Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma


Leave preconceptions behind and bury your head deep into the world of an incestuous relationship, social anxiety disorder, disappearing parent syndrome and child poverty with Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always been so much more than just siblings. Together, they have stepped up and took over from their alcoholic, absent mother to become the primary care-givers of their three younger siblings.

With the stress of exams, Lochan’s university placement, bills and keeping social services at bay, Maya and Lochan have become closer than just brother and sister – so close, that they have fallen in love.

Their concealed romance quickly blossoms into something deeper, with them clinging on to their desperate love. They both know their relationship is wrong, illegal and they cannot possibly continue, but they can’t stop something that feel so natural, so right.

It’s a masterful piece of literature and should be treated with caution, but devoured and relished because it is life-affirming, beautiful and utterly spell-binding.

Will they get caught?

Forbidden is one of the most challenging and utterly compelling books to ever be published. Considering the main plot is about Lochan and Maya’s incestuous relationship, it is striking how Tabitha Suzuma is able to write in a way that has the ability to change previous perceptions. She has created a truly beautiful, touching novel that is deep, heart-breaking and incredibly gripping. It will leave readers completely breathless, soaking tears away from cheeks.

The characters are wonderful. They merge together and a powerful family bond is evident throughout the novel. All of the characters bounce off each other like real brothers and sisters do, even with their seriously dire home situation. Their poverty is illuminated through their infuriating mother, with her reliving her teenage years with boyfriend, Dave.

Lochan is a delight. Haunted by his social anxiety disorder and strong feelings for Maya, he is written brilliantly and the perfect narrator. Maya is reserved, sick of living a lie. Kit is tormented by his lack of a father, coping with their awful situation by smoking and being a teenage tearaway. Tiffin is an innocent, fun and naïve child, desperate to cling to normality. Willa, the youngest, is a bubbly, cute ray of sunshine, providing the book with some of its most tender moments.

Forbidden is, in no way, a happy book. It’s upsetting, maddening and at times difficult to read. But, it’s a shocking tale that is so emotionally devastating and powerful, it is mere impossible not to route for Lochan and Maya. It’s this that makes the novel such a page-turner with real atmospheric tension. It is stunningly written, and incredibly difficult to put down.

Tabitha Suzuma is magnificent to even think of covering such a strong and unconventional story. Her story-telling techniques are captivating, with the reader knowing from the beginning that Forbidden cannot have a happy ending. Lochan and Maya are doomed from the moment they admit their feelings, and the sense of foreboding is overpowering throughout the novel.

Open your mind when reading Forbidden. It’s unpredictable and truly mesmerising. Be warned, Forbidden does contain some steamy moments, and is strongly recommended for only MATURE TEENS and ADULTS.

Sometimes you read a book and it stays with you. It consumes you and challenges everything you believe. Forbidden is that book. It will make you look at the world differently.

It’s a masterful piece of literature and should be treated with caution, but devoured and relished because it is life-affirming, beautiful and utterly spell-binding.



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