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Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
I left everything I knew behind.Belonging is the second installment in the Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins. I read the first book, Temptation, not too long ago and had some good things to say about it (As seen in last week's Memory Lane Monday which can be found here). The scandalous romance and the unique setting of the story made for an entertaining and in some ways educating read. However, for some reason when I read Belonging, I didn't get the same goody-bookworm feeling I had after reading the first novel, and because of that it took me a bit longer than usual to get through it.
But it was worth it. He was worth it.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.
If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE together forever.
But not everybody believes this is where I belong.
Belonging focuses for a large portion of the book on Rose finally getting her chance to be Amish so she can freely be with Noah. As the reader, we get to take this unknown journey with her as Rose is finally faced with the chores, rules and responsibilities that come with being Amish. One thing I've always loved about Rose was how dedicated and determined she is when she wants something. She doesn't let anything stop her and she does everything she can to stand up for what she believes in. That being said I think this was at times a fault of hers as well, which is something I particularly noticed in Belonging. I think there were more than a few times were Rose doubted what she was doing and I sometimes felt like she was almost a little too proud to admit that there is a possible life path for her that doesn't include Noah. It's unfortunate because it seems like Rose finally starts to consider this toward the end of the novel, but then some unexpected news changes things.
One of the biggest differences in my opinion about this series from book one to two is my thoughts on Noah's character. Noah and Rose's relationship in book one was scandalous, passionate and consuming, and in book two, it continued that way. Some may think this is a good thing, but I found it hard to continue supporting because it was nearly impossible for me to believe their relationship was built on a foundation of true love:
- Clue One: Rose gives up, and is willing to continue giving up, her whole life (literally) and identity to be with Noah. However, Noah not once is willing to sacrifice anything in return. If he was truly in love with Rose, I feel like he wouldn't hesitate to do whatever he could to be with Rose, including at least seriously considering the possibility of becoming "English."
- Clue Two: All Noah ever thinks about when he's with Rose is her looks and how tempted he is in Rose's presence to have sex with her before marriage. ...If that isn't lust, I don't know what is!
- Clue Three: I don't know about you guys, but Noah always seemed to be pressuring Rose into marriage even when she was clearly not ready. On numerous occasions, Noah even tried convincing Rose to marry him using his uncontrollable desires as a good reason to get married sooner rather than later. Ugh! Control your hormones Noah! Honestly, he comes off as being so selfish-- Rose has already given up so much and he can't even give her enough time to make sure this is the life she wants. I wish I could talk about how livid I was with Noah because of a certain situation that happens at the very end of the novel, but because I don't want to be giving anything away, I'll keep my rage inside.... for now.
One positive I will say about Belonging was how many unexpected things happened. I can honestly say there were more than a few surprises that shocked me and kept me reading even though I had begun to doubt the romantic story-line. I particularly loved getting a glimpse into Summer and Sam's blossoming relationship-- I almost begun to enjoy reading their story-line more so than Rose and Noah's! Hopefully we'll get to see more about them in book three!
"I don't take a single step all day without thinking about you-wanting you. And here you are, finally in my arms."
"You don't talk much, do you?" I parked, turning all my attention to the lovely girl beside me.
"I do when I got something to say."
Overall, Belonging was a bit of a disappointing sequel compared to the addicting first installment in the Temptation series. It continued to be a unique and surprising read, but there were many more character strangling, head slamming worthy moments that make me very concerned for book three. I know that there were quite a few people who really liked Belonging, but for some reason it just didn't do it for me. That being said, I do recommend this book to any fans of Temptation- I am sure that there are going to be a lot of people who like Belonging a lot more than I did. Are you looking forward to reading Belonging? Would you ever turn Amish for your "soul-mate?" Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,