Google+ Reading Teen: A Forbidden Book Club Day 2 #ForbiddenBookClub

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Forbidden Book Club Day 2 #ForbiddenBookClub

Welcome back Forbidden members!!  For those that don't know, this is the official meeting place of A Forbidden Book Club.  Today we will be discussing chapters 1-5 of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma!  If you haven't read the first 5 chapters, today won't be too much of a spoiler if you still want to join and catch up.

Chapters 1-5 Summary:

In the first chapters, we're introduced to Lochan, Maya, Kit, Tiffin and Willa (or Walla, my ARC switches back and forth, so can someone who has a finished copy let me know which it is?  :)  The chapters switch back and forth between Lochan and Maya's point of view.  It starts out with Lochan at school.  We see how paralyzed he is at school, not being able to carry on conversations or really even look people in the eye.  In the past he's been bullied, but now people pretty much ignore him, except for the occasional girl, who thinks he's cute and try to strike up conversations with him.  Of course this terrifies him, and when he tries to speak, he stutters, making him feel even more pathetic.

Maya has a much easier time at school and seems to be pretty well liked, but she can't help but be preoccupied with Lochan and their home life.  Their mother is a drunk, and their father is absent, leaving Lochan and Maya to take care of their younger siblings.  Kit, the middle child, is starting to rebel and resents Lochan for taking his father's place.  Their mother is so hung over that she forgets she had someone pick up the little kids from school, and Lochan and Maya are in a panic trying to find out what happened to them, worried they've been kidnapped, and if they ask for help, someone may take them away and split them all up.  This entire incident, plus Kit blowing up again, and their mom going out, again, with her boyfriend to get drunk, send Lochan into a downward spiral of feelings of inadequacy.

The only thing that helps, are Maya's words to him, "You're not just my brother, you're my best friend."

Maya and her friend get Lochan to go out with them (reluctantly) after school.  Though he is uncomfortable, things seem to be going well.  Lochan is even able to carry on a conversation.  Until a group from school comes in and sits with them.  Lochan can't handle the crowd or the attention, so he takes off, and Maya follows, trying to comfort him.  When the chapter ends, they have decided to take a walk at Chelsea Harbor.
Wow, this book starts off throwing punches!  I feel SO BAD for all those kids, and especially for Lochan.  Their mother is the worst kind of selfish!!  I just want to slap her!!  And it's so interesting that kids instinctively want to stay with their mothers, and their siblings.  Even though it may not be what's really best for them, they'll do anything to stay together.  Lochan and Maya act more like the mother and father of the other kids, than siblings.

I'm so curious about why Lochan is so paralyzed at school, and with others outside his family.  Is it just how horrible his parents are, or is there something else that's happened to him?  I have to admit, I keep looking for hints of the relationship we all know is to come, and it makes me wonder how differently I would have read this book if I didn't know where it was headed.

Ok, I'm going to shut up now, and see what you guys have to say!  I'll write more in the comments.  You have until Thursday to read chapters 5-10, then come back and chat about them!  Then I think next Monday we should have a live chat.  Is 10pm EST too late for everyone?  If it is, then I may need to do Tuesday night instead.  Just let me know in the comments!  Follow and use the Twitter hashtag #ForbiddenBookClub for more fun!


  1. I my heart really goes out to these kids. I mean, wow, their mom is so out of it, since the father has left that she is being so selfish to her children! & just "assuming" they should take the role of parents. & they do. Lochan & Maya really take care of the littler kids, and try their best with Kit. They are thrown in this situation to count on each other more so then the two older siblings should have to!
    I am farther than chapter 5 ;-) so That is all for me on that :-)
    How is everyone else doing? For me.. so far so good \ by Chapter 5! I am interested to see what happens, but terrified at the same time!

  2. (10 PM would be great for me, it's right after I get little guy tucked in)

    I really just want to slap the mother so many times!! It kills me!! I couldn't image watching my child/children struggle like that.

    I'm the same way as you, I think I would be reading it differently if I hadn't know there was going to be a relationship. I keep looking for it in every conversation, every little touch. I know I would have read/enjoyed it differently had I not known. BUT I think I would have had a major shock/throw the book down moment if I wasn't warned when it does happen!! LOL

    Willa is how it is in my finished copy.

    I really feel for Lochan at this point. Him struggling with his speech in school, and always worrying about how much that might make his family feel ashamed of him, all while holding the entire family together. He's a character that I have very quickly connected with.

