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.
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 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.
Initial Thoughts: This book almost destroyed me. Heartbreaking.
Forbidden was very thought-provoking and I found myself, at times, both disgusted and sympathetic in equal measure. Having reflected on it for a few days, it is hard to look at the love between Lochan and Maya as wrong even if that is how society categorizes it.
Their family situation is completely dysfunctional. They were quasi-parents to their younger siblings, and they never really had a traditional brother and sister relationship. I couldn’t help wondering if they’d had a normal upbringing would they have fallen in love or were they always destined for one another irrespective of their environment and their circumstances? It’s an interesting question and one that’s had me thinking about this book several days after I finished it.
Modern society has a genuine reason for saying no to incest – proven birth defects in any children born of incestuous relationships. And I get that, but my mind was contemplating all kinds of scenarios whereby it could be permitted – what if it was allowed and both parties agreed to sterilization, then the risk is eliminated. Of course, that wouldn’t solve the stigma or the myriad of other issues, and I’m not saying every government should rush out and change their laws because it’s a hugely sensitive complex issue, but I would genuinely feel for any couple like Lochie and Maya and believe it’s wrong that society says they can’t be together.
Characterization was superb in this book, with emotional depth and plenty of substance. I felt both of their pain as they struggled with their feelings for one another – as they tried valiantly to fight their attraction and burning need for one another. The irony is that the family unit was actually stronger when they were together – it made sense.
Their parents should be strung up for their neglect and I wanted to hurl my Kindle a few times, such was my loathing for both mum and dad.
I knew this wasn’t going to end well but that finale still KILLED me – I was sobbing my heart out for ages and I felt an actual pain in my heart. It was horrific but compelling.
I applaud the author for her ability to tackle such a complex subject with sensitivity and grit. It was never glorified or ridiculed.
The writing was breathtaking if a little over descriptive at times – I did skim a bit.
In summary, this book had a deep impact on me and I love books that challenge my thinking and challenge social norms. This one will definitely stay with me for a long time.