The book that I am going to talk about today is very controversial. The topic that this book deals with is even more controversial. But this whole story can be described by the words written on the cover.
“How can something so wrong feel so right?”
The topic that this book deals with is incest. And if this makes you uncomfortable, you shouldn’t read this book. Or this discussion even. Because in this discussion, I am going to try to understand this book with an open mind, without actually choosing any side. But I would suggest that you should at least hear me out. By the end of this post, if you still can’t see my side, you don’t have to read this book. That’s all I can ask of you.
Goodreads Synopsis- 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.
The synopsis itself gives you a preview of what you should be expecting while going into this book. Incestuous relationship. Check. Dysfunctional family. Check. Explosive and shocking finale. Double check. I must confess that the controversy surrounding this book is what made me read it. I, like many others, wanted to know, why a book concerning this topic had such a good rating on Goodreads. As I said before, this book, this thing, this relationship, sometimes feels so good that you forget it is incestuous. Throughout the story, I couldn’t decide if the relationship was right or wrong. My beliefs were constantly challenged but I won’t say that this was able to change my beliefs. I still think that incest is something I can’t accept. But I can make an exception for Lochan and Maya.
I should mention by this point that this book is way out of my comfort zone. I hate and love reading about dysfunctional families. Did that make any sense? I hate reading about them because they make me uncomfortable. I love reading about them because I want to explore more and more about things that thankfully I don’t have to experience but a lot of people do. But the situation in Forbidden has to be rare. Because I HATED the mother. I despised her. There is not a strong enough word to describe how much I disliked her. But all the other characters in this book are so beautiful! From intelligent Lochan to strong Maya, from relatable Kit to adorable Tiffin and Willa, everyone is distinct and beautiful. And though the story doesn’t progress much till the ending, the characters make you pick up the book and power through.
Now the incest part. I did not root for them for obvious reasons. But there were a lot of instances that made me smile. The awkward and all-consuming first love is described very well. There were a lot of instances where I felt that they would be a good couple if not for the very obvious problem. But the taboo could not be ignored. It makes its presence known throughout the book, in each and every romantic encounter. Ultimately, it succeeds in bringing a tragic ending to the story. The ending. Oh my god, the ending! I really do not have any words to describe it. Its heartbreaking and tragic, yes. But it’s so much more! Its strangely beautiful. It’s everything you would expect and more. Whatever story it lacked, the ending more than makes up for it. So, watch out!
All I have left to say is that come on! Be a little open-minded and give it a try! Once you start reading it, try to make it to the end because endings are the best part (Yes! Finally a Pitch Perfect reference!). And as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. I hope, if you choose to read the book, it will be a good journey for you.Good luck!
My rating- 3.5/5.
My Goodreads rating- 4/5.