I struggled on what to rate this book. I finally decided to just go with what Goodreads has as the 2 and 3 star descriptions. 3 stars say “liked it” and 2 stars is “it was ok.” In the end, it was just okay for me. The writing itself was good, and the storyline had a lot of potential, but the characters aggravated me too much to really enjoy the book.
The idea of a forbidden love set in the modern times and not as a retelling of one of the many forbidden loves out of history. Hopkins had the potential for a great story here. Rose is a modern girl forced to move to a place where modern isn’t the norm. Noah is the Amish boy she starts to fall in love with. There are so many obstacles that could get in their way and make their love a challenge, and Hopkins focuses on the largest one possible. I did like that part. However, that brings me to the thing that bothered me most about this book.
Noah and Rose are both teens and act like it. That would be fine if their romance was treated as a teen romance. But because Noah is basically an adult in his culture, it makes that nearly impossible. This makes him seem arrogant and condescending at times towards Rose, as he expects her to drop her own life and conform to his life, without giving strong consideration to leaving his life for her. I would have been fine with this had Rose met his stubbornness with her own. Unfortunately, she doesn’t and her unwillingness to have a backbone and stand up to Noah made me increasingly frustrated. Love does not mean having to give up everything in your life because your significant other decides that the only way for you to be together. Relationships are about balance and give and take and the fact that Rose and Noah’s relationship was so incredibly unbalanced without either of them seeing it really took away most of the enjoyment I could have felt from this novel.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to read the next novel without having an idea of if Rose grows a spine and starts to stand up for herself. Sadly, this isn’t really a book I’d recommend to my friends, but I can see why some people would fall for the romance of the book without realizing just how weak the female characters in it are. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.