24 July 2012

YA Book Review: Temptation by Karen Hopkins

Release Date: 26 June 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
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 ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.
My Thoughts...


As someone who loves reading adult fiction about the Amish, I was quite excited for the opportunity to read Temptation. It definitely sounded like something right up my alley--sexy Amish boy, cute English girl, forbidden romance. What's not to love about that? Unfortunately, while I admire Ms. Hopkis' original story and really wonderful writing, there were a number of things that made Temptation a bit of a "miss" for me.

The writing, as I mentioned, was quite good. Ms. Hopkins has a way of really pulling you into her story. I found myself enmeshed in the world and characters fairly early on. I enjoyed her alternating point of views as well as I felt it was immensely helpful to see the story from both Rose and Noah's heads. The worlds that both characters occupied was well-defined and the challenges to their relationship obvious.

Rose and Noah were both intriguing characters but I found it difficult to connect with either of them beyond a fairly surface level. Their relationship escalates at a pace that felt out of character for both of them ( and this coming from me--someone who generally overlooks inst-love because of how quickly I fell in love with my now husband). Rose struck my as a bit young and flighty. She really never seemed to grasp the seriousness of her situation. Noah on the other hand spends too much time for my liking trying to figure out how he's going to control Rose once she converts, which I get is part of his culture and upbringing but maybe it should have also been his first clue that something might be wrong with their situation.

The other problem that I ended up having with this book was its depiction of Amish culture. I know that the author is familiar with the way of life but I don't quite think that it was portrayed properly. Noah's reactions and mindset certainly show the ordered nature of their lives, but where does God come in? So much of their culture seems to be portrayed as simply strict because the bishop/ministers say so when in reality their lives have a very spiritual focus. Nosh never really talks to Rose about these aspects in his discussions about their lifestyle and I think that bothered me more than anything else.

Overall, Ms. Hopkins' prose wasn't quite enough to redeem this one for me. It's a long read, clocking in at close to 400 pages, and I envision that some readers won't have the stamina to continue all the way through with this one. Will I read the sequel? There's a good chance that I will give it a shot--but probably from the library. However, every book has its reader and there were plenty of other readers who sure enjoyed this one far more than me. If you're intrigued by this promising premise, then I suggest checking the library shelves first.

2 comments:

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I felt EXACTLY the same way reading this one, Jessi! Noah and Rose were really sweet, but IMHO they didn't share a deep connection. Did they like one another? Very much. Did I feel like it was more lust, or a "first love" then something lasting? Absolutely. I didn't see them taking things past the first, physical attraction. Where were the scenes with them getting to really KNOW one another? I also hated, really hated, the way they were working against one another. Rose kept wanting to change Noah to make it easier on her, and he kept wanting to change her to make it all easier on HIM. They didn't remind me of a REAL couple, who would have worked through everything together. They were both selfish and immature in a lot of ways.

It also bothered me, like with you, that for a book about the Amish, and from an author who has admittedly researched a lot about their culture and ways, there was nothing NOTHING religious about Temptation. I didn't expect to be preached at, but SOME semblance of a spiritual thread throughout the novel would have been good. Instead, Noah - and thus the Amish - are presented as control freaks who only live to dominate their women. That REALLY rubbed me the wrong way.

Despite all of that, I did like the writing, and several of the characters, so like you, I will probably read the sequel. But I won't buy it.

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

Jessi said...

YES. Selfish & immature is pretty much spot on with how I felt about them. I still feel like this had SO much potential. Maybe if some different things are taken into consideration the sequel can pull it off better? I suppose we'll see!

The really sad thing is that this is probably the first Harlequin Teen book that I've read that was a bit disappointing...

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