She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.
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.
This book was truly amazing. The final chapter and the epilogue had me in tears. I don't think any other book has hit me as hard as Forbidden. While this may be shelved as YA, it does deal with some heavy topics including alcoholism, neglect, and the big one...incest. That being said, this is not going to be for everyone, but I highly recommend it if you can go into it with an open-mind.
Honestly, to me, the relationship between Lochan and Maya did not seem dirty and wrong. It was obvious that they truly cared about each other very intensely, but the circumstances were just wrong. The chapters alternate between the view points of Lochan and Maya, so we get to spend a lot of time in each of their heads. And it was so interesting watching their feelings for each other slowly change and develop, and how they had to deal with them.
Being responsible for their three younger siblings made their relationship that much more complicated. There was a delicate balance between being able to express their feelings towards each other, but also making sure that their family stayed together. One wrong move, one glimpse at a moment of inappropriate contact from an outsider, could cause them to lose everything. This conflict caused quite a bit of push-and-pull between them, which at times was frustrating to read, but also completely understandable. Even though they loved each other immensely, they also loved their younger siblings and didn't want to lose them either.
I was a mess of emotions reading this. On one hand, I was happy that Lochan and Maya found someone to be so deeply in love and happy with. But on the other hand, I felt to sad for them because I knew it couldn't possible work out, despite all of their hoping. I definitely wasn't expecting the ending to happen as it did, but reading it, it felt like the right ending to this story, even if it was hard to swallow.
I'm not sure what else I can say that without giving away major spoilers, so I'll just end by saying give this book a chance. Yes, it's about a taboo subject, but it's handled very well, and will definitely pull at your emotions in one way or another.