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The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis
Published: November 21st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
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“Everyone may be unhappy in their own way, but at least we can all be unhappy together. That way we aren’t alone.”
The Temptation of Adam was another happy surprise. I thought I would like it but I didn’t think I would love and adore it. I fell for these characters and their flaws. I learned about them and myself at the same time. Mr.Connis posed a lot of questions in the book through his writing that I myself was trying to solve along with the characters. He has a knack for words and storytelling truly. I love how flawed these characters were but still so lovable at the same time. The pace was really good because I flowed right through it. It was a contemporary that I felt really made you sit back and go, “huh I didn’t think of it in that way.” I also loved how somethings were so relatable like how stupid a question like “are you ok?” is when the person is very obviously not ok. I really loved this book so much and I recommend it many times over to contemporary lovers especially but everyone in general.
“We’re all born in chaos, and I don’t think it ever goes away. We just get better at learning how to find beauty in it.”
“I’m not as strong as you, but I’ll keep singing if you keep writing the words.”
This is a story of a lot of messed up people who are just trying to navigate through life and I cried, laughed, smiled, and felt pure joy while reading this. This can be a triggering book for anyone battling with addiction, suicide, and mental health so please take that warning into consideration. But, with that said nothing was graphic or done in poor taste the author handles all three extremely well. This is the story of Adam Hawthorne who is the opposite of fine. His mom walked out on his family, his dad is clueless to his life, and he tends to turn to porn instead of actually dealing with his feelings. Adam starts out as someone who refuses to acknowledge his issues but when something happens at school that almost gets him expelled, he’s forced into an intervention program headed up by one of his teachers. In this program, he meets other addicts, namely the Knights of Vice, who eventually become his friends and one maybe a bit more. What I loved about the plot of this book was how Dave Connis approaches the issue of addiction head on but in a way that makes it difficult to judge the characters for their addiction. Music also plays a HUGE role in the book but I don’t want to spoil anything.
“We are all just dirt with legs. All of us. We may think we aren’t, but we are.”
The writing for this book was actually exceptional. It was relatable yet metaphorical yet not overly flowery. It was incredibly hilarious. The family dynamics, the friendships, the emotional talks, the angry talks all made sense and flowed in a natural way that worked with this book. This book was immensely quotable and I really felt I could connect with it even if you’re not someone that struggles with an addiction or mental health. I felt the author took great care in this topic and with these characters and building them out in a way that was tasteful and not just for shock-value.
“In this moment, I think I feel everything, but I feel her so specifically I can’t define how.”
My favorite thing about this book was all the character development from everyone. It was really beautiful to see especially because it didn’t end unrealistic with all addictions eradicated and happily ever afters. The characters were real and raw. We saw their major battles, their highs and lows, and how even in the end you won’t ever be completely beyond the addiction but it will always be something you fight for and work on. You will have good days and bad days. Adam was funny, sarcastic, smart and battling porn addiction. Dez was witty, funny, closed off and a multi-layered addict. Addy was Adam’s sister, smart, sweet and loving in everything. Trey was funny, strong hearted, deep and a sex addict. Elliot was emo, kind, quiet and a self-harmer (only mentioned not graphic.) Mr. Cratcher is the teacher and a man with a painful past who wants to teach his student what he wishes he knew. Adam’s dad is a man who is torn by his failed marriage and trying to be a dad again.
“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.”
The romance in the book is cute and angsty. It is two addicts trying to navigate their life and love. It’s a battle that they Adam and Dez have to work through and it is something that helps them learn about themselves and their problems. I like how it wasn’t instant love but it wasn’t slow burn either. It was a happy medium and I just rooted for them the whole time with their cute banter flaws and all.
“I’m sorry,” she says, her voice scratchy and slurred. “If you’ll have me, it’d be a pleasure to burn with you.” “Yes, please,” I say.
“Once you know what you are, you are no longer a human who struggles with addiction, but a human who struggles with being human.”
“I realized that if change weren’t possible, racial segregation wouldn’t have been declared illegal. If change weren’t possible, my friends wouldn’t be turning into damn good men. If change weren’t possible, love wouldn’t have been a reason that made me want to stay alive.”
“I might never be fixed, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be whole. We’re all variables of broken and holy light, and that’s the only thing about the world that doesn’t change. Addictions can never define Dez and me because they’ll never have the chance. We’re never just one thing, but we can always choose to love. And that’s how we blaze.”
To listen to the full album written by the Knights of Vice called LOOKING FOR EDEN and for the book go here. To listen to a song written by Adam called More Than go here. They are so beautiful and so is the book so, listen to the music and read the book.