings. (one word) Anyway, I loved your review of it, as per usual. *crosses fingers I'll like it*


  18. I have this, so I'm really hoping I fall into the category of loving it. I'll give it a go.

    Haha yes I remember the Flowers in the Attic craze. I kept having nightmares that someone would come and cut my hair off in the night LOL! I think the whole brother/sister thing passed me by completely, too young and innocent :)

  19. I read your review on Goodreads first. All of us probably feel bad for constantly giving it 5 stars and saying people must read end up not liking it at all! :( I did understand while I was reading it, that it wouldn't be for everyone. Honest review!

  20. I like your honest review. I think that this would probably not be my thing either.

  21. Hi this was a good review. Im kind of thinking of reading it soon.Im a new follower by the way. care to follow mine? LALAINE'S FICBOOKREVIEWS

  22. It has been a while since I have read one of your reviews where the book being review was not to your liking. I have not read this one, but I have read a few like it where instead of real emotions and sincere characters the author is overly dramatic in the feelings department and light on authentic characterization. As also a fantastic and honest review.

  23. Noooooooooooo so sad that you didn't like it. I thought it was fantastic and so heartbreaking, but that's just me :P

  24. This book was a great read. It contains really diffrent type of romance. The most forbidden kind. I had a hard time deciding if i even wanted to read it. Butdo to some of the other reviews i was perswayded to. I iam very glad i did. The book is beautifully written and had a great plot line. The romance was very deep and real.


Thanks for the commenty love :)