Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

by Karen Ann Hopkins

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 383
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: June 26, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, Amish, romance, contemporary

First in the Temptation series. From Goodreads:
"Your heart misleads you.
That's what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms.

It should be


forever, easy.

But it won't be.

Because he's Amish.
And I'm not.

{ I received this as an ebook ARC from NetGalley. }

This is how YA Amish romances should be. Temptation follows Rose and Noah as they meet, fall in love, and struggle to make it work. They're star-crossed lovers, essentially: Noah is Amish, Rose is not Amish (or "English," as the Amish would say). This is a gigantic hurdle for them to overcome, if it can be overcome at all. Hopkins keeps you on your toes throughout the book as your thoughts teeter between "It will work out! It has to work out!" and "There is just no way this is ever going to happen."

Rose is 16 and has just moved to a new town with her dad and her two brothers following the death of her mom. She soon finds out there's an Amish family living next door, and when a few of the family members make a visit, she meets their handsome son, Noah. They are drawn to each other instantly.

Temptation is written from both Rose and Noah's points of view, alternating between chapters. I love multiple POV when it's used effectively, and it definitely was here. You get to see the characters fall in love with each other, having access to their thoughts and feelings. You get to see how each character's words and actions are interpreted by the other. You get to see their frustrations too, how they view the faults of each others' societies. It's a great peek into the minds of both Rose and Noah.

Rose and Noah do fall in love at first sight, but their relationship is developed slowly and sweetly. No blinding instalove here. They agonize over the serious aspects of their relationship, acknowledging that they're up against some strong obstacles. They have to sneak away to see each other, which makes their time together all the more romantic.

There were a few parts of Temptation that I wasn't crazy about. First, there was an aspect of Noah's personality that bothered me. (SPOILER - highlight to read: His refusal to compromise in any way was irritating. I know that one of them was going to have to make a major sacrifice in order for them to have a chance of being together, meaning that one of them was going to have to give up their way of life and join the other's society. But from the start, Noah essentially says, "Well, it's not going to be me!" That's not really a great way to start off your relationship.) Second, one of their ideas to make their relationship work out kind of blew my mind. (SPOILER - highlight to read: "Let's make a baby! Then they'll have to let us be together!" Really, now. I'll chock it up to Noah being in a society where marriage and childbearing may happen at a younger age that he would even suggest such a thing. But I really didn't see a need for Hopkins to include this at all. I guess to show their desperation? That they were so set on making it work that they would ruin their own lives and potentially that of their future child by having a baby out of marriage and turning both families against them? But that wouldn't really help their situation at all. Why not forget the baby idea and just run away together, then? ... I don't know. It just rubbed me the wrong way.)

But despite those things, I still really enjoyed Temptation. Sometimes books with Amish characters tend to make them seem unrealistically moral without the thoughts and feelings that non-Amish characters would have, or they make Amish society seem so intensely different from non-Amish society that it's a little off-putting. Temptation portrayed Noah as a normal teenage boy with normal teenage emotions who happened to follow a different way of living. It portrayed Noah's Amish family and neighbors as real people; fundamentally, yes, their way of life is very different than Rose and her family's, but Hopkins also included aspects of everyday life that are shared between the Amish and the English, like playing volleyball and going to horse auctions. Basically, I think she found a nice balance that some other books I've read have missed.

The second book in the series, Belonging, is set to be released in May 2013 - I'm really looking forward to seeing how things go from here, especially after reading the teaser from Belonging that was included at the end of Temptation!

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

More about Karen Ann Hopkins }

Karen Ann Hopkins's Goodreads profile
Follow Karen Ann Hopkins on Twitter

{ Temptation series }

Book 1: Temptation 

Book 2: Belonging 
Read my review

Book 3: Forever 

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