Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Date Published: June 28th, 2011
Source: Purchased (Amazon)
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.
As I write this my eyes are still burning from the tears this book has wrung from me. I can’t remember the last time a book has affected me so much emotionally. It’s one of those things that is so very hard to explain to someone who hasn’t read this book. But I will try my best.
When you read the summary for this book and read all the raving reviews, you will probably be one of two people. You will either be completely disgusted with the idea and the people who not only read it, but gave it glowing reviews. Or you will be morbidly curious. How could a book with such a taboo subject appeal to the masses? How could a book so controversial manage to win the hearts of so many? I personally was the second of the two. Sure, it’s a bit strange and very much risque to think about reading a book of this nature. But at the same time, you can’t help but wonder, at what point in this story do we take a step back and start to empathize with Lochan and Maya’s situation? When do we start loving them and loving their love for each other?
It’s not an easy thing to do I can tell you. Suzuma had her work cut out for her from page one. I don’t think anyone can go into this book without thinking “okay, her mind games will not work on me, I’m sure I’ll hate this book just because of what it’s about.” It speaks wonders to Suzuma’s writing and story-telling skills that she could manage to win most of us over. But she does. Gradually you come to see the devastating situation that Lochan and Maya face every day.
Every day Lochan and Maya are not those teenagers that go to high school, come home and veg in front of the TV, maybe hang out with their friends for a bit, then do some homework (if they feel like it), and crash after checking out their Facebook page and talking to friends on the phone. No, this is not Lochan or Maya’s life. It never has been. As far as either of them can remember they have essentially been parents to their three younger siblings. Their mother has popped in and out to minimally support them financially, but mostly she’s out partying with her boyfriend and staying over his house most of the time. So every day the only person that Lochan and Maya have to lean on, is each other. They share responsibilities and get the job of raising their siblings done as best as they can, being that they’re only teenagers still themselves.
I cannot imagine being in that situation. Never being able to be a child yourself. Never being able to rely on anyone else in the world, other than each other. Hiding their dire home situation from authorities to prevent being split up by the system. It’s exhausting, and stressful, and so very adult. It’s a situation that is bound to play on your psyche. It’s bound to change your inner core and how you feel about the person standing next to you every day.
I won’t go on into too much. But this book will put you into the perspectives of both Maya and Lochan for a time. It will tear your heart open to the impossible situation they face every day. It will force you to empathize with their feelings for each other, and even leave you rooting for their love, and then biting your tongue at what you just thought without realizing it.
This book is controversial and taboo and unnerving. But it is so powerful and emotional and beautiful. Tabitha Suzuma has created something extremely special with this book and I know that I personally will be running out to read everything else I possibly can from this woman. Pick up this book if you haven’t already. Open your mind up a bit and allow your heart to feel for these characters. Because if you do, you will find a story that will rock you to your emotional core, and stay with you long after the last page is turned.
More Reviews Goodreads | AmazonPurchase Links Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Leave a Reply