Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma

Okay, so I’ve found a job and have started working, and with trying to find a new place to live in between, I’ve had no time for blogging!  So now I need to try and catch up!

I saw Forbidden in a store, and thought the cover was kind of interesting, so I took a look at it.  Once I discovered what it was about (incest) I was really interested, since I own a couple of really interesting movies and/or books about incest (most notably the film Close My Eyes).  I thought it would be great to see how this topic was addressed head-on in a YA novel.  So I gave it a go!

The story alternately follows a brother and a sister who come from a rough house, where they have to pretty much play mom and dad for their younger siblings.  They gradually come to realize their feelings for each other, and slowly they start to explore those feelings, despite the risks of what they are doing.

I read through this book fairly quickly, as it was easy to keep reading and fly through it.  However, the story itself really fell short for me.  I was hoping that the book would have started after the relationship between Maya and Lochie had already begun, to the see the difference between their “normal” life as brother and sister, and their intimate time as a couple.  The book instead starts out months before anything happens with them, and really, hardly anything ever does.  They tended to do something once, like kiss, and then not speak to each other for what seemed like weeks at a time, even after discussing their situation and deciding to go with it.  I found it unbelievable that they would be quite so distant from each other, and that really got to me.

These two siblings were also supposed to be soul-mates, with a connection so much deeper than the “labels” about their relationship.  I wanted this to be true, so that I could root them on, but I just didn’t buy it.  It seemed like they never told each other anything, even though they were supposedly best friends, and even outside of their relationship dramas, they really didn’t seem to know each other all that well.  Basically, it seemed to be that their relationship stemmed from purely physical attraction, which just doesn’t cut it in a story like this.

I also found this book really preachy.  The term “labels” was used over and over again, which seems a bit ridiculous to me; it is not a “label” that two people are biologically related, and this book kept arguing that it was.  Most of the book was devoted to the two teens complaining about how people didn’t understand and how people were the problem, not them, but never did it once actually mention the scientifically-proven facts that biologically, the two shouldn’t be together.  And, after all is said and done, the ending of the book was WAY too overdramatic.  I will admit that I was surprised by the ending, which I suppose is a good thing, but really it just seemed like the entire book was supposed to prove the point that because people are so narrow-minded, bad things have to happen.

I was really open to the concept of Forbidden, but in the end it just did not pan out well for me.  I love strong characters, and I especially find this true in YA lit.  However, I found that Maya and, especially, Lochie, were just whining teenagers that ultimately were way too overdramatic, considering how mature and level-headed and smart they were supposed to be.  I would have loved to see this book take pretty much the opposite direction it did, so while the book was a fairly fast and easy read, it just wasn’t a great one for me.  **1/2