Book Review: Temptation

Temptation CoverBook: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Published June 2012 by Harlequin Teen|Pages: 304

Source: E-book|Nook Store

Series: Temptation #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

Learn More Over At Goodreads

Summary: 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.

I liked Temptation, and the more I think about this book, the more I like it.  There are some things that are really refreshing about this book.  Like, it’s refreshing to see an Amish boy and an English girl fall in love, instead of it being the other way around.  Noah and Rose take turns narrating Temptation, and it works so well because you see how very different the two are.  There’s a lot of conflict, which is highlighted so well throughout the entire book.  You have Rose, who loves to dance, and you also have Noah, who’s from this really strict Amish community.

We’re talking no Rumpsringa, courtship pretty much ends in marriage, there’s no kissing or hand-holding during courtship and men and women very much have traditional gender roles.

So…Noah expects Rose to give up her entire life- school, career, her love of dance- at the age of 16, pointing out that there are some cultures where she’d be married and (at the very least) pregnant.  He briefly entertains the idea of leaving behind his family and everything he’s known, but…it’s never really an option for him.  When Rose says she’s going to marry 18-year-old Noah, her family doesn’t take it well.  Her dad doesn’t like how anti-feminist this Amish community is (his words, not mine, for anyone who might be wondering), and he most certainly is not happy that she wants to join this cult.  We even see Rose being bothered by the divide between men and women, because the women in that community should know how hard the fight for equality was.  Her dad does let her be a part of the Amish community because he seems to think she won’t last very long with all of the rules, and will come running home when she realizes how hard it will be.

I’m hesitant to mention this, but I think it is important to note that if you dislike women in literature giving up everything to be with someone, particularly if it’s a 16-year-old girl in a book written for teens, this book probably isn’t the book for you.  I think this is a book that people are going to love or hate, and I think it’ll be because of how Noah’s community is structured and because of Rose, who’s willing to not go to college or have a career in order to be with Noah.

I actually think Rose wanting to become Amish and Noah being from this really strict Amish community is brilliant.  The differences between the two…it’s really well done and Hopkins does a great job with showing where both characters are coming from and how their own lives and beliefs are at odds with each other.  Rose is definitely the one who’s more willing to give everything up, and I honestly think there’s more of an impact with Rose making the decision.  For me, I don’t think it would have worked nearly as well if it were Noah giving up his entire world.

It’s interesting when you think about it too, because with Noah leaving his Amish life behind, there’s no turning back, while Rose always has the option of going back home if she realizes it isn’t what she wants.  Plus, if it were Noah, I don’t think I would have found as believable.  As much as he cares for Rose, I don’t think it would have worked as well if Noah left his Amish life behind.

And honestly?  I think how Rose’s dad reacted is another reason why Rose’s decision works.  I mean, Noah’s parents, while not happy, are also pretty straightforward with what they expect of Noah.  I’m not quite sure I can explain why her dad’s reaction makes her decision work…it just does.

Final Thoughts:

Temptation was a hard book to review, mostly because I was being hard on myself for liking Rose making the decision she did and for going to a community that is so completely different than her own.  I really felt like I should have issues with it, to the point that I tried to make myself have issues with it and majorly failed.

I really enjoyed it, and there was so much about this novel that worked.  I liked the assortment of characters and how different Noah and Rose were.  I didn’t love it, but it was still refreshing in a lot of ways.  Temptation gets 4 stars.

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