Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

Release Date: May 25, 2012
Starry Sky Publishing
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Paranormal, Reincarnation, Romance
Available Formats:
My Shelf:
Own (eBook)
Other Books:
Tangled Tides
Buy the Book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.

X-MEN meets MY NAME IS MEMORY in Karen Amanda Hooper’s latest young adult release.

“A person’s destiny is written in the stars. The sky is a storybook, and the stars are the characters in its pages.” ~pg. 69

It seems, however, that Maryah’s story is already reaching its end. The star that represents her eternal life has gone out. She grows up unaware that her story is drawing to a close, but when a tragic event strikes her biological family, she has to move in with complete strangers who seem to know more about her than she does herself. She comes to realize that she was once a part of their Kindrily, a family of superpowered, reincarnated souls that have been together for centuries. Each member of the family lives a lifetime, passes on, and then is born again with the same soul and all their past memories intact. Except Maryah. She has no memories of this family, or her soulmate, Nathaniel. Without her memories, her eternal soul is in danger of being lost forever, and when a group of people begin hunting her down for being a Kindrily, her life, and her soul, have never been more at risk.

With books dealing with soulmates and reincarnation gaining popularity as of late, it is becoming hard to find a story that is unconventional. However, Hooper never fails to deliver, and she provides a stunningly original story of love and loss. Hooper’s expressive prose and exquisitely rendered characters makes Grasping at Eternity an enthralling read, and the emotional intensity of this book is gripping and heartrending. I loved everything about this story, and Hooper has definitely become one of my favorite authors.

Grasping at Eternity is told from both Maryah’s and Nathaniel’s point of view, and this shifting of perspectives allows the reader to really get a feel for both characters. Their voices are distinct, and I have to admit I loved getting explicit peeks at Nathaniel’s thoughts. With his soulmate unable to remember him and their past lives, Nathaniel is experiencing heartbreak and emotional pain like never before. Hooper’s vivid details made his heartache feel real, and there were moments where I would be rubbing my chest in phantom pain. Maryah is thrust in a new world and family, and she has no idea why everyone seems to know who she is, or how Nathaniel knows she loves hot chocolate. Her confusion and disorientation felt genuine, and I loved how the reader pieces the story together with Maryah.

The most appealing aspect of this book for me was Hooper’s concept of reincarnation. After every life, the eternal soul is given an option: retain or erase. If you were given the choice to remember everything, both the good and the bad, and carry it with you in the next life, would you? Or would you like to have a clean slate and be able to experience everything again for the first time, like your first kiss and falling in love? It is truly a fascinating idea! Hooper also delves into the meaning of promnesia, otherwise known as déjà vu. We all experience moments or events in life that seem startlingly familiar, but we just write it off as one of those weird déjà vu moments. But what if one of those strange moments is actually a recollection from a past life? There are so many stories out there of people who believed they remember their past life, but what those stories are actually true? Hooper’s theory of reincarnation really captured my attention, and I loved how it made me think.

After reading Tangled Tides, I feel in love with Hooper’s writing, and just when I think she could not get any better, she produces Grasping at Eternity. This book blew me away with its excellent (and intriguing!) storyline, heartfelt characters, and emotional turmoil. I feel like this book should have come with a warning sign! Warning: this will put you through an emotional wringer. This book will make you laugh, make you cry, make you experience heartache, and make you discover the happiness and joy in finding your destined person. This book was everything I expected from Hooper and more, and I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!

Lastly, I will leave you with this beautiful quote that so perfectly represents this book:

“If you love someone, put their name in a circle; because hearts can be broken, but a circle never ends.” ~Anonymous
The Greatest Escape!


  1. Aww, I'm all teary eyed--happy tears! Thanks so much for the amazing review. I'm SO happy to hear you liked it. I'm looking forward to sharing book 2 with the world. :)

    1. I can't wait to read the second book! :) *excited excited* Good luck (and have fun!) writing Dangerous Depths and Taking Back Forever!


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