Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

8349244Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Standalone novel
Published: June 28th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Drama (dark)
Rating: 5 stars

You can click on the cover to go to its Goodreads page.

Synopsis: 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 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.

Review

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, which obviously means that I loved it. Yet I feel like saying that “I loved this story” is wrong somehow. Because this is not a happy, fluffy and cute novel. This is an honest, raw and heart wrenching book. So don’t expect to feel happy while reading this. Now on to the actual review!

I was expecting this story to be about Maya and Lochan and while it is for the most part, don’t get me wrong, their family is equally as important. Lochan and Maya take care of their two younger brothers and little sister because their mom, who’s an alcoholic, simply doesn’t care. That’s the first aspect of the story that tugs at your heart: how can someone care so little about her own children? Lochan takes over the parental role while Maya helps out as much as she can while they are both still in high school. The family dynamics of the story are very interesting to read about and I feel like this is part of their story just as much as the romance, if not even more.

As for the main characters themselves, their personalities were both well-developed and very different. Lochan is painfully shy with anyone outside of his family. So much so that he can’t utter a coherent sentence to anyone else and has been handing any oral task for school in as a written one. With his family however, he flourishes. There are just so many sides to his character, which makes him feel even more real. Maya is almost the opposite of Lochan: she is outgoing and social and has friends at school, even though she doesn’t invite them to her home. She’s a very responsible and down-to-earth kind of girl. The way Tabitha Suzuma has created these characters made them feel so very real, like this was not fiction at all.

When Lochan and Maya fall in love, they both know it’s wrong. They know siblings shouldn’t feel the way they do -it’s in the synopsis, so I’m not spoiling you here. But to them, it feels right. I don’t want to say much more about this part of the story because I’m afraid to spoil it, but as the synopsis said: there’s no happy ending for a story like this.

Not only did I give this 5 stars but I also featured in in my Top 10 books of 2014 so far so that shows how much of an impression this story made on me.

PS: I have a sibling too, and the thought of romantic love between siblings freaks me out. But I didn’t feel that way while reading this. As it says: Maya and Lochan don’t really feel like siblings. So don’t hesitate to pick this up!

Top 10 Books of 2014 So Far

As I am writing this post, I have read 96 books this year, which to be honest I’m proud of. It’s quite a lot, isn’t it? But as always, there have been books that I loved more than others and I thought it was time to show you my favorite reads of 2014 so far. I add so far because obviously the year isn’t over yet, and I might still discover a new favorite or even 10 new favorite books of the year. And yes, this post would have made more sense in July, seeing as that is when the first half of the year is over. But I only started this blog in September and I thought it was still worth sharing. So, let’s get on with it!
By the way, these are not in any order.

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  1. Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop
    This is the second book in a series called The Others. The first book is called Written in Red and would also be included in this list had I not read it last year. It’s the story of Meg Corbyn who is a cassandra sangue, which is a blood prophet. The first book starts when Meg escapes the people who “own” her and runs to the Lakeside Courtyard, run by Simon Wolfgard. In this world, The Others own all the natural resources and basically, humans don’t have all that much to say. The Others live in their own communities, like the Lakeside Courtyard. READ THESE. They are so amazing, I don’t even have words for it.
  2. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
    Greek myths told from Percy Jackson’s perspective? I was immediately sold. This book made me laugh out loud so many times! I love Rick Riordan, he’s one of the only authors on my auto-buy or auto-read list. Even if I don’t know what the story is about, if he wrote it, I will read it.
  3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
    Emily and Sloane are best friends and while Sloane is the outgoing type, Emily is more shy. And then Sloane disappears. No texts, no note and an empty house. The only thing she left is a bucket list for Emily, with activities Emily would never have done alone. It leads to a lot of unexpected events and honestly, this book is so much fun. And yes, there is a bit of a love story connected but the main topics of this book are self-discovery, becoming more confident and the power of friendship. Loved it.
  4. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
    I read the first book Throne of Glass and the prequel novellas in The Assassin’s Blade as well this year and while I loved them all, Crown of Midnight is my favorite so far. If you haven’t heard about this series, the first book is about a female assassin, Celaena Sardothien, suffering in the salt mines of Endovier. Until she competes to best the King’s Champion -which is basically his personal assassin. If she succeeds, she’ll no longer have to fulfill her punishment in the salt mines. A female assassin in an assassin-competition? Sounds incredible to me!
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    Long title, I know… This book is a strong character-driven story. It’s told through Ari’s point of view, but sometimes it almost feels as if you’re reading through Dante’s eyes too. It starts when they are children and you watch them grow into teenagers. And not only the boys but also their families are very present in this story, which I loved. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this. It just blew my mind.

