The Temptation of Adam
Adam Hawthorne is fine.Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists.But Adam is fine.When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel.Now Adam has to face the causes and effects of his addiction, before he loses his new friends, his prodigal sister, and his almost semi-sort-of girlfriend.

The Temptation of Adam Details

TitleThe Temptation of Adam
Author
ReleaseNov 21st, 2017
PublisherSky Pony Press
ISBN-139781510707306
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult

The Temptation of Adam Review

  • Dave Connis
    January 1, 1970
    Hi, my name is Dave Connis and I wrote this thing. This little book packs a lot of emotion for me because I've wrestled with being good enough my whole life. I've always felt the broken parts of me more than the good. TOA is a lot of things, a book about addiction, a book about hope, a book about kids attempting to find something greater than themselves, but it was also my attempt (a very very long and work-intensive attempt) at talking myself into believing my brokenness is only one part of me. Hi, my name is Dave Connis and I wrote this thing. This little book packs a lot of emotion for me because I've wrestled with being good enough my whole life. I've always felt the broken parts of me more than the good. TOA is a lot of things, a book about addiction, a book about hope, a book about kids attempting to find something greater than themselves, but it was also my attempt (a very very long and work-intensive attempt) at talking myself into believing my brokenness is only one part of me. On the pie chart of what makes me a human, it only takes up a slice and the other stuff matters just as much. I really hope that this book helps you believe that, too.Here's to hallelujahs,Dave
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  • Sara➽ (Ink Is My Sword)
    January 1, 1970
    I promised, I delivered. Be proud. 4 “Dez, Dez and more Dez” chanting StarsI am Sara, and I totally don’t have an addiction to books. Disclaimer: Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on November 21st of 2017.“It’s like… we’re all volcanoes and we wander around engulfing each other in our disasters.”First, that cover! Oh sweet babies, it is so aesthetically appealing for my eyes, is simple and it has the great combination of red, white and black I promised, I delivered. Be proud. 4 “Dez, Dez and more Dez” chanting StarsI am Sara, and I totally don’t have an addiction to books. Disclaimer: Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on November 21st of 2017.“It’s like… we’re all volcanoes and we wander around engulfing each other in our disasters.”First, that cover! Oh sweet babies, it is so aesthetically appealing for my eyes, is simple and it has the great combination of red, white and black.You asked yourself what captivated to pick up this book? Well, I read the word porn. Yes, porn. I feel I can count on one hand the times I have seen mentioned porn in a YA book. So it immediately grips me, I mean believe it or not many people start watching porn before being 18.We follow Adam, a boy negating his addiction to porn, and how is affecting pretty much all his relationships in life. Writing: The writing was easy to follow, simple yet capable to deliver deep quotes. I feel Dave made a great job of portraying each character through its writing, they all had their own voice, making it easy to distinguish each of them. My only complaint is the use of spanish, I feel it need a proofreading before being published, in my eyes, as a spanish-native speaker it was not exactly well used.Characters: Emm… if you read my rating you should know I loved Dez. I mean this book presented brought me a new bookish girlfriend. Dez is witty, sassy, sarcastic, unique, crazy, and a bit too stubborn. I feel I am going to be alone in this love though, she is described many times as the manic pixie dream girl, which is not usually well loved by the readers. Perhaps this book even opened my eyes to the fact, I usually feel attracted to this type of girls in real life too. I mean she got a bit too stubborn and her decision making was awful, but I could see those imperfections in myself as well. Now Adam was a well-developed character. We met him since he was in denial and follow him in his journey trying to tame his addiction. I especially loved Addy, his sister, she was so loving and caring of people surrounding her, she also had this chill/swag vibes around here. My only complaint was her use of the word Papi (daddy) for her brother, in all of my 18 years of spanish-speaking existence, I have never heard a sister call Papi his younger brother, is kinda ugh. The rest of the side characters were captivating and fun to read about. Plot:The plot was so good for the first 60% of this book, just follow The Knights of Vice in their adventures and struggles had me sold, but then the story took a totally unexpected path. I enjoyed but it was not my favorite, I actually felt it didn’t attribute to the story much, it felt as if the author just used it to get to certain events that in my opinion could be achieved in other most satisfying ways. But who the hell am I to modify the path of the story? Relationships:I was a fan of the main relationship, it felt like they made each other be a better person. I got all the feels when I should have and it was not overly cheesy. I just wish they wouldn’t have been that stubborn, the truth they remind me so much to my-self sabotage of relationships, it hurt. On the other side, Adam’s sister relationship was so cute, it made just wanna see more of them. And finally, we also get a fucked up relationship, of Adam’s parents, which felt real and painful. I mean the dude had it bad to become obsessed with Nicholas Spark’s book to find adviceStay tuned for its release this November, a captivating contemporary and relatable read.
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  • Jay Coles
    January 1, 1970
    THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM by Dave Connis is just...I am still sobbing and gasping for oxygen. It absolutely took my breath away. It was adorable, funny, tragic, uplifting, hopeful, and just…everything!I'm not going to lie though, when I originally saw the blurb for this, I was worried because I didn't think any book could gut me as much as Perks of Being a Wallflower did. I was wrong. 'The Temptation of Adam' sent all those feelings I felt in Perks rushing back, even deeper this time around. Adam i THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM by Dave Connis is just...I am still sobbing and gasping for oxygen. It absolutely took my breath away. It was adorable, funny, tragic, uplifting, hopeful, and just…everything!I'm not going to lie though, when I originally saw the blurb for this, I was worried because I didn't think any book could gut me as much as Perks of Being a Wallflower did. I was wrong. 'The Temptation of Adam' sent all those feelings I felt in Perks rushing back, even deeper this time around. Adam is a wonderfully—sometimes tragically—flawed teenage boy that’s struggling to beat a porn addiction. Adam’s got a lot going on his life: a father who doesn’t quite understand him, a mother who walked out on the family, forcing himself into isolation, and even a very messy, false accusation of sexual assault. But just when porn becomes his sole outlet for solace and peace from the world, he meets a girl named Dez—a girl who’s interestingly working through an addiction to addiction—who changes his life forever in a hundred unparalleled ways. Together, the two embark upon a rocky, romantic adventure of self-discovery. “Life starts out simple, but overtime it grows so complex it can’t ever be as linear as it used to be.”**************JUST. OH MY GOD. THIS BOOK! **************A wise teacher/mentor. A road trip to the south. 80s music references. Bacon wrapped Pop-Tarts. Cocoa puffs. Addicts understanding that they’re more than addiction. Humor. Heartbreak. Swoony-kissing scenes. All of these contributed to my fascination with this amazing coming-of-age story. This book is unlike anything I've ever read in the best way possible. It had an emotional depth that I’ve never experienced in YA before. And I think because of this it has changed me, and I can't wait until more readers meet Adam, Dez, Trey, Addy, Eliot, Mr. Cratcher, and the others!I read this very carefully because I was worried about how the author would handle issues of addiction, and sexual assault, and even race, but it ended up being handled in the best way possible: with care, grace, and hella research, and this shined all the way through. I love, love, love Adam, and he and all the other characters will stick with me for years and years to come. This book is a real, raw, poignant, and an all-around literary juggernaut that tackles issues of addiction, the social consequences of pornography, sexual assault, complicated relationships, and what it means to be human unflinchingly. If there’s any book I recommend coming out in 2017, it’s Dave Connis’s THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM for even other reasons you’ll have to find out. I’d go as far as to say it’s better than Perks. Keep your eye out for this book.
