Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation (Temptation #1) by Karen Ann Hopkins
Harlequin Teen, 380 Pages
US Release Date: June 26, 2012
Source: Gifted from author - thank you Karen!!

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.
--------------------------Goodreads summary

Notable Quote
The thought of leaving my family, friends and community was not something that I wanted to do. But the difference between leaving all of them was that I would survive it. I couldn't live without Rose in my life.
Did you read my interview with the author? It's fascinating!

What I learned from reading Temptation:
The Amish would hate me.

Holy cow, you guys. I thought I knew about the Amish culture - and perhaps more than the average. Because I've watched documentaries, I've read a bit, I saw that Bones episode about the musical prodigy who was Amish. I love cultures that are vastly different from mine despite the nearness in environment - which the Amish definitely fall under. But after reading Temptation? Man. I knew nothing.

In terms of the story, it's fairly simple: they can't be together, but they try with everything they can. I will say that if you can't stand insta-love, this may not be the best novel for you. Any way you slice it, the first 10 pages, Rose isn't in love; and on page 11, she is. Now, I'm not a fan of insta-love, but I'll hack it when I have to - and this one is manageable.

Reading Temptation is fascinating since I felt like an entire new world was opening up to me. I had no idea the variations between Amish communities and how different locations will have different rules. And I really enjoyed reading about their daily life; most documentaries or things I've seen/read focus on what they can't do, on how they're different from American society, on Rumspringa and breaking rules. Temptation opened up their entire routine and daily life, allowing readers to see that hey - they're actually not too different. They're strict, sure, but they do things for fun, have chores, care about the family and community.

However, I did have a slight issue with this story. It doesn't happen often, but I had a hard time with the actual writing. Like most readers and bloggers I know, I'm a writer and an editor (I am a journalist, after all), and sometimes, it's hard to put that aside as you read. It's gotten better the more often I read, but the want is still there. And Temptation definitely tested me. Almost every other line tripped me up and made me want to rewrite it, and that was tough to get through. Reading something and thinking how you would have written it is highly distracting, and I have to admit that it put me off sometimes. I don't mean to say the author is a bad writer (god I hope that's not how this sounds!), but sometimes, there were sections that I felt I would have written differently. Would my version be better? Probably not. But that's how it was for me.

Overlooking that hiccup though, I'm taken by the story of Noah and Rose. I cheered them on, I wanted them to get together, and I held my breath every time they snuck off to meet with each other. They were sweet, and even though sometimes I wanted to punch both of them for being so stubborn and unbending in their beliefs and upbringing, they're both very likable characters. I also liked that both of them were getting flack about being together - it would have felt very typical and stereotyped if it was just Noah and the Amish culture banning it. Rose's father not approving, and her brother being completely against it? That was a great additional element to the story.

I'm quite curious to see what will happen in Belonging, the second book. DON'T read the summary if you don't want to be spoiled about what happens in book one, but how Temptation ended...definitely looking forward to more of Noah and Rose's story.

3 Stars / 5


  1. Love the cover. Never heard about the book before:)Thanks for tip:) Love your review:)

  2. I've heard about this book a couple of times, but I still haven't managed to read it for myself. It does sound fascinating though, particularly the part about Amish culture.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to rewrite stuff. For me it's cyclical. I'm definitely a more critical reader when I'm in the midst of major edits of my own.

  4. this is on my to-read list for a really long time! The concept sounds interesting! Did you watch the tv series Breaking Amish?? It sounds just like that. Great review Ashley!


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