Recommended Read: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

It's been too long since I've posted about a book that I've enjoyed, and there have been several this year. Here's one that I'd especially like to bring to your attention. Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden is originally a U.K. release that debuted here in America this summer. (YAY! More imports, American publishers? Pretty please?) It's the first novel that I've blurbed (I'm picky!), and I also did an exclusive review of it for Amazon:

Tabitha Suzuma has crafted a harrowing, sexy, heart wrenching, and heartbreaking masterwork about one of our last remaining taboos. Lochan and Maya are the oldest children of an alcoholic, absentee mother. The burden of raising their three younger siblings has fallen upon them, and they have been forced to mature into parents. As their friendship is strengthened, and as they become dependent upon one another for survival, their parental relationship develops into a new stage: romantic love.

An alternating first-person narration immerses the reader deep inside the hearts of the characters. Suzuma takes great care to help us understand how such a situation could arise and allows us to be sympathetic for it—even root for it—though we know, just as Lochan and Maya know, that the future of a Happily Ever After is unlikely.

This is a powerful novel about love in all of its forms. About teenagers forced to become adults, and about children forced to acknowledge new parents. Particularly stressful is the second oldest boy, Kit, whose every appearance carries an impending sense of disaster.

Forbidden never let me set it down. It never let me stop worrying. And it never let me stop hoping for the best.

Now. An addendum for my own readers:

If you're the type of person who reads that and thinks, "Brother and sister intimacy? GAHHHHHHHHH." Hello, you already know this book is not for you.

BUT . . .

If you're the type of person who reads that and thinks "Hmm," I sincerely hope you'll pick it up. It blew me away.

P.S. Tabitha has written several more novels which have yet to be published in America. After finishing Forbidden, I ordered A Note of Madness from The Book Depository, the best website for ordering overseas books. Can't wait to dig in!


  1. YES. I've been wanting to read this one, based on all the amazing reviews that YA book bloggers have been giving it. Glad to know you felt the same way, since I definitely trust your opinion.

    Time to get this baby onto my Kindle...!

  2. I have heard lot's great feedback about this book. 'add to cart' me thinks. Thanks for cementing it for me! Ah what would I do with out Book Depo??

  3. I loved this book. I was fortunate to get an arc of it before it came out. :)

  4. I was blown away by Forbidden. Such a powerful book! Thanks for giving it some love and attention.

  5. This is book was nothing but AMAZING. I have never read a book such as Forbidden that has made my heart shatter over and over again. I cried so much I thought I would never run out of tears. It was so heartbreakingly beautiful. I loved Lochan and Maya. I loved them so much that their pain became my own.

    I'm so happy you loved it too! ;)

  6. I'm definitely one of the odd ducks that think "hmmmm" about situations like that, so this sounds like something I'll definitely be reading. haha. Thanks for the recommend. :)

  7. And I sort of feel like I need to clarify that I have ZERO siblings, so the idea is even more confusing/thought provoking for me. hahaha.

  8. YAY! It's no secret that I LOVELOVELOVE this book. I'm so glad it got a U.S release.

  9. It's on my library hold list. With over 100 holds. I'm fascinated by this book. I'm very interested in both the read and the response.

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  11. Hi Stephanie, I just wanted to say thank you for this lovely review and also for the author one on Amazon, the mentions on Twitter and all the recommendations in general. It's really touching when a fellow-author you've never met champions your book. I've just ordered yours and look forward to reading them and I'm sure, returning the favour. I'm so glad you liked FORBIDDEN.
    Thanks again.

    Tabitha Suzuma's Website
    Tabitha Suzuma's Blog

  12. This story ripped me to shreds. I thought about it for days after reading it. I agree, it's so worth the read.

  13. I read this book as part of Simon and Schuster's eGalley program, and it is the ONLY ONE that my mind keeps going back to and back to and back to... It is THAT GOOD. Out of all the other incredible books I've read recently, this one has stayed with me the longest. As Sara (above) said, it "ripped me to shreds". Seriously blown away.

  14. I was a little mehhh about reading this but I read ALL good reviews so I was curious.

    I finished it in less than 16 hours.

    It is one of THE BEST reads of 2011 so far.

    Amazing book!