Author: Karen Amanda Hooper
Date of Publication: May 21, 2012
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy this book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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.
I'd never been a huge fan of novels about reincarnation but Grasping at Eternity really made me rethink my original bias, the ideas of reincarnation worked really well for the story and I absolutely adored the romance between not only Nathan and Maryah but some of the secondary characters as well. Even though there were a lot of things this novel did really well there were inevitably the things that I wasn't a huge fan of in this novel, some of which (like the overwhelming number of characters) made it a little hard to understand sometimes.
Let's start with the things that made this novel really great. The number one being the plot; I loved the originality and uniqueness that Hooper put into her plot and I was absolutely fascinated by Hooper's ideas of reincarnation. As the novel went on I found myself absolutely desperate to find out why Maryah erased and excited to learn more about Nathan and the rest of her new family. The romance between Nathan and Maryah was absolutely adorable! My favorite part by far had to be when he brought her four different drinks because he didn't know which one she would like; I pretty much swooned. The only weak part of the plot was the side story about the bad guys searching for Maryah and the rest of her Kindrily (her new family) was a little weak, but I have a feeling that plot line will be further developed in the next novel.
For the most part I really enjoyed the characters, Maryah was a little clueless, well a lot clueless, but that was easy to overlook and Nathan was the perfect tortured love interest. The cast of characters Hooper created was great, I loved Faith and her cheery personality and I also found myself curious about Harmony and her past. However, as I said in the beginning, there was just an overwhelming amount of them; especially at first I had a really hard time keeping them all straight and the author wasn't very forthcoming with details about how everyone was connected. I finished the novel still not figuring out who Helen and Edgar were, maybe I just skimmed over their introduction accidentally or their names got lost in the sea of character introductions, but it felt like they just randomly appeared in the story without much of a purpose.
Though most of the novel was a little slow with moments of action or interest sprinkled in, it was the ending that made this novel really shine. I was not expecting the climax between Nathan, River, and Maryah and the action at the end of the novel made up for the slow parts in the beginning. I wasn't a huge fan of the teen drama/angst throughout the novel, I felt like the silly drama between Maryah and another girl at school wasn't necessary for the plot and made Maryah seem more immature than she was. I know this book is aimed toward teens so the drama makes sense but I just didn't like how it took away from time that could have been spent on the more interesting aspects of the novel.
Despite the few things I didn't like, overall I really enjoyed this novel. With fun characters, an fascinating take on reincarnation, and just enough romance to keep things interesting, this novel has a lot of aspects that make it a fantastic read. The few downfalls are easily to overlook and I recommend that fans of reincarnation definitely check this one out!
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.