The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

 

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Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Sky Pony Press

 

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.”