5 Nov 2011
The story of how I came to actually read "Forbidden" by Tabitha Suzuma is a bit stumbly. I read a blogger review and bought it immediately, received it in the mail and kind of changed my mind... then left it on shelf for a few weeks, decided to give it a try, read two pages and gave up. Then desperately needed something to read before an afternoon nap last weekend (I know, I'm in my mid-20s but had worked out and been for a long walk so needed sleep) and decided to give it a second chance. And then something happened because I never got that nap. Never went to the shops to buy food, neglected to cook a nice dinner for my boyfriend as I had planned and spent the afternoon and evening reading. The first three hours I didn't even move but then my boyfriend came to say that he would go buy take-away at which point I relocated from bed to sofa. Without letting go of the book for a moment... I read it until I had turned the last page and then I spent days thinking about the characters and story.
Maybe you've heard about the plot already - it has been given some attention in the blogosphere. "Forbidden" is about five siblings who are just children but who have to take on adult responsibilities because their dad has left and their mother is too busy drinking and being with her boyfriend. The two oldest are Lochan and Maya who not only have to go to school but also have to be parents to their siblings, one of whom is only five and one who is a troublesome teenage boy with a rebellious side. Lochan is ambitious and responsible, willing to do anything for his family and a star pupil. He is also shy to a degree where it becomes a disability. Maya does okay in school and she is well-liked and has lots of friends. But she is a 16-year-old girl who lives the life of a 30-year-old mother of three. All the have is each other and one day brother and sister fall in love.
Now you are probably thinking something along the lines of sick, disgusting, creepy, wrong. But actually I didn't think it was - I was far more affected by the neglect of the parents, the pure and utter lack of love and responsibility, than I was about the sister/brother relationship.
By the end of this book I was ready to adopt the lot of them. They were so real to me and I felt so horrible for them, I was so sad when the book was over, I just wanted more. Which is why I am very happy that Tabitha Suzuma has written several other books that I will definitely be reading soon!