View the original review on my blog:
Hopkins has done it again with a romance that epitomises what love really is. The beautifully written sequel that has you gripping every page and heartbroken at the tale of these two soul mates.
If you’ve read my review of Temptation, the first book in this trilogy, you would know how much I loved it. What I love most about this series is how it is so different, yet similar to a lot of other love stories. It is so similar because of the love aspect of two falling madly in love and they can’t be together. The difference? Well, just the teeny tiny reason that Noah is Amish and now Rose has become Amish so they can be together. Oh, this IS the meaning of forbidden love. And another thing.... the second book is just as good as the first!
When you finish Temptation, you get an excerpt from Belonging, and you know exactly what is going to happen. So when you start Belonging, you are waiting for it to happen. What you don’t expect is to watch Rose within the community for a while, as well as how she copes and what battles, emotionally and physically that she has to face. We go through heartbreak with her and Noah, as well as know what is coming up in their future... we wait.
Ok, you might be thinking that it might be a bit boring just going through the Amish lifestyle with Rose, but it is the complete opposite. We see through three different perspectives, Rose, Noah and now Sam as well. We sometimes see things that are going to happen, and then sometimes we need to guess at what we think is going to happen. But even when we are in Rose’s perspective (as we are most of the time), we don’t get bored of the Amish life. You’ll find that even though Rose is trying to become Amish, she still finds a way for something to happen, not even intentionally. When reading, you find that you are wishing for certain things to happen that could make their lives easier together.
I really don’t like her dad (David) and Sam (Justin gets peer pressured into it so he doesn’t count really) in this book. What they do is inexcusable, no matter how old Rose is. Especially what they do, coming to the end of the book. I WAS SHOCKED. How could a parent do something like that! Ok, everyone can relate in some teeny tiny way, but that is what makes us have the reaction that we do. I love the way that Karen (Hopkins) can create the same feeling in her characters, and draw the reaction from something happening, in the way that a teenager (well anyone really) would understand and relate to.
I love that Summer is introduced into this story, she is a character that changes everything in this book. When you think about it, without her, Rose probably wouldn’t have coped as well as she did, Sam wouldn’t turn out to be the person he ended up turning out being (in the end), and through her, none of what happened would have been the same and we end up loving Summer as a best friend. From Sam’s actions,
I do, but then I don’t, want him to find love for himself. Especially after what Rose does to help him (even in small ways) and then he goes and does something that betrays her.
As events come to life, we see that the world of the Amish isn’t as perfect as it was seemed. We see some horrible things happen throughout the book, that we might not have thought would happen in their “world” compared to our English world. We
get a glimpse of it in Temptation, but we don’t even spare a second thought on it until it all comes together in Belonging. One part, where it is mentioned (not directly) we think we know exactly what they are talking about. Then further on in the book, we are fully known to this.
The only thing I have to say about the ending was that I wished there was more of a struggle in the end between Rose and her Father (it’s hard without spoilers), with the spirit we see in Rose throughout the whole two books, we would have wished that it was seen here as well. When you start to think that you want a bit more “action” when you are getting close to the end, the mother-load lands. The last few chapters are (excuse my Aussie) “chock-a-block” with hair raising, spine tingling, eye squinting, jaw dropping, eye widening action to leave us hanging for the final in this series. I don’t even think that I can get over what happened, and it is a struggle not to reveal anything.