  3. I personally like how our two main characters are such opposites of each other yet they are coming together nicely. Lochan is quiet and doesn't interact with people, his sections are often deep and yet very emotional. Whereas Maya is out having fun with friends and she is a bit more open in the things she does.

    I agree that had I not known they were going to get together that I would read the book differently. I'm looking for all of those little clues and little times where they touch or get close.

    The family is a nightmare, I can not believe the mom forgot where she sent the little kids to. It is easy to see why our main characters stepped up. They already act like a couple, like a mother and a father would towards the little kids.

    10pm doesn't work for me but I work all night long and have finals this week, so I hope you all have fun on the live chats. I'll just post comments and stuff on twitter when I can. :)

  4. Okay I have to say that this book has had me on a rollar coaster ride. First it is so crazy that a mother would leave her kids like that. I am a mother of three and I would be damned to let my other kids raise my children. Then God poor Lochie and his shyness that only Maya can see through. Maya is a stronger character and she knows what she wants and what needs to be done. She cdoes not have to be told what to do because she is already doing it.

    Thank you for encouraging people to read this book because so far iause so far it is written with class and ease.

  5. Andye - Willa is the name I have in the finished novel.

    My thoughts - What an insanely messed up family! Lochan & Maya are doing everything that they can to keep their siblings together and safe, healthy, educated. Cooking, cleaning, getting them ready for school, picking them up from school, homework, paying the bills. It's pretty clear to me that Lochan & Maya already have to rely on each other in ways that no young adults should have to rely on each other, and it is also clear to me that their relationship and their interactions with each other and with their three siblings is more in the roles of parents/guardians. There is nothing normal or healthy about the position Lochan & Maya have been put in. I also am deeply concerned with Lochan & how he relates to others. He is suffering terribly, falling apart. There are too many cracks in his armor for him to be emotionally, spiritually, mentally healthy. If it weren't for Maya, whom he relies on for so much, I think he'd go over the edge. Another saving grace is that he's so bright. I absolutely despise the mother. One of the most selfish characters I have ever read. And the absent father . . !!!!
    I am really glad I started this novel understanding what it's about. Though it's difficult to read, it's hard not to admire the effort and length Lochan & Maya go to in order to keep the family together.

  6. 10Pm (9PM CST) works for me, just tweet me a reminder. lol

    Ok so even though Ive read just a few more chapters, I will only discuss the first five.

    I HATE and to me Hate is such a ulgy word I hardly use it, but seriously I hate their mother. She need a good quick in the butt. These kids if they are to become great adult, will be because of each other and not their parents at all.

    Yup i keep waiting for a hint of whats to come and its good to know because otherwise I might have been like WTH. Tabitha writing is wonderful so far. I can see already why this book has won so many over.

    Yes I also dying to know why Lochan is so secluded, there has to be more history as to why maybe later in the book.

    alright thats all for today see you all back on Thurs.

  7. First thing I'm going to say is that this book is very well written and keeps you hooked. Like a lot of other people, I agree with the fact that I'm looking for the relationship that I know is going to form. I wonder what it would have been like to pick up this book and start reading without knowing anything about it. Then again, I probably would have freaked out when the relationship mentioned above happened.

    I started this book on Friday hoping I could get the first five chapters done by Monday (today). Not only have I made the target, I'm nearly done with the book already, I just started chapter twenty-two! Because of this, I won't say much more so I don't give anything away, but this book is definitely not like anything I've ever read before!

    Andye - The youngest girl's name is Wila in my copy of the book

  8. Know what I know going into this novel, I have been surprised at how much I have been sucked into this story. I am so invested in Lochan and Maya and what they are experiencing. I really want to slap their mother upside the head on more than one occasion for the horrible neglect she is inflicting on her children. It's not enough their father ran off and left them, now their mother is essentially doing the same thing. Really, who leaves their kids to be raised by each other, ignores them one minute and showers them with too much affection the next, relives her glory days instead of putting dinner on the table and helping with homework? *calming down now* I know it really happens out there, but to read it and to be a part of it like this, it kills me to read those parts of this novel.

    The way Suzuma has written this novel, even knowing what is going to happen, I still feel for these kids so much that I almost don’t care. Who else cares for them if not each other? I really wanted to keep reading it all just to hurry up and figure out why Lochan was so painfully shy around others, and what leads Maya and Lochan to end up together, and what happens in the end??? But, I didn’t. And, it’s killing me. Because I know something is going to happen soon, the situation will escalate, some trigger is going to be pulled and the gun will go off, and that’s it. BOOM.

    10p EST Monday night (that’s 9 Central, right?) works for me.

