I'm a reader and reviewer. But I'm also a writer of ya/na romance. I love interacting with other fellow book lovers like me.
So I first read this book about 2 years ago. I was so skeptical on the subject matter. Like I'm sure most people are. However, this book opened my eyes to the wrongness that society teaches us about how we should feel. What we should do, what's right, what's wrong, what's sick and who we should love. God my beliefs were changed, not that I condone incest, like I said in my initial review. But to look before you judge, to place ourselves in other people's shoes. What would we do in that situation?! This book is NOT an HEA. In fact while reading this a second time, I hoped and prayed for a changed ending...I know stupid right?! But I did, I did. I desperately clung to some hope that a new ending magically appeared by the time I was done. I mean WHY? Why did it have to end like that? WHY?! Why did I have to love this book so much that I felt inclined to read it again, knowing the pain I'd be putting my already fragile heart through, my soul. The pain was no better than the first time I read it. I remembered every detail and every emotion I suffered: anger, despair, shock, confusion, love, joy, laughter, shock, happiness, despair, gut wrenching sorrow, and so much more. I felt it ten times more this go-round. Jesus. If there was ever a book to read that made you question your beliefs, this was it. I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Lochie and Maya and in my fantasy, they get an HEA. Because God dammit they deserve it. They went through so much shit and...oh yeah, in my fantasy, their mother dies a horrible death, leaving them a lot of money to finally live in a better house with some materialistic stuff they've always wanted and Kit is the sweetest 13 year old to ever walk the face of the earth and he approves of their relationship. And when the kids grow up, Maya and Lochie change their names and move away and live HEA. The end.
Well, I can't review much more without bawling, realizing it was just a fantasy and that the ending was so not the way it is in my head. That my heart is on the floor in bloody pieces, that Lochie,the selfless amazing sweet boy, didn't get his chance. That all he cared about was saving Maya and the kids from getting split up because his family means the world to him, even more than his own life. *takes ragged breaths*
Review Update: August 16, 2013.
“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.”
As I sit here trying to conjure up words to write my review, tears still running down my face like a waterfall, I realize....I can't. I.....just....can't. No words could possibly describe the despair and anguish I felt all the while thinking "This isn't happening. No, it just can't. No, no, no, no, no, no, oh God, why???!!!" I am left speechless. All I think about is "what just happened"? As I gather my thoughts just long enough to form words, I can barely see the screen. I feel like I've just woken up from a terrifying nightmare and now my thoughts are all jumbled inside my head crushing all of my senses. I am literally and utterly sickened, disturbed, baffled, perturbed and speechless at the events that have unfolded in front of my very watery, stinging eyes. It's all I can do to not tear this paper up and toss it in the trash like it never happened. Like I never read this book. Like I was never affected by this heart breaking story. And I wouldn't be able to share with everyone what a MUST READ this book really is. So, I don't do anything but get on with my review before my head explodes.
This story is set in London. A family of 5 siblings: Willa(5), Tiffin(8), Kit(13), Maya(16) and Lochan(17). Abandoned by their father years before with a raging absentee alcoholic mother, left to pick up the pieces of by themselves of their broken life. Together, it is a struggle to keep the peace. Lochan, a very lonely lost boy trying to juggle being a teenager and also carrying the burden of being a step-in parent to his younger siblings. He has no friends, hates school and doesn't like speaking to anyone or participating in class. Yet his grades are top notch and he is getting ready to apply for universities and possibly get away from his home life. But that all changes when his mother decides to act like a damn teenager and spend nights away with her boyfriend and come home drunk as Hell. It takes a toll on Lochan, having to keep up with school AND parental responsibility. But he is not alone. Maya, a very strong 16 year old also helps him with the household chores and getting the kids to and from school. It is hard for them when you have a smart ass 13 year old brother who is in a gang and blames all the family problems on Lochan. He is a selfish little brat and makes the situation that much harder to bare. Poor little Willa, only 5 years old and doesn't understand what is really going on. Kit, is the rudest, most disrespectful child on the planet. But Maya and Lochan try their hardest to keep a brave face. They share the household chores and parental responsibilities. Lochan loves his family and they are his priority. It's not until Maya comforts him in his time of grief that he realizes that there is someone who understands him, wholeheartedly. But the problem is...they are siblings-brother and sister. They've always felt more than that though. They were the only two people in the world who could count on each other. Though their relationship takes a twisted turn, when it turns to love. And not the brotherly-sisterly kind of love. It's a deep, meaningful kind of love. But one that is forbidden. The struggles they face when they realize how wrong it is. But they can't hide their feelings anymore yet they can't really act on them unless they are alone.
