Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

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 can't believe I finished it without crying. I knew something had to happen to end the story, I mean happy ending? sad ending? something. There were times I didn't want to finish the story, it made me uncomfortable, sad, angry and heartbroken.

I do not read a lot of contemporary novels, out of my 140 reads this year I can only count 15 contemporary on my list so far. One of the reasons I do not read a lot of contemporary is because I mostly read to escape every day life. Life is hard, it has really difficult moments that I prefer only to deal with when I have to. So when I pick up a contemporary book, I want it to have an aspect to it that really gets me thinking about something. I want it to make me learn more about myself and how I view the world and view myself regarding certain issues. I don't want to read about everyday problems. I want something with substance.

Forbidden is about a brother and sister who, mostly due to their circumstances, fall in love. I am not sure what got me to purchase the book besides the fact that I had seen it around the web on blogs a lot. I have heard several good things about the author and her other books, all other very hard topics as well.
As I talked to my mom about the concept of this book she asked: "Why do you think a author who writes books for teens would write this type of a book?" Even after reading the book, I am still not sure the exact answer to this question. But I can tell you, I have learned more about myself, and my beliefs because of reading it.
I took part in a read-along group which held discussions on the book as we went. I found that others have extremely different points of view on this story as well. I learned the reasons why they felt that way and even though I still did not agree with them. I feel more educated in the subject matter as a result. I feel like I have come to understand that every situation is different. But in the end it's the law that decides what is right and wrong, and they have the final decision. I learned that even though decisions and laws are made, you as a human being in the end still make the final decision in your own life.
I know this isn't much of a "review". The writing was fantastic, although I had a couple of very uncomfortable moments. For instance, the sensual/sexual scenes are very descriptive. I have not read anything this descriptive in a YA/Teen book before, ever. I cannot say that there are more books out there, but this was my first. But I was so emotionally enveloped into this story and what was going on that I could not think about anything else. The reader is given enough information about all the characters, the mother, the siblings as well as Lochan and Maya that you can thoroughly imagine exactly what is happening here. You could almost be a member of this household yourself. I went back and forth emotionally with the characters, trying to understand what is right and wrong when it comes to love.
I know that this may not help some of you on deciding if your going to give it a try or not. What I can say is that I appreciated it for the fact that I learned more about who I am, how I feel about not only about them falling in love, but the whole daily situation they had to take on. Family relationships are all different and this is just one story to be told. It broke my heart several times, and I did not know if I would cry. There were a couple of places along the way you could feel a heavy heartache and a lingering feeling that something bad is coming. Intermittent with deep feelings of unconditional love and companionship that Lochan and Maya felt for each other.
I guess sometimes there are stories that are told, they make us feel uncomfortable, happy or sad. I'm not sure if they have to be told, but they are told for a reason. For understanding, acknowledgement or entertainment.
This one was a hard pill to swallow. But if you are brave enough, you may just learn something about yourself.

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