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  • Nic Stone
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Hawthorne has a lot of problems: his mom walked out on his family, his dad is pretty absentee because he spends too much time reading Nicholas Sparks for clues on how to get her back, and he's not very popular with the ladies. That's not to mention his tendency to turn to porn instead of actually dealing with his feelings. Like many addicts, Adam initially struggles to call a spade a spade, but after an unfortunate false accusation from a girl that almost gets him expelled, he's forced into Adam Hawthorne has a lot of problems: his mom walked out on his family, his dad is pretty absentee because he spends too much time reading Nicholas Sparks for clues on how to get her back, and he's not very popular with the ladies. That's not to mention his tendency to turn to porn instead of actually dealing with his feelings. Like many addicts, Adam initially struggles to call a spade a spade, but after an unfortunate false accusation from a girl that almost gets him expelled, he's forced into an intervention program headed up by one of his teachers. There, Adam meets a handful of other addicts who eventually become his friends--and one in particular turns his whole world upside down. What I loved about the book was how Dave Connis approaches the issue of addiction unflinchingly, but yet in way that makes it difficult to judge the addicts. Often times, people who suffer from addictions are viewed solely through the lens of that addiction--"such and such is a meth addict"--and many of their other characteristics get overshadowed. Not so with this book. Adam is portrayed as a young man with real fears and hurts and an awareness of his failings. We see him fall and get back up and hope and grow and love; it's impossible not to root for him. Deep down, this is a novel about being human. It's deeply moving, not to mention hilarious, and the characters will stay with me for a long time coming. I adored it.
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  • Shirley
    January 1, 1970
    Original reviewThis book was provided by the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Sky Pony Press! "I, Adam Hawthrone, am a hub fineness and solidity." But is he? The Temptation of Adam tells the story of Adam who’s addicted to porn. His mother and sister left him and his father rather reads Nicholas Sparks than talk to him. But one day he’s caught and is suspended from school. He must go to his chemistry teacher, Mr. Cratcher, and go to addiction Original reviewThis book was provided by the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Sky Pony Press! "I, Adam Hawthrone, am a hub fineness and solidity." But is he? The Temptation of Adam tells the story of Adam who’s addicted to porn. His mother and sister left him and his father rather reads Nicholas Sparks than talk to him. But one day he’s caught and is suspended from school. He must go to his chemistry teacher, Mr. Cratcher, and go to addiction meetings. He has a hard time believing that he’s addicted and to make him even feel worse: his sister is visiting him out of the blue and he’s falling in love with a girl he met at an addiction meeting… "Something about her wry honesty hits me perfectly. The way she talks about her flaws. The borderline irrationally snaps at perceived slights. Her strength. This girl is poetry I’ve never heard before." The Temptation of Adam tells the story of a bunch of teenagers who all have an addiction. The main character is Adam who doesn’t believe that he has a porn addiction. He’s forced to go to his teacher, to help him with his album, and to addiction meetings and that’s where he meets Dez. They both start to discover more about themselves and their addictions. They’re also falling in love, but don’t really want to because they think it’ll become another addiction. Besides their love troubles, Mr. Cratcher is dying of cancer so Adam and his addiction friends are trying to finish the album that Mr. Cratcher started years ago. "We’re all born into chaos, and I don’t think it ever goes away. We just get better at learning how to find beauty in it." The Temptation of Adam is such an eye-opener. You get to learn a lot about addictions and about people who suffer. The Temptation of Adam was a beautiful book, but also sad and depressing. I struggle with my own mental health so sometimes it was hard for me to continue reading. While reading the book, I felt sad, lonely and I cried so keep in mind that this book will give you all the feels! But I also felt happy and content. This book had so many hard truths but also so many beautiful and funny moments. I don’t know how to write a proper review because I have so many mixed feelings. The Temptation of Adam is such a good book and I highly recommend it!
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    January 1, 1970
    I want to thank NetGalley and Sky Pony Press for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review This is a book that touches on the subject of addictions as a main theme and undoubtedly we need this in more YA books.3/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. This book follows Adam, his mother has left recently, his sister went with her and he has stayed with his father who has fallen into a deep depression, which prevents them from having a I want to thank NetGalley and Sky Pony Press for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review This is a book that touches on the subject of addictions as a main theme and undoubtedly we need this in more YA books.3/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. This book follows Adam, his mother has left recently, his sister went with her and he has stayed with his father who has fallen into a deep depression, which prevents them from having a healthy father-son relationship. With all this going on in his life, Adam decides to take refuge in his pornography list, until a family friend teacher discovers his addiction and decides to help him by sending him to a support group to overcome his situation, and although Adam decides to attend, almost force to, he will not be ready to face the seriousness of the situation I think that the addictions issue, as I said at the beginning, is not a topic that is touched abitually in YA, and I find this as something positive, I think it should be more touched in books, in order to provide readers with more information about it. It was very interesting to know about this topic, in the book we not only follow Adam's addiction to pornography, but we will also meet other characters with other types of additions. I don't have much knowledge about addictions, but from my perspective I think it has been touched in a very respectable way and be able to see the states that Adam goes through and how this affects his life and his relationship with others was really something that I loved about this bookOn the other hand, I haven't felt connected with the characters as I would have liked, I feel that some of them, especially Dez, have selfish behaviors. I can understand from the addictions side, how this can change people's personalities and all that, but even so, I would have wanted a different female character, someone more reasonable or empathetic, I don't know, I just couldn't connect with herI liked Adam a lot, I appreciate the growth of the character during the book and in the end it really seemed to be someone else and that made me understand his actions and behavior at the beginning. So I would say he's a good main character, I even think that the readers can get to feel very identified with him and even so, surely you'll not like him at some point in the book but I suppose that this is the idea, since this whole book is about Adam's mistakes and how he get to overcome them or notThe romantic aspects were too forced for me, if there hadn't be a romace at all, then it would be a thousand times better, I mean, I understand the idea of love and how this helps in Adam's recovery, but I don't think this is the kind of love that he really needed, besides there is no possibility that Dez is THAT perfect, she's literally described as the most beautiful girl of the known universe lol, that is a bit too much for me.I lean more for the family dynamics and how this kind of love and support in the end can change someone, you know? , but it's only my point of view, of course, I think you might like the romantic aspects of the book, because although I didn't like it I think it has pretty fun moments and that's nice The writing style is great, especially in the first half of the book, you just fly through it, it's very easy to read, besides the book is quite short so it would be a great read to take into account in some read-a -thon or something like that. Although I have had some problems with it, I feel it's a book with a very powerful and positive message, it's about highlighting honesty, the importance of communication and the support of those who go through the same thing as you. I think that despite touching a delicate topic, it's a very positive reading and I recommend it if you're interested in the addictions topics, it will surely be very interesting for you
