May 3, 2013

Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins + Interview and Giveaway!

Belonging (Temptation, #2)
Belonging by Karen Hopkins
Series: Temptation, #2
Source: Author for Review
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
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.
For some reason, I think that Belonging tried to be a little too much for me, and as a result it fell a bit flat. The characters didn't really have the same dimension that they originally had, but the romance was still fairly good. Until it wasn't-- I feel like Rose and Noah just let each other go way too easily.

I don't feel like their hearts were breaking, or that they'll never love other people-- I feel like maybe they should both just move on. If your entire family is against something, it stands to reason, right? I mean, I love a good forbidden, but if neither one of them is willing to compromise for the other, it's just not going to work.

It's destined to become this huge fail, especially with that huge bomb that got dropped near the end. Don't get me wrong, I am interested in what happens next. I'd like to know more about Sam and Summer, and I want more than anything a happy ending. But I just don't think that it'll work out.

As much as I'd like to see it, I just don't think that it should be in the cards. Moving on.

We get to see a little bit of relationship development with Sam and Summer, but I don't feel like either of the characters was really doing it for me. Sam felt flat, and although I liked Summer, she did too. I did think that their romance was cute, though!

My final impression of Belonging is this: I just want for everything to work out. I'll read the next one, but I'm really not sure that Rose and Noah should be together-- it's just causing a lot of problems. Before they get together (if) they should definitely do some growing up. I'll say that I'm fairly mediocre about this one.

Karen Ann HopkinsA 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.

Facebook || Goodreads || Like Temptation! || Temptation on Goodreads || Belonging on Goodreads

I absolutely love music-- it's one of my favorite things. So, do you listen to music to get you more in the mood to write? Or not? Do you have a playlist of songs that describe TEMPTATION and BELONGING?

I love music any other time, but while writing, I prefer silence.

You live in an Amish community, according to your acknowledgements. Do you like it?

My neighbors are friendly, fascinating and helpful.  Admittedly, they are a curious bunch and believe it or not, they enjoy gossip, but otherwise, I couldn't ask for a better place to live.

She shared some lovely pictures with us, y'all!

Do you and Rose share similar qualities?

The biggest similarity between us is that we are both horse enthusiasts and avid riders.  We also share a stubborn persistence to make things work once we've set our minds to it.

I liked how you intertwined the story of Sam and Summer-- how did you decide that they would be a good couple? Did you write Summer with the intention of putting some tension into BELONGING?

In my community and others, there is always a token English kid who is allowed to hang around with the Amish kids--at least for a while.  I wanted to have a character that would be sympathetic to Roses' plight, while still understanding the Amish lifestyle, and Summer was that person.  Summer's relationship with Sam blossomed on its own during the writing process.  She's the perfect girl for him, because she's strong willed and independent, yet a bit of a lost soul at the same time.  She needs Sam, even though she doesn't admit it, and he needs someone to take care of.

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What do you have in store for us after the Temptation series? Please share! (:

The third book in the series comes out next year and is titled FOREVER.  It will wrap up Rose and Noah's story completely and the question of whether the two young lovers will make it or not, will be decided.  My hope is to write several more books featuring other characters from Meadowview.  There are more stories waiting to be told about the adventures that the Amish and non-Amish kids share while living side by side in the sleepy Amish community.

Thanks, Karen, for answering some of my silly questions! I'm super excited about Forever, even if this one fell a little flat for me. (:

Karen has sweetly offered up a prizepack for y'all that live ANYWHERE! One winner will receive a signed copy of TEMPTATION and a signed copy of BELONGING. Enter up! It's international! :D
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