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Forbidden (Definitions) Paperback – 27 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Definitions (Young Adult) (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862308160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862308169
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A complex novel that succeeds in exploring the controversial subject of sibling incest without sensation . . . A chilling, powerfully written tale with lasting effects for both teenage and adult readers" (Jake Hope The Bookseller)

"It is sensitively written (with one quite graphic sex scene), and alternating chapters from the protagonists' point of view lets the reader get inside their heads. Recommended for very mature readers" (Inis)

"The reader is immediately involved" (Lesley Martin School Library Association)

"A harrowingly tragic story . . . Suzuma's writing is compelling and its quality beyond question but there will be many (and not just those in the "young adult" category) who will be genuinely shocked by what they are reading here" (Robert Dunbar The Irish Times)

"The novel's surprises continue to the very end" (Hazel Rochman Booklist USA)

Book Description

Tabitha Suzuma is award-winning author who never shies away from challenging subject matter for older readers. This beautifully written, powerful new book tackles the biggest taboo of all . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Rutter on 22 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Usually when the blurb of a book guarantees you will remember it long after you have put it down, I tend to take it with a pinch of salt since it is designed to pique the interest and draw in new readers. In the case of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, this comment is 100% true: I finished this book last night, at two in the morning, having been unable to put it down over the preceding four hours, tears wet on my face, and I don't think I will ever forget it.

The story of Maya and Lochan and their forbidden love is told in alternate viewpoints, which I think adds to the depth of the book. You hear their own impressions about the situation; their own battle against their feelings; you learn it is completely consensual. They truly believe they are falling in love with each other.

The subject of the book makes for incredibly tough reading, but Suzuma handles it with sensitivity and grace. Not once did I feel that this novel had been written with sensationalism in mind, or a desire to shock. It does shock - how can it not when dealing with incest? - but you find yourself drawn into the decisions that Maya and Lochan make. At times I even found myself questioning why it would be so bad for them to start a relationship, which then made me feel very ill (I think anyone with a sibling can particularly relate to me there). This most certainly is one of the last taboos, and Suzuma brought it into the light and examined it carefully and with logical reasons for every motivation her characters had.

Suzuma does an excellent job drawing these characters: they are three dimensional, fragile and very human.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss E. Potten on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow. It's hard to know where to begin with this review - or even whether to review it at all. It's always hard when it comes to books like this because the hardest to review are so often the ones that deserve it most, so bear with me and I'll do my best!

To begin with, let me say that although this is published by Definitions as a young adult novel, I wouldn't recommend it for teenagers younger than 15 or 16 due to the extreme nature of the themes. Because yes, this is a story about the romance between a brother and sister. Don't stop reading! Because it's also so much more than that...

Lochan is seventeen. He suffers from crippling social anxiety at school, and comes home every afternoon ready to take care of his three youngest siblings: wild rebel Kit, 13, mischievous young Tiffin, and sweet Willa, 5. His mother is a neglectful, alcoholic mess who barely bothers to come home any more, and his father moved to Australia with his new wife years ago. His only ray of sunshine in this darkness is his sixteen year-old sister Maya. The two have never really been like brother and sister; they are best friends and, to all extents and purposes, parents to the three children. So when they share an unexpected kiss one night, it's like the final piece of their existence has fallen into place.

The first third of the book is mostly about the family, and the way Lochan and Maya are hanging on by a thread. They have to keep up with their school work as well as cooking, cleaning, shopping, playing, supervising homework and bedtimes, and covering for their absent mother so that Social Services won't split them up and place them in care. With Kit now old enough to rebel against his brother's authority, the situation is reaching breaking point and the tension is tangible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L on 12 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Stories of forbidden love are a staple of YA fiction. Whether our heroine is falling for a vampire, another girl, or a regular guy from the wrong side of the tracks, there's something irresistible about that notion of two young people in love against the rest of the world. We devour these books, confident that true love can conquer all and that the rest of the world is plain wrong. In a strange way, forbidden love stories are often among the most safe and comforting books on the YA shelf.

Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden is not one of those books. In fact, it's likely to be one of the most painful and difficult YA books you've ever read. Because while this is a story about two young people falling in love, it isn't a cosy romance. Dual narrators Lochan and Maya are a brother and sister who realise they love each other as more than just siblings - or, more accurately, not as siblings. It's a challenging subject, and one that could easily put readers off even picking up the book in the first place. However, Forbidden is also an extremely well-written and thoughtful novel.

Neglected by their alcoholic mother and having no choice but to look after their three younger siblings, seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya haven't had what you'd call a normal childhood. In many ways they're the parents of the household: they refer to their brothers and sister as 'the children', they're there to tuck them in at night and make sure there's food on the table, and for the last few years they've been spending their Christmas money on making sure it's a happy time for the little ones. They're partners; two people clinging to each other in their isolation from the world.
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