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  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    --*Disclaimer: A copy of The Temptation Of Adam by Dave Connis was provided to me via Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.--What I LikedThe harder topics. The Temptation of Adam deals with a lot of heavy topics, but focuses mainly on addiction to various vices. We have characters who are addicted to drugs, our main character, Adam, who is addicted to porn and other characters whose addictions are in constant change. I feel like a lo --*Disclaimer: A copy of The Temptation Of Adam by Dave Connis was provided to me via Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.--What I LikedThe harder topics. The Temptation of Adam deals with a lot of heavy topics, but focuses mainly on addiction to various vices. We have characters who are addicted to drugs, our main character, Adam, who is addicted to porn and other characters whose addictions are in constant change. I feel like a lot of young adult novels have been tackling these heavier topics lately and I absolutely love that. We need teens to be exposed to more books like these, especially if they can help them get through their own addictions.The sibling relationship. I loved the relationship between Adam & Addy. Throughout the book, we see how their relationship evolves from anger and confusion to understanding and love. These two have a great sibling bond and I loved each and every scene that showcased the two of them together.The writing style. These characters have a specific way of speaking that just reminded me so much of the characters found within the novels of John Green. I liked that these teens had realistic and believable voices that didn’t feel forced or fake. The dialogue throughout the novel was witty and memorable, just the way I like it.The self discovery. As mentioned above, The Temptation Of Adam deals with a lot of hard and heavy topics. This story showcases both the positive and the negative outcomes of addiction and what teens face when trying to overcome their addictions. Some are able to push through and do everything they can to get better while others, sadly, succumb to them. I love that The Temptation Of Adam explored the idea of self discovery by blending a coming of age story with one that deals with addiction.--What I Didn’t LikeThe pacing. There was a lot going on within The Temptation of Adam. We had a few different storylines happen within a short amount of time. I kind of wish that the story focused more on the addiction and healing process rather than adding in a few other subplots such as the story revolving around Mr. Cratcher. At times, it felt like there were a few too many stories being told.--Overall, I think that The Temptation of Adam is a great story that deals with a lot of heavy topics that are hard to talk about, but that need to be talked about. As mentioned earlier, books like this one are very important, especially for teen readers, and I think it dealt with the concept of addiction really well. I can’t wait to see what Dave Connis releases next!--Check out my exclusive Q&A with author Dave Connis! Check out the giveaway to win a copy of The Temptation Of AdamCheck out my carefully curated playlist inspired by The Temptation of Adam
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    Hi, my name is Liis and I’m addicted to… hang on!… we’re not here to talk about me. This is all about Adam and the Knights of Vice.I bet you’re expecting me to use all sorts of sticky (ahem) words in this review but no… minds out of the gutter, because- for me- The Temptation of Adam is one of those YA books that sits up there with The Serpent King by Zentner and I LOVED The Serpent King. Yes, the topics and themes are quite different, but TToA had a different kind of ‘beautiful pain‘ to it… The Hi, my name is Liis and I’m addicted to… hang on!… we’re not here to talk about me. This is all about Adam and the Knights of Vice.I bet you’re expecting me to use all sorts of sticky (ahem) words in this review but no… minds out of the gutter, because- for me- The Temptation of Adam is one of those YA books that sits up there with The Serpent King by Zentner and I LOVED The Serpent King. Yes, the topics and themes are quite different, but TToA had a different kind of ‘beautiful pain‘ to it… The addictions in this book range from porn to drugs to self-harm, but the focus is more on the journey of healing. There are no graphic descriptions on how one or other character indulges in their personal vices. Anyway, I’m not going to assume everyone is going to like this book because we all take away and nitpick on things based on our personal preferences. In the end, it’s up to each reader to make of the book what they will.Personally, I found TToA to be perfectly balanced. There’s hurt but also joy, there’s denial but also acceptance, there’s sadness but also fun. It’s life in a book, brilliantly delivered. If there’s one thing I admire seeing is how people… creators… poets and writers and musicians, take their pain, past hurt, struggles and turn it into something beautiful and worthwhile. Dave Connis has used his experiences***(see author's review for the book) and transferred it into a book about addiction with a hopeful and ‘can do’ attitude.It took me no time at all to warm to Adam. Even filled with all the hurt over feeling rejected and the addiction, he’s a young intelligent lad and there’s nothing mean about him. He’s just lost. He’s lost when he does something that justifies the Anti-Adam Order at school.It took me no time at all to warm to all the other characters either. They’re youngsters but there’s (thankfully) none of that ‘popular girl’ gang shebang or the ‘I’m so rich I’m better than you’ stuff. Well… there is that rich character but they rebel against it. Instead, they’re all someone you like and root for. They have their addictions to fight but being the Knights of Vice, they can do it together. Each member of the support group adds their little personality quirk to the mix and they bounce off each other nicely.Outside of the teenagers, we have Adam’s dad and Mr. Cratcher as the main adult characters. It comes as no surprise that even the adult characters in this book are fighting their own personal battles. By now it might start to sound like everyone in TToA has a problem and it might be too much to take… but, no. It never gets suffocating or depressing… Yes, there’s death involved, but it’s also life.More importantly, all the characters, adult and teenage, are like standing domino pieces and with Adam’s addiction coming to light, he gives that nudge to make the whole row fall into a path of a connected journey towards something better.From addiction ⇒ new-found freedom ⇒ relapses ⇒ accepting the lifelong fight ahead was fantastically peppered with the blossoming friendships, loveships and family dynamics. Just like life is messy and unpredictable, so were the moments where it felt like they were all going to be perfectly OK, to moments where all fell to pot again. Moments where the fight just got too much and hopelessness kicked in, to moments where friendship offered a supporting hand to crawl out of denial towards acceptance.What I most enjoyed was the positive effect Dez had on Adam. Dez is also in Knights of Vice. A storm in a teacup and frustrating at times as a character but let’s not forget that she has her own addiction and the way she acts, is her escape. She’s the entirety of a teenage chaos!Dez is also the only living and breathing female that makes Adam look up from the gripping haze of porn. Yes, you could argue that love does not fix anything. No, it doesn’t. It will always be up to our very selves to fix ourselves, but love does give us that little kick up the backside to try. Love does give us that motivation and hope for the future.I enjoyed the writing in this book a lot and it’s mostly down to Adam’s character. The way he sees Dez is not your dry account of she looks hot jibber jabber. It’s not some kind of teenage puppy love pining either. It’s something more.Here you may ask me- is this all there is? Addiction and teenage love? No. There’s the mysterious and wise Mr. Cratcher. With his own story to tell, he is the selfless mentor the teenagers need. I can’t say much about him but there might be some music involved! In fact, the music element adds nicely to the plot development and sends our KoV on a road trip.. how they get along there, all the way from home with their addictions? You’ll just have to find out for yourself.Overall– I am so happy I decided to read this book. Themes and characters aside, I truly enjoyed the prose. It was just perfect to create the atmosphere, whether melancholy, sad, bordering philosophical or point blank light-hearted. There is a lot of Adam’s inner monologue but it never get’s dull… the kid has substance!
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  • Amy's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    As a condition of school suspension, Adam must attend porn addiction group treatment under the supervision of his nemesis Mr. Cratcher. Adam confronts the family problems that cause him to use porn as a distraction while learning to lean on his new friends, family and even the not-so-awful Mr Cratchet.The first third of THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM reeled me in with Dave Connis's witty, engaging voice in Adam's narration. I loved how Adam's father rallied to confront his own issues that prevented him As a condition of school suspension, Adam must attend porn addiction group treatment under the supervision of his nemesis Mr. Cratcher. Adam confronts the family problems that cause him to use porn as a distraction while learning to lean on his new friends, family and even the not-so-awful Mr Cratchet.The first third of THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM reeled me in with Dave Connis's witty, engaging voice in Adam's narration. I loved how Adam's father rallied to confront his own issues that prevented him from being present for Adam and Adam's improving relationship with Mr. Cratcher. Connis allowed the potential love interest to burn slowly while addressing the possibility of a potential relationship becoming another addiction. No insta-love and no love cures mental illness.The plot lost traction for me when the group decides to take s road trip, rather than stay with their ailing leader who might not survive until they return. While the trip was to obtain something, abandoning the sick man who has no family seemed like an unlikely, unkind but convenient plot device. THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM lost focus, and lost me at this point and never really got me back into the story.
