Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

Temptation - Ann Hopkins Karen I found Temptation a difficult book to enjoy because the first 60 or so pages are extremely unbelievable. We've all read insta-love before but this was extreme: both Noah and Rose fall, literally, in love at first sight, and I found the idea so preposterous I almost stopped reading. What Kept me going was that, since the book is told in dual perspective, I enjoyed Noah's chapters as they provide an interesting insight into Amish life. I can't comment on the accuracy of the portrayal, but I was intrigued by Noah's world-view and liked seeing everything from his perspective. The characters felt flat to me, with nothing that distinguished them from similar characters in YA. Yes, Noah is Amish and he is interesting because of that, but otherwise there was no real reason I could see for Rose to want him as badly as she does. On the other hand, I feel that most of Noah's attraction comes from the fact that Rose is the first girl aside from his sisters he has had any contact with, and as someone who is not Amish, she is so different the other girls he knows that he finds himself attracted to her. So in short, the world-changing love that Noah and Rose feel for another seems misguided to me and I really don't see it being realistic. Speaking of realistic, one of the things that agitated me the most about Temptation is that both Noah and Rose believe the other should change so that they can be together. Everything is complicated by the fact that Noah, being eighteen, is expected to marry very soon, and so their relationship has a sense of urgency. Noah is constantly worrying how Rose will fit into his community without ever considering that Rose may not WANT to leave behind her education, family and way of life at sixteen to be with him. Similarly, Rose sees no reason why Noah wouldn't leave his oppressive (as she sees it) way of life and go back to school and get a job. She doesn't seem to consider it such a big deal for him to leave the community he has grown up in and estrange himself from his family, but feels she can't do the same. It is a difficult situation, I understand that, and I feel that adults in the same situation would behave much the same as Noah and Rose, but I still had a hard time reading it without getting frustrated. The book is written very well - I felt all the urgency that Noah and Rose felt, and when inevitably they were caught sneaking around, I felt the pain of their separation and their desperation to find a solution that allows them to be with one another. I think their romance is realistic and their bumbling, sexually charged encounters are amusing. I could also feel how difficult it was for Noah to hold himself back when he firmly believes that Rose should enter their marriage as a virgin. Temptation is a good book that deals with some extremely difficult issues and doesn't pretend to give answers to them. Although I feel that the romance between Noah and Rose is artificial, the rest of their problems are real and I did empathise with them. However, I cannot say I enjoyed the book very much because it provoked a strong sense of frustration in me at how Noah and Rose handled their problems. Temptation is part of a series, and after some thought I have decided that I am invested in the characters enough to want to read the next book, but I know I will probably end up fuming again at their decisions. You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.