Title: The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
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 is a young adult novel about addiction. While pornography addiction takes center stage, Dave Connis also touches on other types of addictions as well.
Sixteen year old Adam Hawthorne’s expulsion from school from an undisclosed infraction sets him on the path for treatment for his addiction to porn. A benevolent teacher, Mr. Gratcher, intercedes on his behalf with his school principal and as a result, Adam must spend one on one time with his teacher in addition to attending meetings similar to AA. He also must join Mr. Gratcher and three other young men, Elliot, Trey and Mark in Knights of Vice meetings. Like so many people who have addictions, Adam is not only completely in denial about his dependence on porn, but he is also quite unaware of the reason he relies so heavily on it. With a well-rounded group of people supporting him, (including his romantic interest, Dez Coulter, and his older sister, Abby), will Adam finally open his eyes to the truths that Mr. Cratcher is attempting to show him?
Adam is a highly intelligent young man who was blindsided by his parents’ divorce. Now referring to his absent mother as “The Woman”, he lives with his dad who is physically present, but emotionally checked out. Adam adores Abby, but since she lives with The Woman, they are not as close as they were prior to the divorce. Since he is deeply in denial about his addiction to porn, Adam refuses to accept responsibility for the incident that resulted in his suspension. He is extremely resistant to Mr. Cratcher’s attempts to help him but with the threat of permanent expulsion from school hanging over him, he has no choice but to continue attending meetings and spending mornings with his teacher.
Adam’s realization that he is addicted to porn occurs at a realistic pace. He gradually beings to understand the reasons why he turned to porn and despite this self-awareness, he is often powerless to fight his addiction. His romance with Dez also offers him a new perspective on his destructive behavior and provides him with an added incentive to try to conquer his demons. Unlike the young men Adam meets, Dez is a bit of a stereotype and it is rather difficult to take her addiction to addictions seriously.
The Temptation of Adam is an engrossing and insightful young adult novel about porn addiction. Adam is well-rounded character who is genuinely likeable and easy to relate to despite his flaws. The storyline is well-developed and Dave Connis’s handling of various addictions is exemplary as is his realistic depiction of recovery. All in all, a well-written novel that will appeal to readers of all ages.