Forbidden is a brave, powerful and complex book about a taboo topic. The story had me breathlessly on edge, completely consumed in the heart-wrenching tale. This book is a story of taboo love between siblings that develops due to their extremely difficult family circumstances. The author writes the story in such a raw, emotional and believable way that I could not help but be sympathetic to the ill-fated couple’s plight. That the story can elicit such a response with this subject matter is quite an achievement for this author.Seventeen-year-old Lochan has always been close with his sister Maya, who is thirteen months his junior. They have three younger siblings that they have the responsibility of looking after, since their father abandoned the family and their alcoholic mother is seldom around. Their lives are high-stress as they balance high school with running a household and looking after their siblings. Lochan and Maya have always relied on each other and shared the burden that they are saddled with at home. They grow closer as they take on the roles of parents to their siblings, and soon a romantic type of love develops, though they know it can’t last.I knew a little bit about the story going into it so was prepared for the taboo subject matter. And of course a similar relationship is explored in the infamous Flowers in the Attic. As I was reading, I was filled with dread waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop in this unorthodox love story. The story alternates points of view between Lochan and Maya, and we get to know the characters well and the complex feelings they have for each other.The sibling’s chaotic family life is vividly painted. The younger siblings are their own personalities with their own heartbreaking struggles. Their family dynamic is fascinating to watch as we see them hanging on the edge. It’s incredible that five kids can hold it together alone for so long under the radar. Their mother is a train wreck and it is sad to see the gratitude the older siblings have for her for simply taking the kids out for a few hours once in a while. The family relationship is one of the most compelling aspects of the book. The characters are well written and their emotions hit you straight in the heart.The tension runs high throughout the book as Lochan and Maya struggle with the intense feelings they have for each other. Their desperate relationship is heartbreaking to watch, as you know it can’t end well. They seem to be meant for each other, which makes it so hard to see their longing and struggle. It definitely made me think about love and relationships in general.Forbidden is one gripping and emotional tearjerker that I won’t soon forget. It’s beautifully well written with a bold and passionate story.