Saturday, June 2, 2012

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

I don't know how to feel about this book. I don't know whether to say it's really great because it elicited really strong reactions from me and made me want to continue reading, or say it's terrible because most of my reactions were negative.

Temptation deals with Rose, an 'English' girl and Noah, an Amish boy. They fall in love, and well, the road to true love is never smooth (at least not in books). They fall in love at such an amazing speed, that most of the book deals with them sneaking around and making their plans for the future.

What this book could have been was amazing. It could have explored the cultural differences while telling a deeply moving story. But, I felt that compared to other books (like Reckless Heart, which I read recently), the Amish culture isn't portrayed positively in this book. In fact, it's portrayed as an over-controlling, anti-feminist culture for most of the book.

Of course, the characters are also infuriating. Even looking past the unnatural speed at which they fall in love, it seems to me that Rose and Noah's relationship is deeply deeply unbalanced. They're either in some kind of power-play relationship or they're doing the "I-can't-live-without-you" routine. Plus, Noah comes off as very controlling, and I thought he started thinking of Rose as his possession rather than a person towards the end of the book. I think it was meant to show deep devotion but it's also slightly creepy. Oh, I checked and I actually bookmarked this quote (and similar ones exist all over the book):

"How was I going to convince her [Rose] to do what I wanted when she was behaving like a child?"

Rose, on the other hand, was a brat. While there's nothing wrong with it (I'm a brat too!), it's unsettling how quickly she falls into what I can only call "Bella-mode". And it's even sadder because she started off as such a feisty girl. Here's a quote that sums up what she becomes at the end:

"How could I be ruining my life, when Noah was my whole life?"

Really? Your entire self-worth is based on a guy whom you just met?

Another thing that bugged me was the absence of God in the novel. In an Amish novel. There are references to the Church and stuff, but really, I didn't feel that any of the characters had a personal relationship with God.

Despite all this "ranting" (and the fact that I realised that this is probably the Amish version of Twilight), I'm actually looking forward to the next book, I want to see where this relationship is heading. That's why I'm confused about the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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