Review: Forbidden {Tabitha Suzuma}

She is sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But they are brother and sister.

Lochan and 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 de-facto parents, 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 brought them closer than two ordinary siblings.

As their clandestine romance quickly blooms into a 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.


This story is supposed to make you have a reaction, whatever reaction that may be. We see just how much Maya and Lochan love each other and though it can be cringe-inducing it really is awful to see them struggle with it. How guilt-ridden and ashamed they are. So, when they decide not to let anything get in the way of their feelings, I smiled because, at times, their love really was beautiful.

Not only that, but I liked them as individuals  They both go through hard times, forcing them to become parents to their siblings and so they are constantly worried that social services will tear their family apart by taking away their brothers and sisters. 

Not to mention the fact that Lochan has severe social anxiety, leaving him pretty much an outcast, riddled with panic attacks and barely able to speak to anyone not related to him. He's smart, but his education is at risk because of this and it is the icing on the oh-sweetie-let-me-just-give-you-a-hug-already cake.

Their lives are hard as hell and the solace they find in each other was remarkable to see. To watch their story unfold and see the unwavering support they provided one another really helped to ease me past the big neon sign saying INCEST.

Not only that, but Tabitha Suzuma is an sensational writer. Her story is heartbreakingly sincere and so beautifully crafted that at times I forgot about the sordidness behind Maya and Lochan's love. She writes with such ease and graze; a highly descriptive and lyrical prose that perfectly conveys each character's emotions and inner turmoil.

In the end, this book was such a mixed bag. I enjoyed it, but it frustrated me. The love story was beautiful, but horrible.  But no matter what I felt or thought, this really was a heartbreaking love story and a really stunning tale of family loyalty. If nothing else, it is a book that will leave you wondering, where exactly do we draw the line when it comes to love? And who gets to decide?

"You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel." 


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.


  1. Wow! I don't think I ever would have thought that I would like a book about incest, but your review really intrigued me and so I had to go on Goodreads and read others. It sounds like a pretty amazing read! I added it to my TBR list and will definitely have to check it out!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. It really is such an intense read. Going in I wasn't sure what to think, but I was pretty certain I wouldn't like it. Glad to say I was caught completely off guard and it actually ended up being an amazing read. I'm so glad I took the chance on it (and I'm glad you are too!) :)

  2. When it comes to stories like this, that I know will get flames from critics and reviewers because of content, I so want to high five the author and say- good for you! You took a chance!

    That was a phenomenal review. You put a lot of personality into something that most people make very boring :)

    1. I'm definitely beginning to read more and more books like this - ones with controversial topics and intense stories. If people are too sensitive to read about certain issues it can be such a shame, because books like this are the ones that resonate :)

      (And thank you so much :D I'm really glad you liked the review!!! )

  3. I am so glad you liked this because it makes me mad when I see reviews that are like "so icky!" and automatically give it 2 stars. I actually like books like this because they usually have an incredible story behind them. Love the sound of this one, great review!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

    1. Oh I hate that too - when people refuse to read something because they assume they'll hate it. I'm so glad I went into this book with an open-mind, because it ended up being a really gripping read. I like anything that challenges me not only as a reader, but as a person and this book definitely does that :)