Star Rating: 5/5
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Genre: Taboo, Contemporary, Family, Incest, Dark, Young Adult, New Adult
She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed.
He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future.
And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.
There was a blurb on good reads that went into more detail than what I have given you here, but I felt like the blurb that is on good reads goes into too much detail, so maybe don’t look at that. The blurb that I have given you is what is on the back of the book itself and I feel like it draws you in straight away, makes you wonder how on earth this could happen; after all, it’s disgusting right?
So I went into this book thinking it was going to be really horrible and it was going to make me question my own sanity whilst reading it. However, I found myself… almost rooting for them.
This book is about a brother and sister called Maya (age 16) and Lochan (age 17). It is written in a dual perspective, each chapter alternating between the two. This brings me to my one and only problem with this book and that is that I found it hard to tell the difference between the two chapters and sometimes I’d have to go back and check who’s perspective it was or wait for the other character to appear. It didn’t bother me enough to warrant taking a star off though, because this book was just fantastic.
Maya and Lochan live in a council estate around the London area, with their other siblings; Kit (age 13), Tiffin (age 9) and Willa (age 5). Their mother isn’t around very often and whenever she is, she’s drunk and doesn’t care about the children at all; whenever she is confronted about it, it turns into the children’s fault, she’s just a horrible human being, a character that you really love to hate. So, Maya and Lochan look after the smaller children, they act almost like their parents and share the duties between them of the cooking, cleaning, getting the children ready for school etc. And I think without this aspect of the book, you wouldn’t understand the relationship and you would find it strange, maybe even disgusting, but the circumstances that they are in is quite abnormal in itself.
Lochan was quite a relatable character for me. It is revealed within the first few pages that he struggles with anxiety, crippling anxiety, to the point where he has no friends whatsoever, and can’t say more than two words to another human being outside of his family. Again, circumstances which make his incestuous relationship more understandable, though we all know it’s wrong.
Kit. Let’s talk about him for a second. He was such an ungrateful annoyance, he didn’t appreciate anything his siblings did for him and just because they aren’t his parents he completely disrespected them, often throwing them over the edge. It was only nearer the end of the book did he begin to come out of his shell and actually ended up being a semi-likeable character.
Tiffin, I don’t really have much to say about him, I felt bad for him that he couldn’t do what a lot of his friends were doing but at the same time I felt like he was going to end up being similar to Kit, in being quite ungrateful, but he was sweet really so I did generally like him.
Willa is the cutest, most adorable, most likable character in this whole book. She often was ignored because they had to deal with Kit and Tiffin, but she never complained. I felt bad for her as well because she just wanted to be played with and majority of the time, I just wanted to give her a cuddle.
I wasn’t sure whether Tabitha was trying to say that incest is okay in this book, but it did make me start to question my morals and whether or not it is okay. It just seems strange the idea of someone being put in prison on charges of incest, there are a lot worse things to worry about.
The most devastating part of this book was the ending, I’m not going to say anything more than that. Luckily, it’s pretty hard for topics to get to me so I was fine with this one.
Overall, I thought this book was amazing, I wanted to start over and read it again because I just couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?