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Books You Can’t Stop Thinking About: Part Two

Today, I’m continuing from where I left off on Monday’s post with the analysis of the YA novel Forbidden. Hopefully the post will give you something to think about as you write your next project (regardless of the genre).

Here's the short blurb to remind you of the premise:

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.


Throughout the story, both Maya and Lochan acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong. They struggle to figure out how to make things works without hurting anyone. Their major concern is what it will do to their family. At one point, Lochan does research on the laws surrounding incest, especially consensual incest, which is important for his decision at the climax. It shows you what they are up against.


Every scene in the book was tightly woven to the themes of sacrifice and family and love. The themes provided the forward momentum to the book and helped remove the Ewww factor. Had they not been there, or only happened randomly, the story wouldn’t have been so powerful. Every decision the two teens made were based on these three themes.


If you’re planning to read the book, and I highly recommend it, you might want to skip this section due to spoilers [alert].


In the climax, Maya and Lochan decide to go all the way. Until now, they had been fighting it, knowing it’s wrong. They had only been kissing and fooling around. But their mother, who wasn’t supposed to be able to get into the house, comes home after finding out what was going on between them. She naturally freaks out and calls the police.

Knowing that he and Maya could end up in jail for what they did, which means the younger kids would be taken away by social services and separated, Lochan makes it look like he forced his sister to consent to their sexual relationship. He even goes as far as to hit her so that it looks like he was the abuser and she was the victim. He knows he’ll end up going to prison for a long time, but the sacrifice is worth it to save Maya and their siblings.

But then things go horrible wrong, and Maya tells the police it was consensual, so that Lochan’s prison sentence will be reduced. But this means Maya can be charged and would face a two-year prison sentence. Lochan makes one more sacrifice for his family. He commits suicide. With him dead, Maya can’t be charged and the family won’t be destroyed more than it already has been.

Heartbroken, Maya is ready to kill herself since she can’t live without Lochan, but her five-year-old sister says something that makes Maya realize that killing herself would make Lochan’s sacrifice pointless.

End of spoiler alert


As you can see from this analysis, there was not one element that made this story powerful. It was the combination of these five elements, along with a strong plot, that made this a book I couldn’t stop thinking about long after I finished it.

What book has had the same affect on you? What was it about the book that kept you thinking about it long after you read the last page?

(Why the pictures of the cute bunnies? Because every time I think of the book and the urge to cry hits, I chant, “Fuzzy bunny, fuzzy bunny, fuzzy bunny.” It works every time. *grins*)

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Books You Can’t Stop Thinking About: Part Two + theme