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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Belonging
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publishing House: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210817
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via 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.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


From where we last left off in Temptation, Rose is convinced that the only way she and Noah can be together no holds barred, would be if she became Amish. With her family convinced that she'll come home running in no time and most of the Amish community of Meadowview believing that it's just a fleeting teenage romance, everyone is sure that Rose is doomed to fail. In Belonging, the sequel to Temptation, bonds will be tested, and difficult questions will be answered. With only love keeping Rose and Noah afloat, will it ever really be enough to keep them together?

Belonging is what I was really expecting the first book to be like. Hopkins takes the next step further by adding plot elements that may sound familiar to television drama aficionados, but let me assure you that it works as the relationship is very fragile and delicate. 

Rose is a very strong character, what with having to endure chores and other things that she didn't even really bother with back when she was home. The upside is seeing Noah, but finding a moment for the two of them seems to be just as difficult, especially since everyone's eyes are on her. Noah is coming off a bit better in this one as well, but I couldn't help but think it's because he got Rose to come over to his side. To some, Rose's family may be a bit harsh for what they've done, but I think it's only natural for any family to be very concerned for her, especially since she's a minor. But what I've observed from Rose is that she sticks to her guns, and even if there are times she doesn't seem to understand what she wants, she somehow has an inkling of it. Hopkins' characters have a bit more depth to them this time around, because while not everyone may be on board with their romance, at least Rose and Noah are forced to face questions that they usually evade. 

There is a scene in Belonging that I find kind of bizarre and over-the-top, so I couldn't bring myself to give this one four stars. But other from that blip, Belonging really explores the circumstances of their situation and Noah finally, FINALLY, gets it that it takes two to tango, and that he shouldn't be leaving everything up to Rose. The novel ends with a surprising twist that has me once again confused whether I am supposed to be happy with the new development or not. Rest assured, however, I am still enthralled by the story, and will be eagerly anticipating the next installment. 



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