Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma Oh ... goodness gracious. How on earth do I go about reviewing this book? I really don't know. This is definitely one of the hardest things I've ever had to review.I'm guessing that if you've heard of this book, you know what it's about. So, let's not stall any longer.Here's the story:16-year-old Maya and 17-year-old Lochan are best friends. Soul mates. They're the only ones in the world who understand each other. They love each other, and they want to be together forever.Oh, and did I mention they're siblings?Uhhhh ... What?Yup, they're siblings. In love. Their dad left them. Their mom is constantly drunk and/or out of the house, sleeping with her boyfriend. Maya and Lochan are forced to take care of the house, pay the bills, and watch over their three younger siblings––Kit, Tiffin, and Willa. As they become the parent figures in the household, Maya and Lochan grow closer and closer together. In this desperate situation, where they have to worry about their siblings and stay under the radar of Social Services, Maya and Lochan have no one to trust but each other. Finally, they can't deny they have feelings for each other. More than brother/sister feelings."So, THAT'S how it is in their family." .... HAHA. I just couldn't resist the Ferris Bueller joke. Forgive me.What I thought:Uhhhhh ..... *Hides*Okay. Okay. I can do this. I CAN.Well, I became way more addicted to this book than I thought I would. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. Whenever I took a break from it, I always came running back because I was dying to know what would happen.The atmosphere in this book is very gritty and intense. You can't help but feel for Maya and Lochan and everything they're going through. First of all, there's the difficulty of taking care of their siblings, and their desperation for Social Services to not find out about how messed up their family is. Above all else, they want to keep their family together. As the oldest of six kids, I totally understood that aspect. Suzuma very accurately described how hectic and exhausting it is, looking after little kids and trying to put them to bed every night, etc. But also, she understands very well that, no matter how difficult younger siblings can be, you'd do anything to keep them safe. As for the incest part, Suzuma made that pretty believable too. Is it right? Is it actually true love? I don't know ... but, as a reader, I could feel what Lochan and Maya were feeling––fear, guilt, confusion, desperation. Despite what they did, I empathized with them. They're in a truly horrible situation, and then make things worse by involving themselves in this strange, impossible romance.It also helped that the characters were believable. Lochan was an amazing character, and I really connected with him. One of the biggest aspects of his personality is social anxiety, something I've experienced for years myself and never seen portrayed in a YA novel before (or in any other novel, that I can think of). Like Lochan, I have a lot of trouble speaking in front of people––and it's more than just normal shyness. It's this inability to speak when called upon, and when you do speak you feel everyone looking at you and judging you, and afterward you're beating yourself up about everything you said and making yourself look stupid ... So, you just try to avoid speaking at all. And, like Lochan, I've received all the annoying comments of the people who don't understand. "Can you talk? Don't you speak English?" My grades have suffered from it, because my teachers think I'm just too lazy to raise my hand, or something. I cringe just thinking about it. But really, it was great to see a character who has the same problems and to know I'm not alone. I don't know if Suzuma herself has ever suffered social anxiety, but she sure seemed to know what she was talking about. After Lochan, my favorite character was Kit. At first he seemed like the typical, rebellious 13-year-old boy, but in the end he turned out to be a very complex and likable character. The other siblings, Tiffin and Willa, were not as fleshed out––but then again, they were little kids. And they did actually act like little kids, which is rare in child characters, so I applaud that.The only main character I struggled with was Maya, which was a problem. Maybe it's just that I connected with Lochan more. But it seemed to me that Maya did not have much of a personality. She was either taking care of the kids or talking with her shallow best friend, Francie. (Or, you know, making out with her brother.) She didn't seem to have many other interests, or any quirks. Lochan's social disorder made him a well-rounded and believable character, but Maya was lacking in any personality traits to make her seem truly realistic.However, the story was compelling and emotional. Yes, I had some issues with it. Sometimes it was overdramatic and started to seem like a soap opera. Also, I felt like Suzuma was, at times, sort of pushing the message in our faces. Lochan and Maya would get into these dialogues where they'd be like, "Oh, society is labeling us. They see it as wrong, but they don't know us. They think it's wrong, but it feels so right to us ..." So on. But while the message was sometimes waved around in front of the reader's nose, it was still a very interesting message. Can incest ever be right? If two people came from the same mother, but are in love with each other, should they be denied the right to be together? Can these actions ever be justified? Or is its wrongness set in stone?This was very risky subject matter, and I applaud Suzuma for tackling such a difficult issue. As a writer, I understand when you just can't hold a story back, no matter how hard it is. This book must have been horribly difficult to write, and Suzuma didn't hold back. She didn't hide any details. And because of that, the book was so horrifying yet so emotional.This is definitely an unforgettable book. Even if you're afraid of the subject matter, I recommend it. Suzuma's prose is beautiful, her story is original and intriguing, and the story comes to a conclusion that will leave you shell-shocked for days.