{Book Review | Audio} Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins

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{Book Review | Audio} Belonging by Karen Ann HopkinsBelonging by Karen Ann Hopkins
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Harlequin on May 1st 2013
Genres: African American, Love & Romance, People & Places, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Goodreads
two-half-stars
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.

Rose has given up everything: her family, her friends, and her freedom. She did it all for Noah, but now that she’s living the simple life, she can’t be with him. Rose has to prove that she can be Amish and follow all of their strict rules. Meanwhile, her family is trying to convince her to come back to their world, to the English way of life. Even though she misses her family, she can’t imagine her life without Noah Miller and is determined to prove to everyone that she belongs. Rose will prove that she can be Amish.

Karen Ann Hopkins, the author of the trilogy, sent the blog the audio versions of the books. I’m glad that I was listening to the book rather than reading it, because I think I would have sat it down multiple times. Rose was so daft sometimes that it got ridiculous. She couldn’t see in front of her, especially considering Noah constantly blocked her line of sight. I did not—I repeat, did not—like Noah from the beginning. He was controlling and manipulative and did whatever it took to turn Rose against her family. Her brothers and father were having to deal with the loss of her mother, and then Rose leaves them for a guy. Yes, I believe in love; however, no, I do not believe what Rose and Noah had in the beginning was love. Noah wanted what he couldn’t have, which only drove Rose closer to him.

Although I didn’t like the relationship between Noah and Rose, the kindling romance between the new character, Summer, and Rose’s oldest brother, Sam, was what made this book worthwhile. The Sam chapters of the book were a lovely addition to the story. The voice—the words the author had written—and the actual voice used for the audiobook encouraged me to continue the book. Sam had charming wit, was incredibly funny, and loved his sister in a unique way. I wish he had been part of the first book, though I understand, as the reader, we weren’t ready for his opinions yet.

Since I disliked Noah so much, it’s no surprise that I wanted Rose to end up with Hunter, the lovable football player from Meadowview. He had everything that any girl would want and protected Rose even when she didn’t know that she needed protecting. For me, Hunter was the better guy; he certainly proved himself enough. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, healthy about Rose and Noah being together. They tore each other down and broke down barriers that should never be stripped, and when she gets a guy that does nothing but builds her up, she throws him to the curb like last night’s trash.

The ending. Oh, my word, the ending. I listened to the book while driving and had the “what the—” look on my face often (I’m sure the other drivers thought I was insane with some of the facial expressions I made). The ending, however, kept me listening. I had to finish their story, and Temptation soon played through the speakers as I drove.

As far as love stories go, theirs is not going on my favorites list, but it proved to be addictive—can’t stop thinking about it and ranting about Rose and Noah’s dumb decisions, addictive. I’m one of those people who would rather hold a book in their hands, but that’s a little difficult when you’re driving—and slightly illegal—and I would suggest listening to this series.

I’m interested in reading Hopkin’s other books, because I like her storytelling ability and writing style. So, this book didn’t go very far with me, but I would love to see what other stories she has for us.

Moriah (1)

About Karen Ann Hopkins

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Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen’s main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.
Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven. The feisty horse’s name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen’s steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible.

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