Book Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Romance
Published: June 27th 2011
Review Source: Purchased
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

Forbidden, was unlike any book I read as a teenager. I personally remember middle school like yesterday, where the literature I was exposed to, were classics, like Charlotte’s web and Anne of Green Gables. As an educator and mother of a teenager that devotes his time to sports and reading, I very seldom monitor his book selections, as I always feel confident that he will stay in the young adult arena of literature.

Upon finishing Forbidden, a tragic love story, between a sister and brother, Maya and Lochan, my emotions and feelings towards the book are very mixed. I must admit, that although this book was written like no other book I’ve ever read, it is not in my professional opinion a book that is qualified as young adult literature. As I find myself in discussions daily on what I’m currently reading, this is a title that I would not mention/recommend to students or my teenage son.

The American Library Association defines a young adult as "someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen." The intimate and detailed descriptions of Maya and Lochan’s relationship was truly more than any teenager needs to read in book classified as young adult literature. If I saw this book on the shelf of a middle school and almost even a high school, I would be totally surprised.

In conclusion, when looking beyond, the perceived weakness of the book that I saw, I must stress that the strength in Forbidden, the strength that kept me, an adult, reading and crying, until the very last page, was all in the words of the writer. Her words flowed in such a way that truly allowed me to visualize and feel the pain, happiness and love of a young family truly filled with a hurt, that was hidden by the love of 2 older siblings.

Update: Recently, I had the privilege to be in a virtual group chat, with author Tabitha Suzuma. It was there that I was able to look deeper in the reasons why, Tabitha writes the way she does and for what audience. I truly admire her dedication to the themes of her books and her passion towards writing from her heart. I look forward to adding her other titles to my to-read list!


  1. I loved this book. I think it would fit for older teens to read about. I know that I was reading adult romance books when I was only 16 so I don't see any problems with this being a YA book.

    I think older teens should read it and plus lets be honest with ourselves, most teens already know about sex when they are younger than 18. There is starting to become a place for older teen books and I feel this one fits that new area.

    This book is ultimatly a very powerful read, I love Tabitha's writing. I also look forward to future books by her.

  2. I've been wanting to read this book for a while now - I've heard so many positive reviews of it. I must admit that while it does seem like a controversial book for teens, I think it's also good for older teenagers to realise how hard it can be for others their age.
    Thank you for the amazing review!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...