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  • Greyson (Grey) Edwards
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.This review is going to be a personal one so just a little forewarning. That homeless feeling that’s been plaguing me starts bubbling in my stomach, and it’s stronger than ever. It’s so strong and overwhelming that I finally think I know what it is. It’s the feeling something’s innately wrong with me. That the deep parts of me aren’t okay. It’s like a tornado of blood, hurt, and nerve is raging in my Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.This review is going to be a personal one so just a little forewarning. That homeless feeling that’s been plaguing me starts bubbling in my stomach, and it’s stronger than ever. It’s so strong and overwhelming that I finally think I know what it is. It’s the feeling something’s innately wrong with me. That the deep parts of me aren’t okay. It’s like a tornado of blood, hurt, and nerve is raging in my body, and if I keep it inside, it will tear me apart. The Temptation of Adam tells the story of a teenager, Adam, who is addicted to porn. Adam is suspended from school and in order to come back, he must spend his morning with Mr. Cratcher, joining the Knights of Vice, and attending AA meetings. But not everyone knows the whole story, hell, even Adam seems to have a few pieces of the puzzle missing. With the help of his sister, Mr Cratcher, and the friends he makes along the way, Adam comes to find the best way to beat addiction and answer the biggest question in life, “What am I?”. Addiction “We’re all volcanoes and we wander around engulfing each other in our disaster.”Addiction runs in my family. So much so that if there’s something to be addicted to, someone in my family has probably been addicted to it and I have been addicted to my fair share of vices.It’s a sobering thought labeling them for what they are though. We’re taught to avoid that word. It’s not an addiction until your life has turned to shit and no one can tolerate you anymore. But it starts way before then. My new addiction is far less dangerous and self destructive, it’s books. This is one of the ‘good’ addictions, the relatively socially acceptable addictions. See my theory is that we’re all addicted to something. Some are just addicted to more than others, and some are just addicted to more harmful things than the rest of us. Whether you're addicted to porn, medications, getting promoted at work, a T.V. show, the chocolate you sneak from the pantry, seeking the next high, we’re all addicted to something. However those addictions do not define us. Not only does this book tackle addiction well, it touches on race and gender politics, in my eyes, did a good job of it. It didn’t go in deeper than it could handle, after all, the author is a white male, but it didn’t pretend like these aren’t issues in today’s world either. It was aware enough without crossing the line into being offensive, however, as a white woman I can only truly speak on the gender issues. So if you feel I’m wrong please do correct me.“White people always ‘just figure’, and it needs to stop.” The Characters AdamEverything’s an incredible heaviness.Adam is addicted to porn. While he’s facing suspension, possible expulsion, Adam is curating a playlist of videos to watch as soon as he’s in the privacy of his room. It’s now gotten him into trouble. Through music, and the Knights of Vice group that adopts Adam into their group of recovering addicts, he not only comes to terms with his situation, but also discovers how to overcome it. Adam’s intelligent, if a bit insensitive and clueless at times. He’s completely shut down, having built a strong wall around himself, but people sneak through the cracks that are beginning to reveal themselves and before he knows it, he has a group of friends, a support network. I enjoyed reading about Adam, I thought he was intelligent but deeply flawed. Although he thinks logically, his view on life has twisted that logic, proving that even intelligent people can get things so very wrong. AddyWhat she does might not seem like much to anyone watching, but, to me, it’s everything. She loves.Addy is Adam’s sister. She’s come back after living with The Woman for the last few years. She know’s her little brother needs her but she has no idea just how bad things have gotten for Adam. I loved Addy, she’s so sweet and just as switched on as her brother. Where Adam has shut off to the world, Addy lets people in, she has kindness for everyone. There’s a strength in that which a lot of the time gets looked past or seen as a weakness. Dez“You are made of broken and holy blazes of light.”The phone’s silent for a few seconds. Have I scared her? Should I take it back? How do you take back a comment about being made of blazes of light? You are pure darkness? You are smoky tendrils of evil?“Finally,” she eventually says. “I didn’t think anyone would ever notice.”Dez is very much set up to be the Manic Pixie Dream Girl™, and the book makes jokes about this quite often. However the difference between Dez and the Manic Pixies we’ve been given so much of in the past, is that Dez has substance. We’re shown her reasons for trying desperately to be different, we’re given tastes of what goes on in her head, how the clogs move. Most importantly, Dez isn’t used as a vehicle for Adam to find his way and become a better person. They walk side by side in their fight for addiction, without the Hero™ getting to the end whole and relatively unscathed, while the Manic Pixie Dream Girl™ is forgotten, or turned into an example of what not to do, how not to survive. Dez develops and is her own person. She has a fucking character arc. Female characters are allowed to be whimsical and eccentric, they’re allowed to be contradictions and damaged without being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl™, authors just need to make sure they make them into actual fucking people who develop and grow and exist outside of how fuckable they are, for the guy to see them as human beings and not things on a pedestal for them to work towards to attain. Mr Cratcher“There is always a variable we cannot account for.”Mr Cratcher plays the old of the wise old man and thankfully he is actually wise, even if a lot of the points he makes get lost in the mounds of philosophical dribble he gives out like the cheap sweets your grandma always has in the bottom of her purse. He’s lived a long and full life and is happy to be able to pass on what wisdom he has to those who have their whole lives ahead of them to use it. Not only that, he’s not just the sharp mentor, he’s also a person. He has a backstory and a life before these teenagers. Connis makes every single one of his characters extraordinarily human and that is what makes this book work. You could have had all the same lessons but lacked the substance behind each character and I would have rated this book 1 star, maybe 2 if I was feeling generous. The humanity in this book is what makes it brilliant and moving. The Relationships “Welcome to the unnecessarily large mansion where nothing’s ever good enough. I’ll buzz you in.”The speaker clicks off. While the gate slides behind the river rock wall, my dad looks at me. “You two are literally made for each other.”Honestly there were a lot of relationships I loved in this story. It was filled with sharp characters that never failed to make me laugh with their dialogue, and exchanges with each other. “I, Adam Hawthorne, have discovered that boobs look like books, and that our culture thinks women are disposable sex toys.”“I, Adam Hawthorne,” Elliot says, ‘have discovered that men are supposed to last longer than one minute.”Trey opens his mouth, but I cut him off. “I, Adam Hawthorne, have discovered that all my friends are dicks.”Addy grabs her shake and then settles into the booth. Her eyes are focused on me. Her ears, all mine. The look on her face is one that says, “I’ve missed your heart”.The Temptation of Adam also succeeded in portraying deeper interactions with people. Adam and Addy have an incredible relationship, they love each other but there’s a lot of hurt there, too, which is part and parcel of family dynamics. This isn’t often depicted well, if at all, in contemporary novels, especailly with siblings. It’s the same case with Adam and his father. You can see, painstakingly, how much they love each other but have reached a point where they no longer know how to show it or even how to interact. The relationship between Adam and Dez is complicated. We’re given two addicts fighting their addictions at the same time as fighting to hold on to each other. They have an undeniable chemistry but society has taught them that it’s destined to fail. All addicts are good for is consuming. This mindset bleeds into his relationship with his friends Trey and Elliot as well. “How can I help you stop?” I ask her, pointing at the flask. The question surprises both of us.“Give me something else to hold.“There’s no more running, Adam. You will face yourself.”The Temptation of Adam hit me extremely close to home. It had a deep affect on me throughout the whole story and will continue to do so for years to come. To me, this is how you do a YA contemporary that tackles philosophical questions correctly. This is how you write women in this genre. This is how you tackle a sensitive subject and come out the otherside realistically hopeful. The Temptation of Adam hit something inside of me, at my core. It vibrated all through my body, shifted everything slightly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get back to the version of myself I was before this book. And I don’t think I want to. I need these guys, and they need me. A person’s hurt can’t be divvied up, but it can be experienced together, and maybe that’s what I need to survive.