Review: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins

foreverFOREVER (Temptation Book #3)
Karen Ann Hopkins
Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 28, 2014

From the back cover:

All I want is my happily-ever-after.

That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

FOREVER can be summed up in one word: melodrama. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and given the fact that I’ve had to read all three books in this series even though each one piled on more drama than the last, it’s clear that Karen Ann Hopkins excels at the kind of ’emotional manipulation’ that really grabs the reader. The problem I had with FOREVER was that most of the drama comes from crazy external forces (accidents, fire, tornadoes–oh, my!) and it all began to feel like nothing more than plot devices to keep Noah and Rose apart until the very last second. Which made them all seem over the top and unnecessary in my opinion.

I was happy to see Noah finally grows up in this book, however, after all his selfishness in the last two books, I felt his about-face came on too quickly for me to really believe in it. And Rose kind of flounders around, almost as if hoping someone will make the tough choices about her future for her. I was much more invested in Noah’s family and even Rose’s brother Sam, all of whom are well drawn, sympathetic, wonderfully likeable characters who are willing to stand by those they love, no matter the consequences. And I absolutely loved the little side-story of Sarah (Noah’s sister) and Micah. I started spinning dreams of a full length tale in my head — until Karen Ann Hopkins went and broadsided me with the unthinkable. See (’emotional manipulation’ above).

And yet, even given all that, I really did enjoy seeing Noah and Rose get their happy-ever-after. There’s something about the entire trilogy that feels real and engrossing, and while the first book remains my favorite, the series is worth a read for those that love a good high drama, emotional story.