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Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
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Jun 19, 12

Read from June 13 to 17, 2012

If you do not believe in the power of love, then I suggest that you might not want to read this book. But if somewhere, even if it’s very deep down in your heart, there is a tiny spot in you that can accept that soulmates might exist…then read this story because you will truly enjoy it! OK…now that that’s out in the open, let’s look at why this book grabbed me from page one!

The characters in this book have been reincarnated over and over. What’s different about them is that they remember their past lives…that is, they choose to remember. As Elements, people with special powers, they have the ability to keep their memories when their current lives end and they choose to do so so that they can find their family again in the next life. Maryah, however, chose to erase at the end of her last life and no one knows why. So now, she lives with her new family completely unaware that all those who have loved her in the past even exist. When a tragedy befalls her current family, she is thrown back into a world she had no idea existed with a family she can’t remember.

The characters in this book were very well written. Maryah is very real. The way she reacts to the situations put before her is refreshing in that she questions things every step of the way, demanding that they make some sort of sense before accepting them. This is uncommon in the YA genre where characters normally accept the unbelievable in the blink of an eye. Nathaniel is her soulmate. His emotions run wild in this book. He can remember every lifetime with Maryah and is now forced to deal with the fact that she neither remembers nor loves him…in fact, she chose to erase him from her life. His heart breaks over and over because he just can’t let her go. And the reader’s heart breaks along with him. Especially since we get parts of the story from his point of view!

The secondary characters play an important role in trying to help Maryah remember her past because they want her back as well…they are a family after all. I must admit that I had a hard time keeping them all straight in the beginning. We are introduced to a huge family, all with different abilities and reasons for being there and, at first, it was overwhelming. But, eventually, I figured out why they were all important to the telling of this story and was able to move forward without “who was that again?” jumping to my mind.

Now, before you go thinking that this is just about the power of love, let me fill you in on something else. There are bad things lurking in the wings. Maryah was killed in her past life and the person responsible is still out there trying to complete his evil mission. Nathan’s struggle to protect her is the subplot that will undoubtedly be the focus of upcoming books. I hope that the special powers that each character possesses will be further explored and used to fight the battle ahead. In the true sense of the word, this book was the “beginning”. All the necessary elements have been put in place for the next chapter to begin. Some may feel that this makes the story read a bit slower, and I will agree with that. But, it is necessary to put everything and everyone at the start line for what I believe will be quite an adventure to come! Can’t wait for the next book!
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