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Hawthorne is fine, except when he’s not. After his mother walked out on and took his sister with her, Adam’s father focused all of his energy on getting her back. Adam focused all of his energy on porn. Because it distracted him. Because it made him feel numb. Now, newly suspended from school and with a porn addiction that’s out of control, Adam has been ordered to meet with his nemesis, Mr. Cratcher, every morning for counseling.Elderly chemistry teacher Colin Cratcher leads an addiction s Adam Hawthorne is fine, except when he’s not. After his mother walked out on and took his sister with her, Adam’s father focused all of his energy on getting her back. Adam focused all of his energy on porn. Because it distracted him. Because it made him feel numb. Now, newly suspended from school and with a porn addiction that’s out of control, Adam has been ordered to meet with his nemesis, Mr. Cratcher, every morning for counseling.Elderly chemistry teacher Colin Cratcher leads an addiction support group dubbed the “Knights of Vice.” His kids meet a few times each week to check in and hold each other accountable for their actions. Through the KOV, Adam finally begins to reconnect with the outside world, realize he has a problem, and move toward recovery.As with many other YA books I’ve read this summer, I found out about The Temptation of Adam through the 2017 Debut Author Challenge. It was on Netgalley -- as a Read Now, no less -- and I decided to dive in the same night that I downloaded it. Aside from the basics -- that it’s about a teenage boy trying to overcome a porn addiction -- I didn’t know too much about the book going in.YA books that tackle “issues” have taken center stage recently. It’s not uncommon to read about YA characters who have problems with drugs, alcohol, or even sex. But a YA character dealing with a porn addiction? That’s a new one for me. Initially, I wondered if Connis would be able to pull off a book about a porn addiction while still keeping it at a YA level.Overall, he succeeded. I think, especially in today’s world, that the topic of porn addiction is an important one for teens. I’m not that old, but when I was Adam’s age, we didn’t walk around with smartphones in our pockets. You couldn’t whip out your phone and Google “free porn” -- and if you could, you’d easily pay $100 for the privilege of briefly viewing a pixelated image on your two-inch screen. Today’s kids have the world at their fingertips. I can easily imagine Adam’s story happening in any high school.Adam’s love interest, Dez, is a girl addicted to addiction. She constantly flits between vices: drugs, alcohol, theft, and yes, even porn. I applaud Connis for including a female with a porn addiction (however temporary it may have been) and for having said female character call Adam out when he said that girls don’t watch porn.In general, though, Dez’s character bothered me. When she’s accused by the KOV as being a “manic pixie dream girl,” she vehemently rejects the label. But the thing is, she is a manic pixie dream girl. I couldn’t tell whether this was intentional or not, but simply having your character reject a label doesn’t make it incorrect when their entire personality says otherwise.While the first half (give or take) of the book revolves around Adam’s counseling sessions with Mr. Cratcher, his meetings with the KOV, and heart-to-hearts with his family, the second half oddly switches gears as Mr. Cratcher is hospitalized and the kids decide to take a road trip to uncover part of his life story.Now, first of all, am I really supposed to believe that these kids who come to love Mr. Cratcher like a grandpa would take a spontaneous road trip when they know he might not survive? Second, what set of parents lets a group of troubled teens take an unsupervised trip from Seattle to Nashville? Third, have any of the doctors in this fictional hospital ever heard of HIPAA? Because, just FYI, a doctor cannot walk out to the waiting room and tell a bunch of random kids about a patient’s medical history and previous treatments. That’s a $100,000 fine minimum. Just saying.Another question I have is regarding Mr. Cratcher’s credentials. Adam is accused (wrongfully, in my opinion) of a rather serious crime. This is what results in his suspension. I’m still unclear on what qualifies Mr. Cratcher to counsel him rather than, say, a licensed therapist or actual doctor. Also, if there was such a heavy accusation, I’m unclear on why the police weren’t involved. That’s not to say that Mr. Cratcher fails to get through to him, but it surprised me that this was even an option.Now, I read an advance, uncorrected copy of this book, so take this paragraph with a grain of salt. This might change in the final copy. I’m not going to get into spelling or grammar mistakes. Those will obviously be taken care of prior to actual publication. I will say that, for me, there were two glaring errors. First was Christmas. It happens twice, once at home and again in Nashville. The second is Adam’s claim that his sister Addy is fluent in Spanish, which is backed up by her saying the absolutely nonsensical and ungrammatical “Tu tengo grande cojones,” which made me physically shudder.But moving on from the negatives, there’s a line in twenty one pilots’ Fall Away that gets me every time:I’m dying and I’m tryingBut believe me I’m fineBut I’m lyingI’m so very far from fineI think this line, and all the emotion behind it, perfectly encapsulate Adam’s struggle with his addiction. Adam repeatedly tells himself that he’s fine. That he could stop at any time. That’s it’s not like he couldn’t function if he didn’t have porn. That it’s just something to pass the time. But deep down, he knows that’s a lie. He’s drowning in his addiction and he doesn’t even know how to begin to fight it.And I, I can feel the pull beginFeel my conscience wearing thinAnd my skinIt will startTo break up and fall apartEvery time that Adam tries to stop watching porn, he’s drawn back in. He’ll be doing fine, but an argument or another stressor in his life will send him running for the comfort until he feels like he might actually die if he doesn’t fulfill his urge. I don’t often connect books to songs, but these fit so well together.Anyway, The Temptation of Adam is a solid YA debut. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I expected to, and at times it feels a little off, but it holds an important message and I wouldn’t be surprised if Connis went on to do great things.I received a free ARC of The Temptation of Adam from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    // I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book will be released November 21st 2017 //I really appreciated the writing in this book, it was intricate and made you really feel what was happening in the story. It's a book about addiction, which isn't a popular topic in YA novels, when really it should be, since addictions also frequently happen to teens. It's a hard topic and it's good that it's being talked about, for people with addictions and people w // I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book will be released November 21st 2017 //I really appreciated the writing in this book, it was intricate and made you really feel what was happening in the story. It's a book about addiction, which isn't a popular topic in YA novels, when really it should be, since addictions also frequently happen to teens. It's a hard topic and it's good that it's being talked about, for people with addictions and people without them as well. The only down side of this book, that I found anyways, was the character of Dez, I could not stand her throughout the book, she was incrdibly selfish and I couldn't see why the main character was so into her. But maybe it's deeper than that, it sometimes felt like she was emotionally blackmailing Adam, which might be because of her personal issues as well. Seeing Adam trying to get over his addiction and try to love was heart-wrenching and made you root for him the whole book.
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  • Jamie (Books and Ladders)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come on Books and Ladders as part of the blog tour!
  • Annette Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    A very solid 4.5 starsThis is the story of Adam, and Adam has issues. The most pressing: a three month suspension from school, the most worrying: his escalating addiction to porn, the most upsetting: the fact that his mother left, his sister went with her and he was left alone with his father, which might not be so bad, except that he's kind of oblivious to all the other problems in Adam's life right now. Adam's teacher and old family friend steps in, and suggests that attending a peer support g A very solid 4.5 starsThis is the story of Adam, and Adam has issues. The most pressing: a three month suspension from school, the most worrying: his escalating addiction to porn, the most upsetting: the fact that his mother left, his sister went with her and he was left alone with his father, which might not be so bad, except that he's kind of oblivious to all the other problems in Adam's life right now. Adam's teacher and old family friend steps in, and suggests that attending a peer support group might help, so Adam becomes one of the Knights of Vice , and finds that despite his initial unwillingness, the defences he has built up begin to crumble. This is an incredibly well written and absolutely current YA book, one that is unafraid to tackle big issues with honesty and empathy. The characters are interesting and real, and their interactions are both believable and moving. I particularly liked the way that love and romance was handled, given that the main character has a porn addiction, the relationship between him and Dez is complicated but absolutely believable. In fact the relationships between the various characters , romantic and otherwise, are probably some of the best and most relatable I have read about for some time. My only fault with what is really an exceptional book, is that it felt like it lost its way just a little bit towards the end, but despite that its an excellent and highly recommended read, and not just for its YA target market. Kudos to Dave Connis for a brave, unflinching and unforgettable read.Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing an ARC.
