Release Date: 26th June, 2012
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.
A big thanks to HarlequinTeen Australia for sending me an ARC copy of this book!
TEMPTATION is a young adult Romeo & Juliet-esque storyline, only it features your average teenage girl with a not-so-average teenage boy and as soon as these two people are brought together by fate, they end up falling in love through their different circumstances and with this love comes many consequences that they never saw coming. For Noah's world, boys aren't supposed to get involved with girls outside their close-knit community. They're supposed to get married young, build homes for their new wives, inherit their families lands, have children and continue the proper traditions of their community. For you see Noah's family are Amish and that's the way they live their lives. However, for Rose's world, she is a girl with a life full of freedom and is rather normal. But Rose's life is far from perfect. She wants more for her life and when Noah enters her world . . . everything changes.
When I received this ARC copy of the book TEMPTATION I had no clue to what it was about, other than it being about Amish people with a forbidden love story being interwined with it. Now I've always been fascinated by the Amish communities (even though they still gives me the creepers) not only because it's far from your average way of living life but for the simple fascination of the way these people - whom still exist mind you - choose to live their lives through and by true innocence and traditions, which, for people like you and me, we do not often live by because we choose our own paths rather than follow strict rules of our family and our family before that and so on. I might not know too much about how real Amish people live but I thought the author portrayed the Amish community with such strength and genuinity, which I was rather surprised by, and for once in a contemporary young adult novel, the author also tackled a great romance and a storyline that was a little different compared to your typical cliche american love story so I enjoyed that rare element.
As for the characters themselves, they were a very interesting bunch. Rose for example, one of the central characters of the story, was immediately liked by me. She was easy to relate to and she felt like a friend to me without truly needing to know her more, so she was a great MC for me. But while I might've liked her a lot character-wise but she had her faults too, which I'll get into detail soon. As for Noah's character, the love interest for Rose, was someone that took me a while to warm up to. I mean he was obviously handsome, polite and a true gentlemen to Rose, since he had grew up in an Amish society and he knows how to treat a girl special, but there was just something about him that turned me off at times. Partly because of his Amish upbringing . . . the lifestyle and the ways Noah continued to forever influence on Rose. To be honest with you and without offending the Amish out there, it gave me the creepers. Sure, Noah cannot help how he was brought up and really he knows no different, but at times he seemed too possessive of Rose (i.e. he suggests things like 'Girls shouldn't be by themselves' and 'You need a chaperone because it's the proper lady thing to do') and I was a 'little' weirded out by it all. But as the storyline slowy came together, I started to enjoy Noah's company and began understanding him more and more. Thankfully.
The only real problem I had with TEMPTATION was the believability of the events in the book and how everything was wrapped up by end of the story. These two teenagers - Rose and Noah - come from very different worlds and I see how their love for one another came crashing together, but what I struggled most to believe was how Rose handled particular situations. For one, there were times where she had loved Noah and came to be invested by his Amish world, but there were other times too where she often disliked the way he forced upon her his Amish-ways, and when there's a certain storyline 'twist-turn' in the book . . . she made one decision regarding this certain 'twist-turn' that I respected her for because that's what I would've decided if I were in her shoes, but then after another unfortunate incident, she immediately changed her mind regarding this 'twist-turn' and went the completely opposite way to where I didn't want her to be. Still . . . I understood why she made that choice at that time and place.
Overall, I thought Karen Ann Hopkins's TEMPTATION was a fantastic YA debut novel and offered a realistic Amish setting and a traditional lifestyle that I could see many readers being intrigued by. If you love a different take on contemporary novels, a forbidden romance that may seem forever impossible or if you simply love a book with some real human emotion inside it, then you're going to love this!
4 1/2 / 5 stars