96277558349244654725828249The Shadow of the Wind

  1. Isla and The Happily Ever After (Anna #3) by Stephanie Perkins
    Good news for those who haven’t read the first two books: you don’t have to! These are companion novels and follow different characters -although the characters from previous books may appear in the one you’re reading. I loved the first book, Anna and the French Kiss, and really liked the second one, Lola and the Boy Next Door. But Isla, I adored you. I felt so connected with Isla in this book, we are very similar in the way we think and act. Anyway, if you like cute, contemporary romantic stories, go check this out!
  2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
    It’s hard to call this book a favorite because of the devastating story it contains. Forbidden is about two siblings, Lochan and Maya, who fall in love. Yes, brother and sister fall in love. Props to Tabitha Suzuma for writing a story about something that is so taboo. I didn’t expect to feel for the characters as much as I did. If you are hesitant about picking this up because you have a brother or sister, I do too. And thinking about romantic love between siblings kind of makes me nauseous but somehow, this story didn’t make me feel that way. I have a review about this one coming up soon, so look out for that!
  3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
    Brandon Sanderson has been the focal point of a lot of hype this year. Honestly, I think it is well deserved. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres ever, and the world he created in the Mistborn series is truly exceptional. In this world, some people can use Allomancy, which is the burning of metals in your body. Different metals lead to different outcomes: by burning one you can become stronger, while another one may enhance your vision. So, combine this world with a thieving crew -who are Allomancers- trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler and what do you get? An epic story.
  4. The Magician’s Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy #1) by Trudi Canavan
    Another fantasy story! In this world, the people who are able to use magic join The Magician’s Guild. In the Guild, you get an education in magic and only people in the Guild are allowed to use magic. But only rich people or people from noble families are accepted in. The story is about Sonea, a girl from the poorest part of the capital, who one day, breaks the magical barrier the magicians are holding up. The only way to do so however, is by using magic herself. The breaking of the barrier causes Sonea to run away, and after that follows the most suspenseful cat-and-mouse game I’ve read in a while. Not enough people have read or heard about these books and that makes me sad, because they are truly great.
  5. The Shadow of the Wind (Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    I am not going to give you a synopsis of this book because I think it’s best to go into it not knowing what to expect. Just know, that this is a book about a book, its author and a boy obsessed with both of them. It took me on a crazy rollercoaster ride because I never knew where the story was going to go next. Definitely recommend this one, and I still have to read the second and third book in the companion series.

So those are the 10 books I loved the most during 2014 so far. Let me know in the comments whether you’ve read any of them or what your favorite reads of the year were!

Review: Break it Up by E. M. Tippetts

Break it UpTitle: Break it Up
Author: E. M. Tippetts
Series: Someone Else’ Fairytale #3 -it is not necessary to read the previous two books, they are companion novels.
Published: November 12th, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3,5 stars
You can click the cover to go to the Goodreads page.

Synopsis: Kyra Armijo is making a few changes in her life. One of them being, she’s no longer going to give it up to every guy who looks at her twice. And she’s putting her hopes and dreams for her future first. When the aspiring photojournalist gets the opportunity of a lifetime to tag along with international boy band sensation, Triple Cross, she can’t pass up the chance.The only problem is that she’s in love with one band member, dodging the unwanted attention of another, and desperate to keep her turbulent past under wraps. Triple Cross have “nice guy” appeal, approved of by parents the world over, but have just let go their longtime manager, who controlled their clean image and media exposure with an iron fist. When Zach Wechsler, the object of Kyra’s affection, begins to show interest, she has to be careful.

Surely one girl can’t destroy a band that’s been together for ten years… only what if she can? Kyra knows she’s one bad decision away from ruining everything she’s worked for, and taking the hottest act of her generation down with her.

Review

*I received this book for review via Goodreads First Reads*

At first, I couldn’t decide whether to give this book 3 stars or 3.5. I settled on 3.5 because I did overall enjoy it, there were just some aspects of the book that prevented me from giving it more.

As far as the story goes, I must admit I was engrossed by it. I started this book in the early evening and finished it before going to bed. A girl who gets to tour with a hot boy band, who wouldn’t want to be in her place? Sometimes in romance novels, the plot can be quite unbelievable. To the point that when you’re reading it, you’re thinking: “Does this ever happen to someone at all?” And even though this may be just as unlikely to happen, the writing made me feel as if it could.

Now, let’s talk about Kyra, the main character. Kyra is the main reason for the 3.5 star rating. In the first quarter to half of the book, she was just so negative about herself. Okay, every person has doubts about themselves or aspects of their character that they don’t like. But for Kyra, it was taken to a whole new level. Because of things she has done in the past, Kyra feels like she is a bad person. But more than that, it’s like she rejects anything positive in her life, because she would not be “deserving of it”. During the story her character developed a lot, which is definitely a positive aspect. But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that no one should have such a degrading look of themselves.

As for the love story, this book has both the positive and the negative version of it. On one end, there’s a case of instalove. Yes. The “I have never actually spoken to you but I love you”. No. You can’t love someone without knowing them. But on the other end, there’s a developing friendship that grows into love. That is the part I loved to read the most: how they get to know each other and discover not only each other’s good traits but also the bad.

If you are curious to pick this book up after reading this review, I would definitely say to do so! I enjoyed reading it. It has a fun and engrossing plot and there’s a lot of character development going on, which is always fun to read. I didn’t know what to expect going into it and that is probably the reason why the negative self-image and instalove-part irked me. But if you are aware of these going in, you might even enjoy it even more than I did!

Note: Seeing as Goodreads doesn’t allow half-star ratings, it’s marked as a 3 star-read. But I do give it 3.5 stars.