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    WOW!!! Just WOW!! I only rate my favorite books a five. I save that for books that stop me in my tracks and impact me emotionally. Those that I know will stay with me long after I have finished reading them. The Temptation of Adam is one of those books. I absolutely loved this book! I am trying to write this review to help readers know what makes this book so good, but using terms like character development and such just does not work. This book holds so much emotion. Yes, they are all character WOW!!! Just WOW!! I only rate my favorite books a five. I save that for books that stop me in my tracks and impact me emotionally. Those that I know will stay with me long after I have finished reading them. The Temptation of Adam is one of those books. I absolutely loved this book! I am trying to write this review to help readers know what makes this book so good, but using terms like character development and such just does not work. This book holds so much emotion. Yes, they are all characters in the books, but each one could easily be someone we know... or could be us. The story is about teenagers struggling with addiction and learning "what they are." It is about learning to live in the middle and not just focus on the epic beginnings and ends. That might not make sense to you, but after reading this book, it is something I will never forget. There are many references to Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah, which is a song I have always loved. It will defiantly have more meaning to me now. Not often do I get emotionally involved with the characters in a book, but more than once I cried when they cried and laughed when they laughed. Way to go Mr. Connis! This book is amazing!!!
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  • Deepika Ramesh
    January 1, 1970
    Adam's addiction is porn. He wants to live a day when he doesn't think of indulging in his fantasies. And there are other teenagers who are fighting all sorts of addiction. Sounds promising? Yes. There is a teacher with a mysterious past and he understands these teenagers like nobody else. Is he a curious character? Totally. Here is the but-part: Although I recognised the potential of the story, I could see that it didn't unfold in an organic fashion. I felt like I was watching a play being enac Adam's addiction is porn. He wants to live a day when he doesn't think of indulging in his fantasies. And there are other teenagers who are fighting all sorts of addiction. Sounds promising? Yes. There is a teacher with a mysterious past and he understands these teenagers like nobody else. Is he a curious character? Totally. Here is the but-part: Although I recognised the potential of the story, I could see that it didn't unfold in an organic fashion. I felt like I was watching a play being enacted by the teenagers. They were mouthing words without conviction. They were moving from one scene to another in an unconfident manner. They were waiting for the curtains to fall, so that they could go back to being themselves. I wish most things were not contrived.I am a loyal YA fan; I didn't wear patronising-glasses when I shared my views. Despite the problems, it was a fun read. My copy was provided by Netgalley.
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  • Jennifer Shanahan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was SO amazingly good. I probably don't have enough words to say how incredible it was. I don't know that much about addiction, especially in teenagers, or anyone for that matter, and Mr. Connis handled this delicate topic with amazing honesty, humor and love. I did not expect to love this book so much. Adam is hilarious. Honest, to the point, hiding his feelings about his parents divorce and his sister moving out, and how he relies on porn every day. His punishment for what he did at This book was SO amazingly good. I probably don't have enough words to say how incredible it was. I don't know that much about addiction, especially in teenagers, or anyone for that matter, and Mr. Connis handled this delicate topic with amazing honesty, humor and love. I did not expect to love this book so much. Adam is hilarious. Honest, to the point, hiding his feelings about his parents divorce and his sister moving out, and how he relies on porn every day. His punishment for what he did at school is to hang out with Mr. Cratcher, a family friend and teacher at his school who lives alone after losing his wife. Mr. Cratcher turns out to be the most unexpected character in this book. There is SO much to him beneath the surface which we see, much of after he doesn't figure as prominently in the story. The support group that Mr. C run s for kids with addictions initially appears useless to Adam but he plays along because he has to and he has an eye on Dez, a smart pretty girl in the group. The relationships between Adam and Mr. C and Adam and the group depend and grow stronger as the story progresses, as does his relationship with Dez who he is crazy about. The story take some amazing turns which I did not expect at all and but I loved each one what happened as Adam begins to realize what and who he really is. It is truly an amazing unfolding of the possibilities of life to these teenagers who think their addiction is their end. They are wrong. Definitely worth very second of your time!!! Mr. Connis, I hope that your book is recognized by other as not just a fictional story about a group of teens who have addictions, but about how these teens learn to live and love in spite of their imperfections. And that nobody is perfect. We are all addicts to some degree. LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! Much thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!!!
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  • Maddie O.
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley.I thought this was great! It took a bit to get into and connect with the characters but once I did, I didn't want to put it down. I would recommend to anyone who wants realistic but heartfelt YA.
  • EmmiK
    January 1, 1970
    Another YA tackling addictions/diseases laced with philosophical dialogue from whiny teenagers who all sound the same. Digital copy received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
  • Mario
    January 1, 1970
    Stories tackling social issues, in this case addiction, are generally not easy. Not easy to write, I presume, as one has to properly handle representation, but also not easy to read, as they can get heavy. This book handles an addiction to porn, of all things, one more prevalent, or rather more recognizable today, with the proliferation of ease-of-access tech. Our main protagonist, Adam, has to deal with such an addiction as well as other mounting problems in his personal and scholastic lives, t Stories tackling social issues, in this case addiction, are generally not easy. Not easy to write, I presume, as one has to properly handle representation, but also not easy to read, as they can get heavy. This book handles an addiction to porn, of all things, one more prevalent, or rather more recognizable today, with the proliferation of ease-of-access tech. Our main protagonist, Adam, has to deal with such an addiction as well as other mounting problems in his personal and scholastic lives, the odds seemingly overwhelming.I believe Dave Connis succeeds in presenting, exploring, handling this issue, and takes us on a rather revelatory journey. The story which serves as vehicle for the central concern is, in my opinion, quite heartfelt. I may have had an issue with the whiney nature of some of the adolescents, a few of the adults may have been annoying enough where I had to remind myself that it was part of the tale, and I just couldn't really like Adam's new love interest. Overall, though, the spiky subject of addiction, the characters, the emotional story, make this a very strong debut novel from this author. Hard but hopeful.
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  • Hridi
    January 1, 1970
    The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis was a heartwarming read for me.The book dives right into the world of addiction and the struggle surrounding it. The writer talks about teenagers from different backgrounds who have different addictions to get rid of. Of course, the focus is on the protagonist- Adam. A teenager who is dependent on the world of porn to shut out his struggle to deal with his parents' divorce. The novel gradually reveals how abandonment from his father, dear sister and mother- The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis was a heartwarming read for me.The book dives right into the world of addiction and the struggle surrounding it. The writer talks about teenagers from different backgrounds who have different addictions to get rid of. Of course, the focus is on the protagonist- Adam. A teenager who is dependent on the world of porn to shut out his struggle to deal with his parents' divorce. The novel gradually reveals how abandonment from his father, dear sister and mother- whom he refers to as "the woman", has driven Adam to completely ignore his own life and become a person that no one around him recognizes anymore.Adam did not recognize his addiction at first. He refused to call it "an addiction" until someone from his AA group tragically dies. It's around that time Adam starts to realize the depth of his actions. It wasn't hard to notice how he starts to admit his problem and express his emotions towards his loved ones at the same time.The book also explores the world of a lonely teenager's struggle to find friendship, love and respect in his world of abandonment. While the subject matter sets this YA novel apart from everything else, the warmth, wit and inspiration of it make it a must read!
