17 Jun 2010
"We can't do this... If we start, how will we ever stop?"
Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lachan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences... How can something so wrong feel so right?
Some people find it tough to talk or read about difficult subjects - rape, disease, incest - but I suppose it is something of a fascination with me. I like to explore how other people see the subject, and how they approach them in fiction. If there is a list of 'forbidden' or 'taboo' subjects - incest would be at the number one position, without a doubt. This also reflects the lack of fiction around it... Then in comes Tabitha Suzuma. I know from her reputation that she normally writes about the hard-hitting issues of teens, but only after reading Forbidden do I now have a desire to read her previous titles.
Told from both Lochan and Maya's point of view, Tabitha gives the reader a real and raw insight into each characters reasoning's and thus connecting you in a very personal and intense way. And although the novel is laden down with darkness and despair - the passion Lochie and Maya have for each other shines so brightly it hurts, but it's a hurt you want to endure right till the very end.
When people ask me why I love this book so much I can only tell them to read it, because while the subject matter is still one of taboo, it's stories like these that really make you appreciate literature in it's every form.
Published by Random House Children's Books 'Definitions' - May 2010