~ The Blurb ~
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 ~
I started reading Temptation using the Amish Fiction genre as my frame of reference (after all Noah is Amish), but within a few pages I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my expectations. Amish Fiction traditionally comes from a Christian background and that is evident in the language and subject matter. Temptation on the other hand is most definitely borne of the YA world and the voice given to the characters as well as the situations that the main characters find themselves in reflect this very heavily.
Temptation is an extremely engaging read. It is the story of Rose, an English girl and Noah, an Amish boy, who fall madly in love at first sight. The problem? Their worlds are so far apart that there is no way that they can pursue a relationship together, but neither one can imagine life without the other. After several secret meetings and the threat of Noah’s family sending him away to live with relatives in Pennsylvania in a last ditch effort to settle down, the couple is forced to make a decision. Either someone must leave the life that they know so they can be together or they will have to find a way to live their lives apart. This was definitely a couple who was determined to be together, they had some incredibly difficult obstacles to overcome and theirs would be an impossible situation to find yourself in at sixteen, or in Noah’s case eighteen.
I really enjoyed the story that Hopkins created. The Amish teen, meets English teen and falls in love is not necessarily a unique idea in the Amish fiction genre but what was so unique and refreshing about this story is that so much of it is told from Rose’s point of view. Hopkins did an amazing job getting inside of Rose’s head and showing her conflicting emotions throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed the split narrative between Noah and Rose. It was so interesting to read the Amish and the English perspective to the situation they were in. Temptation was definitely a book that kept me up into the night because I couldn’t pull myself away from it.
While I loved the story I truly disliked the characters in a can’t-look-away-from-the-car-wreck kind of way. Hear me out here, because while I did not like either Noah or Rose I was completely caught up in their story and very heavily invested in their decisions. I wonder if part of the reason that I enjoyed this book so much was because I felt so strongly about the characters. Noah was much too possessive, controlling, and aggressive for me to swoon over him. Yes he had the good looks, and the charisma to make Rose fall for him at first sight but reading about the way he thought of her English behavior was too much. He was an extremely arrogant and self-important character and while I can understand how him Amish background would predispose him to not approve of Rose’s dancing, going to parties or movies with her brother and his friends I find it difficult to believe that the Christian in him would be so judgmental of the way she lived her life. I also found it strange that nearly from their first meeting he had thoughts of driving the English out of Rose. It was a little hard to swallow the thought that he was convinced so early on that Rose would leave her way of life to become Amish at sixteen years old. In short Noah was a bit of an arrogant jerk, I would love to love him but I just couldn’t get passed how quick he was to demand that Rose change everything about herself to fit into his lifestyle. I have read a lot of Amish fiction and never have I quite gotten such an antifeminist vibe off the characters.
Rose on the other hand was naive to a fault. Her blissful ignorance of the consequences of her decisions as well as the simplicity of the situation was a little easier to believe considering her age and fairly sheltered life. At sixteen and in the throes of a first love it is easy to see how she suddenly developed blinders to the rest of the world and could think of nothing but Noah. Rose was sweet in a naive sort of way and I genuinely cared about her. I can’t wait for the next novel in the series to come out because I have a need to know how things work out for her. She had an extremely difficult and emotional year with the death of her mother and such a drastic move, I worry that her willingness to jump into a relationship with Noah is as much a response to the chaos in her life as it is to her feelings for him.
Temptation is a book that is sure to make you feel something, whether you swoon for Noah, find yourself captivated by the love story, want to knock some sense into either teen’s head, or fall in love with the simple Amish way of life. This is a highly entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely recommend to fans of YA, contemporary fiction and complicated love stories.
I received an e-arc of Temptation via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.