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The Temptation of Adam: A Novel Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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"An honest, emotional, funny, romantic, dark, hopeful, musical gem of a novel. I know that's a lot of adjectives, but it'd be a disservice to leave any out." Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes
"The Temptation of Adam is the sort of novel you finish and immediately wish you could read again for the first time. It’s profound without being preachy, funny without pandering, and thoughtful in a way that few debut novels manage. Dave Connis is a writer to watch." Bryan Bliss, author of Meet Me Here
On the surface, The Temptation of Adam is the story of a teenaged boy with *teenage-boy* problems, but the true brilliance of this novel lies in the way it uses heartache, humor, and music to reveal LOVE as both Healer-of-Wounds and Kick-in-the-Pants toward greatness. Highly recommend." Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin
"Dave Connis's The Temptation of Adam confronts a difficult topic with honesty, humor, and heart. The friendships and love that form amongst the misfit cast of teens trying to overcome addiction are an important reminder of our power to destroy or give hope to those tangled in our messy lives."Randy Ribay, author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes
"Connis emphasizes the importance of battling addiction with transparency, communication, and self-forgiveness. While the teens find support in one another, their recovery also relies on their relationships with adults who help them to set boundaries and goals. Impressively, this novel rarely feels preachy. Despite the main character’s obsession with pornography, there is very little graphic sexual content, and the teens’ dangerous activities, including drug and alcohol use and cutting, are never glorified. . . . VERDICT This debut may ultimately get lost among the multitude of recent books about teens with mental health issues, but its positive messages will make a worthwhile addition to most teen collections." School Library Journal
About the Author
Dave Connis has held all manner of job, from ballroom dance instructor to construction worker. He is now a community manager at Code Corps, a platform where people can donate time, talent, and money to projects for social change. He also works as an assistant youth director at his church, Rock Creek Fellowship. He has a bachelor’s in community development with a focus on international economics from Covenant College. He is a member of the SCBWI. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife and son.
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Top customer reviews
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The porn addiction is mentioned in an eloquent way, never graphic or exploitive.
Example: "after my porn fiesta this morning" and on another page "I watched porn for an hour. I hate myself. I hate myself. I. Hate. Myself."
While Adam's mother's abandonment is blamed for causing the addiction, its later revealed he started viewing porn at 12, which is statistically when most boys introduction to digital prostitution begins. (Life spoiler alert: the mother is always blamed for porn/sex addiction). The 12 steps of recovery are mentioned briefly but don't be fooled, this is not a book about therapy or recovery, but more a journey to complete a music album. The group of interestingly flawed characters embark on a road trip to solve a murder mystery and to recover a lost album.
Adam and his not-girlfriend, fellow addict, Dez, are the main characters and their relationship is the glue of the book. Author Dave Connis delivers all the feels. At some points I wanted to print their scenes onto a blanket and wrap myself in his words, and at other times I wanted to scream at them. So basically, it's a chaotic balance that teenagers will relate to.
What this book has going for it is the subject matter is fresh and it's intelligent in the vein of JUNO, PERKS of BEING A WALLFLOWER and a sprinkle of LESS THAN ZERO. The characters are all developed with specific details, although they all speak a similar language. Besides the hero worship of Adam's sister, Addy, their imperfections make them real. The world needs more teachers like Mr. Cratcher, who ripped my heart out in the best way. It was nice to read a teacher character that wasn't a goofball or a one dimensional saint.
I'd give this 4 1/2 stars out of 5 because it's a valiant effort, but at times I guestioned if there was too much. I will definitely read more from this author.
My 15 year old son has started reading and has already asked, where's my book? when I borrowed it back to complete my review. If I'm lucky, just maybe he will share his own review with me. Fingers crossed.
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.”
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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