  9. Their mother made me so upset when she was yelling at Lochan! I really wanted to slap her too. I'm liking this book so far and I can see how things between Lochan and Maya are going to develop into so much more. I'm also interested to see what's causing Lochan's social phobia.

    I'll be able to keep up with the reading but I won't be able to participate in the live chat. I live on the west coast and I work every evening at Disneyland.

    I'm so glad you guys are doing this. I've been wanting to read this book for a while now and this just gives me the excuse to pick it up!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  10. I think what saddens me the most is that kids really live like this! The only stability in their life is when they are at school. When they get home, they are on their own and have to fend for themselves.

    The mom here is so selfish! I think really she is hoping that this boyfriend is going to be the one that will "save" her. He will make everything good again...and to her, that probably has nothing to do with her kids. I think she has a lot of hope for this relationship, and the relationship probably won't last.

    Lochan and Maya really are the parents in this family, Lochan much moreso than Maya. I think by the time he is done taking care of his family, he is too exhausted to put any effort in at school, as far as friendships go. I think he knows that he would never be able to go anywhere with anyone, because his family comes first and he can't rely on his own mother to take care of his siblings. I can definitely see why Lochan acts the way he does when at school, and then completely different at home.

  11. Annabell

    Yes! I think that's what gets me the most too, is thinking that there are kids out there that are actually living like this, and even worse.

  12. So far I am in love with this book. I completely understand why so many readers have loved it.

    I hate the mother and I love everyone else. I feel so bad for Lochan but I am very curious as to why he is so shy. I think Maya is such a great sister to him. She really sees what he is going through and she tries her best to help. I kind of want to smack Kit but I also kind of understand what he is going through. I think Willa is super cute and so is Tiffin.

    Can't wait to read more!

    Oh and 10 PM EST works great for me!

  13. I can't wait to hear all your thoughts once you finish the book. FORBIDDEN is the most powerful book I've read, so, I'm really curious about all your thoughts.

    About the Willa/Walla debacle:

    In the original UK edition (which I own) she is called Willa. But apparently, when the US edition was supposed to come out, the publishers wanted to change her name to Walla (seriously, Walla? What the heck were they thinking?!). Suzuma and a lot of her fans (including me) threw a fit. She even said that she would rather not have the book published in the US than have the name changed from Willa to Walla. So, I guess that's why the name alternated between the two in the ARC (courtesy, publisher confusion/trepidition/ridiculousness), although the finished copy keep the original Willa.

  14. I was so worried because I didn't even get the book until Saturday and wasn't able to start reading it until Monday. However, I got sick yesterday and was able to lay in bed and read. I'm at Chapter 11 now and am hooked.

    I'm normally more into paranormal/fantasy, but this book is so well written that I don't even care.

    I totally relate to how Lochie feels about his younger siblings. My brother is just like Kit. He just drives everyone up the wall and doesn't listen. It's awful.

    Can't wait to discuss the next 5 chapters!

    As for the live chat I should be able to make it monday. Tuesday I work until 10 MST

  15. Oh that's a good time for a chat, if that's 10 pm eastern that is because I'm mountain time and that would be perfect for me, right after dinner. I think Lochan was close to his father, him leaving left him with the feeling of abandonment and he does not want to do that to his siblings because he knows how it feels. I have to agree with you and the others that knowing that the book will end up with Lochan and Maya in a relationship is has definitely had me looking more closely to clues and slight details in their interactions with each other. Part of Lockan's withdrawl from socitey is that he is embarrased about his mother and where they live, even if he did have friends or a girlfriend why would he bring them home? Does the mother honestly think that they live in a situation that the kids would want to bring other kids into? I can see that she's hurting and not taking care of herself or her children, but to not look at the situation for what it really is on her part is just plain negligence on her part. I can't believe she yelled at Lochan, I bet he just wanted a night off to relax

  16. It is Willa.

    I've wondered as well, how I would read the book if I didn't know that the relationship is coming. I wondered if I would cheer for them to get together, just as I did, so they could have someone there for them. I wondered if it would be more grotesque if I wasn't mentally prepared.

    Somehow I don't think so. I champion this book, Tabitha did such a good job portraying these two, and their strange sense of unity, from page one.

  17. Man, this brings back memories of a 4th grade student I use to teach. She was so upset that her mother may be pregnant again because that meant she was going to have to take care of it. A 4th grader with THAT worry! And yes, they all had different dads that were also not in the picture. Very realistic so far for me. These poor kids...not weirded out yet!


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