REVIEW: Forbidden by Tabitha Sazuma

forbidden reviewTitle: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Sazuma
Pages: 432
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Definitions
Synopsis: 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 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.

Review: Though this book deals with an extremely taboo and somewhat disturbing topic, I can’t describe the feelings I’m feeling right now!

I had pretty high expectations going into this because I knew a lot of people loved it and it definitely did not let down. This book was an emotional rollercoaster and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. As a lover of V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic this book wasn’t quite so disturbing to me as I thought it would be and I definitely saw some similarities between the two novels.

I really enjoyed Lochan’s character in this. I felt like the descriptions of his struggles with anxiety were super accurate and I just liked him in general. In terms of his anxiety, I felt like I could really relate to him and the way his mental illness affected him at school and around his peers. I loved the way he treated his younger siblings and I felt so sad for him when just how much stress he was experiencing became apparent. One thing I didn’t like about his character was his anger issues. I didn’t enjoy reading his outbursts and the things he said in fits of rage, it just kind of made me uncomfortable.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Maya. She really bugged me for most of this novel. I felt like a lot of her chapters were overly dramatic and I didn’t really like reading them. I liked the relationship between her and Willa though I definitely wished we could have seen more of it. I feel like these characters didn’t go through a whole heap of growth though there were some character arcs.

I wish there had been more focus on the relationships between the siblings, not just them as a whole family unit. I like when we saw some one-on-one whether it was Maya and Willow, Kit and Lochan or Tiffin and Maya. I just really wish there was more of that.


I loved the writing style. At first I didn’t like it but it only took a few chapters for it grow on me. It was different to a lot of books I’ve read and it all just flowed really nicely. I liked the pacing and the side characters as well, though I really wish Maya and Lochan’s mother was featured since she kind of just disappeared towards the end.

This book is definitely confronting in a lot of ways and it’s also super hard hitting. I’m not going to lie, the incestious relationship in this book did make me uncomfortable but I often found myself so caught up in the romance and the forbiddenness that I loved it and sometimes I even forgot these two characters were related. I did feel like that sometimes Maya and Lochan’s relationship bordered on abusive simply because of Lochan’s anger issues and his inability to control himself.

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It’s left me reeling with so many emotions. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending, I was definitely expecting something different but Forbidden exceeded my expectations and has left a special place in my heart for the Whitely family.

my rating ★★★★☆


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