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What Danielle Did Next

A YA and NA book review blog

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Belonging - Karen Ann Hopkins Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next Oh my goodness, how much do I love this series? I'm a one flailing fangirl shipping Rose and Noah so hard! In Temptation, the course of forbidden love never ran smooth and now in Belonging everything is out in the open but unfortunately for Rose and Noah it doesn't mean an easier time. Now the hard work begins as Rose says goodbye to her old life to embrace the Amish lifestyle. Leaving her family, her friends, formal education, modern conveniences and freedom behind, Rose is plunged into her new world with plenty of icy cold shocks. Will the love of Noah be enough to fill the gap left in her heart? I seriously loved Temptation, I adored the romance between Rose and Noah, it was so sweet, laced with both innocence and passion. In Belonging, their romance becomes "real" in that they finally must embrace the pressures that come with the many rules and customs of the Amish community. Rose barely has time to breathe in her new adopted home before she faces a firing squad of Church elders all with their demands (and threats) for her to toe the line or say goodbye to Noah forever. I really admired Rose throughout this book. She literally entered another world, far different from her own. Living with a strange family, not being allowed to even look at Noah until the church elders said it was okay, partaking in back breaking work with only minor complaint, I really felt that she grew in this book. At times it angered me that Noah didn't always give her credit for her sacrifices, if Rose grumbled about her chores when weary he almost jumped down her throat accusing her of not being truly committed to her new life. Rose at times almost seemed more Amish than Noah when it came to handling their relationship, you could feel her terror at being caught if they got close whereas Noah seemed all too happy to risk exposure for a stolen kiss. Noah was very much a ball of hormones in Belonging. It was clear just how frustrated he was at being so close to Rose and still no where near the marriage he ached for. The age difference between the two was more significant and noticeable as Rose settled into her Amish routine and clearly enjoyed having a mother and father who looked after her and protected her. Their love grew beyond the childish infatuation into something more consuming and mature throughout the book. The intense kisses and stirring emotions are countered by the work that needs to be put in to make a relationship last, it is no longer just Rose and Noah...It's Rose and Noah and the world. I loved the exploration into the Amish community and how we see a darker side. It's not all pure and rosy and despite appearances, the people are just as much human and prone to temptation and mistakes. I was shocked at times to see just how much. I enjoyed meeting the new characters introduced especially Summer, Suzanna and Miranda. This book is definitely heavier thematically and there were some uncomfortable moments that really saddened me and made me love the characters even more. Just when things finally seem to be going right for the couple there is always someone to try and pull them apart and there were one or two incidents that really shocked and sickened me.At times I forgot just how young they were, on the whole they handled all that was thrown at them with a grace and maturity I found admirable so when things went really wrong I was frustrated with how willingly they accepted the manipulations of those around them. The last 20% of the book tore me apart and I was freaking out for how things would end up. The final outcome was slightly predictable but it set up book three in a way that I am aching to find out what happens next. I tweeted "who do I have to bang to get book three?" after finishing and no joke...deadly serious lol! Amazing, loved it - Belonging was heartfelt, compelling, beautifully written and a worthy sequel to Temptation!