by Tabitha Suzuma
Published: 5th September by Random House
Version: manuscript from publisher (Review my own, honest opinion)
Rating: 4.5 sofas
Why? is the burning question on everyone’s lips. Why would a guy like Mathéo Walsh want to die? At seventeen, he is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. He has great mates and is the envy of everyone around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy…
Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend – something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people: he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster. Tormented, Mathéo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever…
Tabitha’s A Note of Madness was one of my favourite books as a teenager. I’ve lost count of how many times I have read it. So when I heard she was releasing a new novel, I squealed with excitement. But could anything live up to the emotional rollercoaster that was Forbidden? The answer is a resounding YES.
We follow Matheo, future diving Olympian as he juggles training between school and his girlfriend, Lola. Until one day something happens that changes him, and his perfect world shatters. We are taken on a journey with him as he tries to assemble his memories as well as his emotions.
I did get a bit frustrated around the middle of the book, but I think this is just because I was dying to know what had happened to Matheo, and I was racking my brain with all the possibilities. However, Tabitha’s writing is just so pure and the raw emotion had me gripped from the very beginning. Whatever Matheo was going through, I felt it. My heart went out to him and I had to find out what had made him feel this way and whether he was going to be okay.
As for the other characters, I sort of went in swings and roundabouts. I thought Lola, his girlfriend, was quite flaky, especially in the second half. Obviously she was dealing with Matheos emotions, but she was so inconsistent I’m not sure I could see Matheos obsession with her. That being said, as a reader I am getting a much greater insight to Matheos thoughts then Lola is, so her anger and sadness is probably justified against his actions.
I can’t tell you how much THAT ENDING left my jaw trailing on the floor long after I had turned the last page. I just couldn’t believe it. Once again Tabitha had succeeded in turning everything I knew about humans and their emotions upside down, and I was left in shock.
Overall, Hurt is heartwrenching, emotional and gripping. If you enjoyed Forbidden, then this will knock your socks off. 4.5 sofas!