I love books! My love of them started with Dick and Jane and I've never looked back. I love all kinds of books but on my blog I review Middle Grade and Young Adult novels. I also have a family, two sons and a great husband! I have one rescue dog, Jasper who hates text messages and thunder and fireworks and loves snow. I have a BA in English Lit from the University of Florida and spend time writing when I get the chance. I am not accepting review requests. Be kind to yourself and others.
Forbidden Tabitha Suzuma Simon Pulse 457 Pages $17.99
I know most people reading this review have the forgone conclusion that Forbidden is a book about incest. But the book I read was about so much more. It was about a boy, a child, Lochan, who gave up his childhood at twelve so he could keep his four other siblings together one of whom was just a baby. It was about how he tried to make it all seem like it didn't bother him, how he made it look effortless and easy when each and every minute was a struggle and then he finds out that his sibling, Maya, only 13 months his junior, understands and sees through the cracks and for five years they raised the kids as father and mother, always putting the younger children's needs before their own needs, even though they are children themselves.
Their mother, if you could call her that, more like a baby machine, was there for them in the beginning but the older they got, the less she was there. And when she was, she was usually drunk. Her presence was more of a bother than a help. And to get money from her Lochan, or Lochie as they called him, would have to resort to blackmail threatening to show up at her new boyfriend's house with all the kids in tow, suitcases in hand until she paid up. There was still barely enough to get by. At one point he's dropping his youngest sister off at school, Willa and he thinks, "For a moment I just stand and watch her go, her fine golden hair streaming behind her in the wind. Her gray pinafore is stained with yesterday's lunch, her school coat is missing its hood, her book bag is falling apart, her red tights have a large hole behind the knee, but she never complains. Even though she is surrounded by mums and dads hugging their children good-bye, even though she hasn't seen her mother for two weeks now, even though she has no memory of ever having a father. She is only five, yet already she has learned that there is no point in asking her mother for a bedtime story, that inviting friends over is something only other children can do, that new toys are a rare luxury, that at home Kit and Tiffin are the only ones who get their own way, At the age of five she has already come to terms with one of life's harshest lessons: that the world isn't fair." (p 163-164)
Lochie was also achingly lonely. So shy, he couldn't speak to classmates so he had no friends. He'd never had a girlfriend. His panic attacks were so severe I honestly thought he had a heart condition and he was going to die. I'm sure that must be what a person that suffers from panic attacks feels like. It was terrifying to read how he was feeling as he suffered through them and to have them called panic attacks. They seemed more like near death experiences they were so severe and left him completely shattered. And yet, he recovered and persevered and at home was the voice of authority. His continued existence amazed me. I would have caved under the pressure well before then.
And then one day, during an innocent dance with his sister, he felt something for his sister that he shouldn't and he was totally disgusted with himself and pushes her away. They are both aware that incest is wrong yet, when they are together, alone, it isn't disgusting or gross, it just seems like two teenagers in love. They've been through so much, struggled, helped each other, kept the family together- I forgot they were brother and sister -I wanted them to have some kind of happiness, even if it couldn't last. Lochie especially. I felt so emotionally attached to him. He took the blame for everything. He even tried to keep Maya away, tried to keep their relationship from getting physical. Any time something went wrong, it was his fault, according to him. He was a tragic figure from the beginning to the end.
I cried through the last fifty pages of the book. My husband looked at me and said, "Books don't usually do this to you. Are you okay?" I just nodded and kept wiping away the tears underneath my glasses. When I finished, I closed the book, took off my glasses and had a great big sob fest. I felt better, but telling the story to my husband brought a fresh round of tears. You cannot judge the characters in this story until you know everything that happened. So, I'm saying again, this is not a story about incest. It's about love and just how far you'll go to protect those you love whether it be the love of your life, your sister or brother or your family. I'll definitely read some other works by this author. It takes a lot to get through the numbness that my meds bring on. But she made me feel every word on every page. It was a well told story. It tore me to pieces and left me shattered. That is a great novel to me.
Forgot that rating thing-Because there are some very mature themes and some sexual content I'd reserve this for the mature set. Still, it's a very good book.
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