First published by Definitions in 2010 (this edition is an e-Galley, courtesy of the S&S Galley Grab programme)
Expected date of publication from Simon Pulse: 28th June 2011
Description (from Goodreads):
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.
Before deciding to grab this eGalley from the S&S Galley Grab programme, I had seen it on various blogs and had read a few things about it. As is obvious from the blurb, this book is the story of a brother and sister who don't really feel like a brother and sister to each other, due to the fact that they had had to act like the adults of the household since they were very young. They grew up relying heavily on each other, while together they had to weather all the problems that came their way, as regards the running of their household.
So, to put it in plain words, this book is about incest. And, as I have read in numerous other reviews, consensual incest in particular (as in 'involving mutual consent'). As it is a rather controversial subject on which to base a book, I decided to give it a try and see how the author handled this very touchy subject.
This book was easily one of the loveliest written books I have read this year. Never during the whole book did I feel as if what Maya and Lochan, the two main characters, were doing was wrong. Which I suppose is rather weird... Still, I didn't. Despite the fact that they were brother and sister, their love for each other felt right.
It is obvious that in a book such as this, dealing with such a controversial subject, you can't really expect a happy ending. You know from the word 'go' that something is going to have to happen to break them apart. Having said that, I did not expect the ending I got. It was so much worse than I thought it would be, but at the same time, just perfect for this kind of book. It truly was a lovely story presented in a very lovely way.
However, there are a couple of teeny-tiny things that I noticed... First of all, whereas the pace of the book was rather normal for the most part, as I was nearing the end, I felt as if things were presented in a rather rushed manner. It didn't ruin the story or anything, but I still noticed it. And secondly, the book is set in England, so why did she keep saying 'math'?? As far as I know, in England they say 'maths'... Might have been the editing or something...
I know a lot of people have read it and loved it too, while others have just stopped reading it because of the subject it deals with, so I can't really make a general recommendation. If you think you won't be bothered by the rather 'touchy' theme, then this is a book you must read sometime.
Tabitha Suzuma was born in England to a Japanese father and an English mother. She holds a degree in French from King's College London. After university, she held various jobs, including being a school teacher. That was when she wrote her first book, A Note of Madness. In 2004, she left classroom teaching and started writing in earnest. Up to date, she has written 5 novels, including Forbidden, and is currently working on her sixth book, which is about euthanasia. (Another really tough and controversial subject!)
Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011