I was rooting for them to have a happy ending. To be able to move away once the kids were on their own as adults and live almost like a normal couple and not be ostracized or ridiculed for how they felt. For goodness sakes, what other choice did they have? They didn't have the proper role models, so how do they know if what they feel is right or wrong? The society plays dirty tricks on us and damn them for making them feel guilty for their love they found in each other. I am not saying by any means that I condone consensual incest. However, if we were to put ourselves in their shoes we might just find that their situation is harmless. They weren't hurting anyone, they kept their love discreet around the children. It's sad. It's just really, really....really sad. I still can't get over this book. It haunts me. And being a mother myself, I can only imagine how they would feel if I left them to fend for themselves and didn't ever visit or show them I loved them. I just can't imagine what each of those kids went through, or how they felt abandoned and unloved. What kind of a mother could do that? I can see the father running off, that's not a cliche. But wait, their mother did say she never wanted them in the first place. She told Lochan she blames him for everything, for ruining her life(apparently she can't keep from spreading her legs if she has FOUR more kids). Wow, what a mother. It's no wonder he's messed up! Ugh, it's just sickens me!!!
TO LOCHIE AND MAYA'S MOM:
Okay, I will stop there. I know what y'all (except the ones that read this already) are thinking. "Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, gross!!!! They are related, that's incest!! OMG, how sick and deluded are they....bla bla bla bla." I get it, trust me! I thought the same thing before I read it. I was so reluctant to read it, it goes against everything I believe. But I saw so many raves about this book, that I felt I had to give it a chance. A true honest shot, just to see if it was bearable. This book called to me when I was at the bookstore a few nights ago. I chose this over Clockwork Prince which I had in my hand ready to check out. I love Cassandra Clare!! This cover is not that exciting or creative, yet it says everything!!!! It spoke to me, I froze thinking..."Do I really want to read it??" This book was definitely a damn good read. So heartfelt, sad, heartbreaking and it left you breathless at the end. I guess the end was predictable but still the descriptive writing was far more compelling. It is not really a book for teens under 16. It is believable(not the love part exactly but the struggles for all the kids). The language is a bit much for younger readers. There is quite a bit of cursing but that never bothered me. There is some sexual scenes too. But it was never porn-ish. It was tastefully written and described. And it never felt gross.....or wrong. Not the reaction I expected myself to have. Yet I found myself enthralled in their love story. Forbidden is told from both Lochan and Maya's perspective which I loved!! We got to see both of their sides as they are falling in love and how they felt and the choices they had to make and so forth. It made it that much more intense and hearwrenching. I grew to love Lochan for the person he was and my heart ached so badly for him. I have 2 older brothers, and have never, ever, I mean EVER looked at either of them with more than adoration and love (or spite in some cases) as a sister usually does. It's repulsive to even think about it any other way. But I've also never suffered exactly the way these two kids have. They went through Hell and had a horrible childhood, having to grow up so fast at the age of 11 and 12 taking care of their brothers and sisters. They had no one to turn to but each other for comfort, during their grief, loss, lonliness and pain in their life. I will never forget these characters for as long as I live. They sucked me into their world and I couldn't escape. I didn't want to either. Oh Lochan, his story shattered my heart to pieces and I wished I could have jumped into the book and pick up the pieces of his broken soul and tell him it would be alright. *crying profusely* I will be saddened by this horror for a long time to come. I recommend this book to mature teens that can handle such circumstances and of course to adults with open minds of the possibility that this can happen in real life. Just have boxes of tissues handy.
The ending will leave you gasping for breath and bracing for something to hold on to. You should be sitting down to read this. Five stars doesn't do justice for this book. I would give it TWENTY STARS or more!!!!!