4 out of 5 stars
“You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.”
Forbidden is a unique book, making it hard to give a rating. Everyone’s different experiences, perspectives, beliefs, etc. will influence the way they interpret and react to this book. Some might rate it based solely on their reaction to the content, while other might rate it based on writing and character development. My rating reflects that of the latter.
Forbidden is a story about incest. It doesn’t justify it and it doesn’t shame it. It is a story to make the reader think about love, family, and sacrifices. The way it accomplishes this is through the characters self-awareness. Unlike Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, Forbidden tells the story of children not secluded from the world who have hit puberty with peers their own age. All this to say that abuse is not the sole factor that led to their relationship.
Their self-awareness and moral struggle is apparent throughout the entire novel and communicated with clarity.
Lochan and Maya’s chapters are written with absolute perfection. Suzama’s writing style is lyrical and poetic, which adds another layer of complexity when the reader makes a decision about their love. There were moments when I forgot that Lochan and Maya were related because of the writing. However, Suzama cleverly and subtly reminds the reader with mentions of family.
I wouldn’t recommend this book. Not because it was poorly written or the characters were unbelievable, but because this story is not for everyone. You will feel conflicted, your heart will brake, and you won’t know what to think by the end of the book.