Book Review-Amish Sweethearts

23 Feb

Summary: Amish Sweethearts is book two in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series by Leslie Gould.  It continues the story of Zane Beck and Lila Lehman and their families.  Zane and Lila had been best friends for years, and even though their feelings were beginning to turn into something more, Zane wasn’t Amish and Lila wouldn’t leave the Amish and all that she has ever known.
In hurt and frustration, Zane runs away to join the Army and Lila dutifully courts the Bishop’s son.  Neither is happy, but neither sees a way to resolve the cultural battle they each face.  Will they continue to stay apart and do what is expected of them, or is there a way that they can be together after all?
Thoughts:  Yeah, well I didn’t care for this book.  It isn’t that the author isn’t a good writer-I have read others of her books-but I just did not like the way the characters developed in this story.
First, there are a LOT of characters to keep track of.  I know this is common in Amish stories, but I found myself easily confused trying to remember which person was which.
Second, Lila’s family members were extremely selfish.  Every one of her immediate family seemed to be out for themselves, which seemed to go against the Amish culture in a way.  It was almost as if Lila was a Cinderella type of character, and she was just “poor me, my life stinks, but there isn’t anything I can do.”  I could see being a dutiful daughter, but she just really didn’t have any backbone.
Zane wasn’t much better.  He joined the military for the wrong reasons, and even though he does some heroic things, he considers deserting.  Maybe coming from a military family, this rubs me the wrong way, but I just felt like both of the main characters seemed totally helpless in their lives, when really it was their own choices that had put them there.
As much as I wanted to like them, I kind of wanted to just kick them in the pants and say “get over yourselves already!”
And, the way everything was solved in the end-I won’t spoil it for you-but I was like “that’s it?”  Seems like they could have resolved the whole love problem without this book even being a part of the series.
I really did want to like this book, but it just wasn’t something I enjoyed.
As always though, I want to thank Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my unbiased review.

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