Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Forever (Hopkins)

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AUTHOR: Karen Ann Hopkins
SERIES: Temptation, book 3
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2014
ISBN: 9780373211067
PAGES: 336
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: romance
GIVE IT TO: HS
SUMMARY: Now pregnant with her Amish boyfriend's baby, 17-year old Rose faces some serious decisions. Should she try to return to the Amish lifestyle, or should she try to convince Noah to leave his Amish family? How can she and Noah be together when they come from opposite worlds?

WHAT I LIKED: I've said before that this series is not for everyone. The romance is riddled with plenty of drama and adolescent relationship games, and some readers will tire of that quickly. But I absolutely adored Temptation and Belonging, and Forever is a must-read for fans of previous books. Overall, Forever is pretty good, but it isn't quite as strong as the first two.

Once again, I love Hopkins' sensitivity to the Amish culture and her handling of the difficulties Noah and Rose face. I love how Hopkins does not prefer English over Amish or vice versa. Neither culture is perfect; both cultures limit freedom in different ways and have mean--even dangerous--people living among them. But regardless of which lifestyle they call home, Rose and Noah both have friends who love them and people to help them on the other side.

I like how Rose and Noah's story ends. Nothing is ever easy for them, but they do clearly love each other. I like how Forever took a more serious turn and had less drama than the previous two books. Rose is pregnant; the relationship drama is over. Time to grow up now, people. *looks over at Noah*

I also like how Forever adds more voices into the story. We again hear from Rose's brother Sam, but we also get Noah's sister Sarah's point of view this time.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: This story just seemed so somber. Rose is depressed and hormonal through much of her pregnancy, and there are so many forces working against Rose and Noah, it's a wonder they don't just run off and live in another country to avoid it all.

The romance kind of died here. Where was the sizzle we saw in the first two? I didn't feel anywhere near as connected to the characters, nor did I feel much connection between Rose and Noah. I missed that from the first two books.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Readers who enjoyed the first two will definitely want to find out how it all ends up. I liked it well enough, but for me, it lacks the magic of Temptation and Belonging. The big question is, is Forever going to be the last book in this series, or do we get to read about Rose's brother Justin's story next? That one has some serious potential...

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have Temptation on our "high school" shelf, but I did not buy Belonging due to mature sexual content. I don't have a problem getting Forever or Belonging, but the subject matter is a little mature for middle school. If someone requests the sequels, I'll get them.

READALIKES: Temptation and Belonging (Hopkins); Perfect Chemistry series (Elkeles); Pushing the Limits series (McGarry)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild-medium; 2 fu**, a few sh** and damns
  • Sexuality: mild-medium; teen pregnancy is central to the story; one intercourse scene (very nondescript); some kissing
  • Violence: mild; arson, fist-fighting
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; a reference to a druggie neighbor, minor character smokes cigarettes

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