Sarah Rooney's Reviews > Grasping at Eternity

Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
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Sep 03, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from August 31 to September 01, 2012

To say I was shell-shocked that I won a GoodReads giveaway would be a gross understatement. I was beginning to think it was impossible to accomplish, as I had entered countless of them to no avail. Lo and behold, an e-mail popped up in my inbox a few weeks ago deconstructing any suspicions I had accumulated. I had won a First Reads giveaway.

I walked on clouds for the rest of that day.

Flash forward, about two weeks later, and a package waits for me calmly at home. My fingers were tearing at the material surrounding the book with a certain ferocity before I could even guess at what waited inside: Grasping at Eternity-- in all of its gorgeous cover glory, complete with a sealed envelop tucked within a random page.

I'll take this moment to give a huge shout out to Karen Amanda Hooper, (and her fabulously named dog, Rooney), for taking the time to write me a lovely message bound in an equally lovely envelope. I'm not sure she'll ever see this review, but I wanted to give a shout out anyway to show my appreciation.

Anyway, on to the point at hand. Grasping at Eternity.

This book definitely surprised me. Oddly enough, it surprised me by not surprising me. I got exactly what I wanted from it. All too often lately I've had totally wrong notions about what a book may be about. It was a nice breath of fresh air to read something that delivered in every area that I had hoped it would.

Reading the synopsis, one may immediately notice that the central topic of the novel is reincarnation. The whole idea caught my attention from the beginning; there aren't many young adult novels about life cycles around these days. I hoped going in that it would set a high bar for a concept I had yet to dabble in, and set a high bar it did. Due to the shifting perspectives of Maryah, pronounced like Mariah, and Nathan, the reader is allowed insight into the idea of reincarnation almost immediately. At times it was mildly frustrating knowing so much more than Maryah, but at the same time it's easy to understand why she's kept in the dark for so long. If someone were to tell me I've lived 20 other lives, I'd run for the hills at full speed.

On the topic of changing perspectives, I will say that Nathan's point of view was kind of... iffy-- but only at first. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but his voice read more like a female than a male. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't seeing things through Maryah's eyes. After getting comfortable with the fact that he was lifetimes old, though, I started to understand why he sounded so different: he didn't sound like a typical teenage boy because he wasn't a typical teenage boy. Far from it, actually. I won't spoil anything more, but I will say that his intense love for Maryah also contributed to the way his voice was conveyed, and after a while it began to feel more natural.

This sort of leads into my next point: the way Hooper delivers the romance. While I admit that I wish I was given a little more time to get to know Nathan, I understand the reasons he kept his distance. I also realized that, in many ways, seeing less of a romantic interest is better than having them shoved down your throat during every scene. I think the main reason it bothered me at all was because by the time they "got together," it felt kind of rushed and weird. I understand that they were by no means strangers to each other, but as a bystander that witnessed only the events of the novel, it felt as though all of a sudden these strangers had fallen madly in love. It isn't insta-love, but we're never given a build up, either.

Lack of romantic build up aside, it's crucial that I point out how lovely Hooper's writing is. Her descriptions creep off the page, slowly inching their way up into your mind. Everything is vivid and everything is beautiful. That's the simplest and best way I can describe it. You'll just have to read it for yourself to understand, but it's pretty incredible.

I'm just about done with my ranting session now.

I really hope that this gains more notice within the Young Adult/New Adult crowd. I was shocked to find that this fantastic book had only 209 ratings on GoodReads. What does that mean? It means go buy Grasping for Eternity. It's a wonderfully crafted novel that embraces a new phenomenon that is sure to keep your pages turning.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Karen I saw it, I loved it, and I think you're awesome. Thanks so much for taking time to write a review. I really appreciate it. Glad the book arrived safely and that you enjoyed it.

I hope GAE gains more notice too, but I'm biased. ;)

Rooney gives you a big paws-up. <3


Sarah Rooney The pleasure was all mine! I'll be patiently waiting for Kindrily Book 2 :)


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