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  • Weezie
    January 1, 1970
    DNFed at 20%. I think this book is trying too hard to be a John Green book with it's struggling but lovable male protag and TOTALLY NOT A MANIC PIXIE GIRL (but totally a manic pixie girl) love interest. The relationships between the characters feel so inorganic and I'm just not down for this.
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  • Miguel
    January 1, 1970
    This review first appeared on The Quirky Reader.Introduction.The Temptation of Adam is about Adam Hawthorne's fine life. Ever since his mother left, Adam's life began spiralling down. He has to live with his estranged father who would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. His older sister that he admires so much left with his mother. Oh, and he curates porn video playlists and watches them at night. But he's fine.When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to This review first appeared on The Quirky Reader.Introduction.The Temptation of Adam is about Adam Hawthorne's fine life. Ever since his mother left, Adam's life began spiralling down. He has to live with his estranged father who would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. His older sister that he admires so much left with his mother. Oh, and he curates porn video playlists and watches them at night. But he's fine.When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. From there, he meets a girl that might just be broken as him, his sister returns unexpectedly, and things are starting to look up for real in Adam's life. But will he let his addictions get the best of him?Porno is not taboo, yo!When I first found out about this book and its wonderful premise, I was like: omg, I need this book in my hands ASAP. Because where have I seen a YA book that talks about porn addiction? Personally, I haven't encountered one prior to reading this book, but let's face it: talking about what gets you off is totally awkward, and I love the risk Connis took in writing and delivering this book unto the world.Addictions, support groups, and a missing album.Besides the pornos, the book also deals with addiction in general and its various forms. When Adam first attends a Knights of Vice meeting, he meets a circle of teenagers who, like him, have their own little vices. There's alcohol addiction, sex addiction, drug addiction, and even addiction addiction or being addicted to addiction. That's a lot of addictions lol. And it didn't feel like Connis was trying too hard to be inclusive for everyone here. These addicted teenagers weren't mere plot devices just to drive the point of the book. They were memorable.Speaking of the Knights of Vice, I thought they were a highlight of the story. If I could join a support group for life I would gladly choose to join this group of young-adults. I actually almost teared up in one scene when Adam and the Knights were all gathered and talking about overcoming their addictions. Talking about wanting to be normal.Now the Knights of Vice are sort of assembled by Mr. Colin Cratcher – Adam's chemistry teacher who happens to be a record producer in his spare time. The book goes off in this arc about Mr. Cratcher finishing a decades old album with Adam during his probationary period from school. It may look like that a lot is going on with this book, but every arc is connected and eventually leads up to this...ending! I don't want to spoil it for y'all, so you just have to read it.Though the ambitious plot is also one of my few critiques of this book. Amazing and well-written as it was, I can't help but ponder after the read if there's more to tell in this story.This book is pretty significant to me.I entitled this review in this way because I really felt the impact of Adam's story in my current life situation. Because I myself struggle with pornography.It didn't come to a point wherein my perusal of porn turned into a full-grown addiction, but I believe I was already heading in that direction. This happened around three years ago. I found self-acceptance and self-worth in watching faceless bodies getting it on in my phone screen. It was unhealthy and I was already in a bad place with my anxiety at that time.Why am I saying this? I believe the greatest books out there is like this. They make you write long-ass, personal reviews. They make you open up about your messy life to strangers on the internet. Up until now I struggle with the temptation of opening a private tab on my phone and scroll through porn, but this book made me not do it.Now I don't want to romanticise this entire situation by saying oh, read this book and you'll be cured of your addiction! I still believe getting help from your family and friends is the way to go, and stories like these are only moments of inspiration/motivation for you to make that first step into getting better.And if anyone's curious, I'm living pretty fine without pornography. Two weeks isn't groundbreaking but hey, it's progress.Conclusion.These kinds of books are always the hardest ones to write reviews to. I find I always have a lot to say but I can't fathom them into coherent sentences and/or critiques.The Temptation of Adam is damn near perfect. I love everything about this book – plot, characters, writing, ending (!). Dave Connis is an exciting new voice in YA, I hope you don't miss him amidst all the buzz.And because I can, allow me to quote my favourite line from the book (not final btw!): We're all variables of broken and holy light, and that's the only thing about the world that doesn't change.
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  • InkedBookDragon
    January 1, 1970
    https://inkedbookdragon.blogspot.comI am reviewing The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis. I received a free digital copy of it from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes that may appear below are from the text and are not my words.We all have vices. It is part of being human. Anyone that claims to not have a vice of some form is a liar or is completely delusional. This book takes a good look at vices and how they can control people. Some vices even destroy your life. In Adam's c https://inkedbookdragon.blogspot.comI am reviewing The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis. I received a free digital copy of it from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes that may appear below are from the text and are not my words.We all have vices. It is part of being human. Anyone that claims to not have a vice of some form is a liar or is completely delusional. This book takes a good look at vices and how they can control people. Some vices even destroy your life. In Adam's case, they can get you thrown out of school and forced into therapy.I am rating this book Three Stars because I could not relate to the main character and that was a serious problem for me. I wish that I could give it a higher rating but I just could not truly connect with it. I am not saying that I don't have vices. I drink more coffee than most people can even fathom. I read more books in a year than many would read in their lifetime. I may reread this book at a later time. I am intrigued as to what the author will write next. He definitely has potential.InkedBookDragon
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  • Ashley Foley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.While Adam isn't addicted to drugs (he prefers porn to numb his mind), some of the peers in his Knights of Vice and AA meetings are. I'm having a hard time trying to properly review this book because the material hits so close to home. Addiction sucks. Loving an addict sucks. It's painful and hurtful and scary to watch someone you love so much slowly killing themselves. Soon after I got to the Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.While Adam isn't addicted to drugs (he prefers porn to numb his mind), some of the peers in his Knights of Vice and AA meetings are. I'm having a hard time trying to properly review this book because the material hits so close to home. Addiction sucks. Loving an addict sucks. It's painful and hurtful and scary to watch someone you love so much slowly killing themselves. Soon after I got to the part when they received the phone call every friend and loved one of an addict dreads, I also got a phone call. My loved one got lucky. This time. I always wondered why it's recommended for recovering addicts to refrain from romantic relationships usually for the first year of sobriety. I always thought what is the harm in having a person who loves and supports your journey. This book kind of explained that for me. I had never thought about it the way it's discussed in the book and it makes sense. Though in this story, it was explained in a way that didn't apply to these kids necessarily as they were being encouraged to come closer together. And the way they come together in the end and realize they are not just their addictions made me cry. Because I know that once you are so deep in your addiction, you think there is no way out and you will never be good enough again. So finding your way up from that is incredibly hard.
