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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Temptation - Karen Ann Hopkins

Released July 2012


Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Reading Karen Ann Hopkins' Temptation was an interesting experience. As a teen, I would have adored this story, both characters equally, and longed for my own lasting teen romance like the one Rose and Noah shared. As an adult, I know that few relationships started at that age last. I've seen many high school friends marry their high school sweetheart and end up divorced and single parents before they'd even reached their mid-twenties. I do think having that adult insight did shape my feelings towards Noah, and that detracted some from the book.

Rose is new to town and never imagined she'd fall head over heels for Noah, an Amish boy. Noah's at the age where he needs to find a wife, and despite his immediate bond with Rose, he knows his parents will never go for an English girl unless she were to become Amish. Rose is just as mad about Noah, but she knows her father will never go along with her becoming Amish. It becomes a Romeo and Juliet-style romance that no one knows for certain how things will play out.

Karen Ann Hopkins does an amazing job building the chemistry between the two. However, their were character traits I couldn't overlook. Rose's mother died of cancer less than a year before their move. She's grieving, as is her father and siblings, so I can see her transferring her grief into an intense need for Noah. Her unwillingness to get to know non-Amish locals surprised me a bit, especially when it was her brother Sam asking her to tag along. Few older brothers ever do that and I would have jumped at the chance when I was her age.

Noah was my bigger issue. I realize he's Amish and that's a whole new culture with different standards. He came off as very controlling to me, and I didn't like that. Control at that age usually leads to at least verbal abuse, and I wanted Rose to see it. When Noah forbids her to go to a party with her brother, when he tells her he couldn't dream of becoming an English and that she needs to change for him... I still say "Screw that!" Rose is far too young to make any changes for a man.

Despite my issues with Noah, Temptation is part of a series, and I'm curious to see how things play out. I will certainly read Belonging when it comes out in May 2013.

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