Aug 12, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: Belonging - Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Belonging (Temptation #2)
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
I left everything I knew behind.
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.
I started reading Belonging just a day after finishing Temptation, so to say that my mind has been wandering around in Hopkins' world for days now is an understatement. These characters already feel like friends and family, and my emotional investment in their well-being has me questioning my sanity—not that that's anything new.

The stakes were clearly heightened in this sequel; Rose and Noah weren't anymore risking getting found out—they're risking their chance at a happy-ever-after. Rose's determination to be accepted into the Amish community and be with Noah was nothing short of admirable. She knew what she wanted, and although she sometimes had the inevitable doubts, she did everything to get it. Some readers might question them, saying what they had was just puppy love gone havoc, but I truly believed that they're meant for each other.

In Temptation, Rose and Noah had overcome the Amish issue by her trial-joining them, but they hadn't taken into account Rose's family and how they'd feel when she joined them for real. They were accepting at first, thinking she'd soon come running home begging to have her old life back, so they definitely didn't approve of her resolve. I totally understood where they were coming from, but they certainly could have handled it better.

Rose's new life introduced us to a handful of colorful new characters, but we still saw a lot of her old friends—and old enemies. As if the pressure on her and Noah to be good wasn't enough, they still had to watch their backs for sabotage and worse, and the suspense was a constant.

My only qualm about this book was the lack of character growth. Sure, Rose and Noah were smarter and more responsible, but all that maturity jumped out the window when trouble found them. I can't elaborate without being spoiler-y, I'm afraid, but know that I almost pulled out a good chunk of my hair from frustration.

This crazy adventure of a book ended with a bang, and although I'd known about it in advance because I had read the blurb for the third book, my jaw still dropped. Now to wait impatiently for Forever!

MY FAVORITE PART is Rose's night-out with her Amish friends.

About the author:
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

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