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  • Becca (becandbones)
    January 1, 1970
    Note(1): I received this book from Netgallery in exchange for an honest review and feedback. Note(2): This review is based on an uncorrected proof and therefore quotes may not reflect the published book.Actual rating: 4.5 4.75I sometimes struggle to find books that tug at all my heartstrings. But this book. Let's say there were tears.Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, he spends hours upon hours looking at porn. But he can stop when he wants to. But then there was that incident at school and now he is Note(1): I received this book from Netgallery in exchange for an honest review and feedback. Note(2): This review is based on an uncorrected proof and therefore quotes may not reflect the published book.Actual rating: 4.5 4.75I sometimes struggle to find books that tug at all my heartstrings. But this book. Let's say there were tears.Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, he spends hours upon hours looking at porn. But he can stop when he wants to. But then there was that incident at school and now he is in an invention program with 'Mr. Crotcher' *insert big teenage sigh and eye roll*This book was so much more than I was expecting. It is a raw, funny, easy-to-read, full on journey with a messed up teenager trying to deal with all his baggage. Dave Connis has so many perfect lines in this book that I have highlighter EVERYWHERE. The characters are all raw and broken in their own ways. From Adam with his porn addiction, his sister Addy struggling with their parents divorce, the fellow members of the Knights of Vice (KOV) with varying other addictions, and their mentor Mr. Cratcher with so so much more. You will love them, and gun for them, and hold them in your hearts for a little longer than a fictional character should probably stay there. The romance feels are real:"I feel like a Pokemon. Like, before that kiss, I was Adam, but now I've evolved into Adameo: body of fire with nine million HP"And, my dear people, the subtle awareness of the needing break society's gender-typing barriers:"I stand. 'Author Waller R. Newell once said, 'We don't need to reinvent manliness', but gentlemen, Dez, Addy, I think Waller R. Newell is a bucket'a'bull. If manliness stays static, it gets buried in the dust of progressive humanity.'""'The world doesn't need any more men who don't care...Or any more men who think that machismo declines because you're vulnerable and keep tabs on how you feel.'" This book is kicking goals left, right, and center. And I haven't even mentioned the real life album written as a companion to the book in which the album exists.I am not kidding you. Dave Connis, that beautiful man, wrote the entire previously-fictional album, complete with more story notes and real notes and notes from the characters you are now in love with (side note: please don't jump onto this link UNTIL you read the book because there are spoilers). AND you can jump onto his youtube channel to see clips of him recording this album as well (I am still hoping it's fully for the publish date of the book. My hopes are real.)I didn't give the book 5 stars only because I personally found the first third of the book a little slow, and was lead to thinking it was just an average contemporary YA story. I am so glad I was wrong.
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  • Hannah Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Hawthorne is addicted to porn, not that he’ll admit that. We first meet Adam sitting outside the principal’s office after he did something so bad he is suspended for weeks. All we really get to know is that a group of girls in his high school have named themselves the Anti-Adam Order and they wanted him out of that school. His teacher and family friend, Mr. Cratcher takes him under his wing to try and get him back on track, something Adam absolutely doesn’t like especially since he’s not ad Adam Hawthorne is addicted to porn, not that he’ll admit that. We first meet Adam sitting outside the principal’s office after he did something so bad he is suspended for weeks. All we really get to know is that a group of girls in his high school have named themselves the Anti-Adam Order and they wanted him out of that school. His teacher and family friend, Mr. Cratcher takes him under his wing to try and get him back on track, something Adam absolutely doesn’t like especially since he’s not addicted to anything.In the opening pages Adam informs us he will only be referring to Mr. Cratcher as Mr. Crotcher and that he hates him. What I enjoyed the most about this entire exchange is that when he dropped the “Crotcher” he didn’t even notice it. We were able watch him mature and change as a person without Adam even realizing and I loved it!Another Adam quirk that I loved were the Golumn and Lord of the Rings references. In my reading of it the moments came out when Adam felt he was struggling or conflicted about something and aware of it. There was a span in the book where not a single reference was to be found and it was interesting to note during those pages Adam was just living as a teenager and not as an addict. The moment his addicts came back into his mind and he began to struggle again the references were back.The cast of characters in the book were entertaining to watch. From Adam, to his father, and Dez, and the Knights of Vice, and Addy, I felt all these characters rooted to reality in an organic way. These are not characters that exist only on the books of a young adult novel about addiction, these are characters I can meet in my everyday life.The second half of the book sends the characters on a road trip to Nashville and I was totally okay with it. I feel like this fit because these are teenagers who need to believe in something grander than what they are going through and for them that is rescuing Mr. Crothers long lost record. During this trip we see one character begin to spin out of control while the others have seemed to be able to almost overcome them. I liked this because this is a group of teenage addicts, they aren’t going to get better overnight and it was nice to see some overcoming, some still struggling, and some failing in their struggles.Overall this book proves that people should not be put into a box because of their addictions. Addicts are still human with human struggles and I think that’s one of the biggest lessons here. After admitting his addiction to himself he identifies as an addict, but at the end of the book he identifies as a flawed human being instead of only an addict. As Dave Connis said, “Humanity is a uniquely shared experience.”
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  • Elise
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story about friendship, addiction and learning that you may be broken now but you won't be broken forever, that running away from your issues and isolating yourself to numb the pain will only make it worse, that love and friendship and facing the world will hurt and heal. The characters in this book feel real. The issues tackled are relevant and dealt with well. It's a good book albeit a little long maybe at times.
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  • KT
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I've just been punched in the heart. But in a good way. Because sometimes a good, strong punch can remind you that life is more than the bubble you find yourself in. Or maybe that's just me. But reading about Adam and his friends was powerful, and their different situations hit me hard. Adam and his friends are all teens struggling with addictions that, in some cases, people don't necessarily believe are real addictions or they believe they're gender specific. But Connis unpacks that I feel like I've just been punched in the heart. But in a good way. Because sometimes a good, strong punch can remind you that life is more than the bubble you find yourself in. Or maybe that's just me. But reading about Adam and his friends was powerful, and their different situations hit me hard. Adam and his friends are all teens struggling with addictions that, in some cases, people don't necessarily believe are real addictions or they believe they're gender specific. But Connis unpacks that, showing the biases and ignorance that contribute to such stigmas. He doesn't make them a big deal. He doesn't announce, "Hey, I'm going to dismantle this prejudice right here," he just addresses it and moves on, allowing readers to pause and reflect for a moment without getting bumped out of the story. It was artfully done.Watching Adam confront his addiction is painful, necessary, and ultimately healing. His mentor Mr. Crotcher asks Adam questions that force him to think about who and what he is, and as Adam realizes both that he is an addict and that he is human, the reader is lead through mountains and valleys of emotion. That isn't to say the story is all tears, because it's not. It's also profoundly philosophical and straight up funny. The interplay of the Knights of Vice is, in turns, heart-wrenching and hilarious. And watching Adam and his dad and sister navigate their relationship was beyond satisfying. And Dez and Adam...my word. I won't say much here because if I start, I won't stop. But I loved them. I love that everyone calls Dez out on being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and I love that we all know she's so much more than that.There's one scene that I'll admit gave me pause: near the end of the story, after realizing and owning his addiction, Adam says that he's not an addict because what he really is is human. I had to think about this for a while, because I wasn't sure how comfortable I was with an addict in recovery saying that he wasn't an addict. Addiction isn't something that can be "cured," and Adam knew this. Mr. Crotcher certainly did. In the context of the story, though, it's clear that Connis isn't trying to negate or deny addiction (which would be to deny the entire story); rather, he is destigmatizing it. Normalizing it. And in doing so, he creates a story of love, weakness, tragedy, hope, and humanity unlike anything I've read before.Five heart-punching stars.
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  • Hannah Rials
    January 1, 1970
    I've been looking forward to The Temptation of Adam for months now, and it was certainly worth the wait. Delving into a difficult topic for anyone, especially young adults, addiction is addressed in such an honest way. I love the Knights of Vice group, the growing support that they feel for one another throughout the novel. And though I wanted to slap Adam in the face most of the book, I grew very attached to his character. Connis is following the YA step into dealing with the real world, proble I've been looking forward to The Temptation of Adam for months now, and it was certainly worth the wait. Delving into a difficult topic for anyone, especially young adults, addiction is addressed in such an honest way. I love the Knights of Vice group, the growing support that they feel for one another throughout the novel. And though I wanted to slap Adam in the face most of the book, I grew very attached to his character. Connis is following the YA step into dealing with the real world, problems that adults don't think teenagers deal with but in fact do. It's just that no one talks about it. I loved following the Knights of Vice, Addy, and Mr. Cratcher through a roller coaster of a heart wrenching journey. I haven't felt that defeated alongside a character in a long time.
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