ARC Review: Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

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.

My Rating:  3.5 cupcakes

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Grasping at Eternity, but it’s easy to say that it exceeded any expectations that I might have had. By the end of the first chapter I was intrigued by the concept, the hints of a mystery, and the writing style, and my interest was kept throughout the remainder of the book.

The concept behind Grasping at Eternity is different from anything that I have read before. I loved the idea that every soul has an option to erase or retain its memories at the end of a lifetime, and that it is possible to spend eternity with the people you love. I’m a hopeless romantic, so I really liked this take on the idea of soulmates or “twin flames.”

Karen Amanda Hooper’s writing is lovely. Her descriptions are beautiful and vivid, and resulted in the pages on my Kindle app being filled with bright orange highlighter.

Grasping at Eternity is told from two perspectives: Maryah (which is such a lovely name!) and Nathaniel. Nathaniel’s perspective immediately provides the reader with a greater understanding of the Kindrily and reincarnation than Maryah possesses, and I often had to remind myself of that fact when I wanted to shake Maryah for being so unobservant. Maryah and Nathaniel have distinct “voices” making it easy to discern whose point of view you’re reading at all times. It took a little bit of time to get used to Nathaniel’s voice, due to the fact that he’s centuries old and therefore doesn’t sound like your average teenage boy, but after chapters it began to feel more natural.

I really liked Maryah as a character. She responded to everything in a realistic manner, instead of adapting to revelations about herself and her family with ease. Her relationship with Nathaniel was sweet, but I wish that she had spent more time with him before they were madly in love. I understand that they were together for lifetimes before the events of this book, but the lack of romantic build-up made it seem a bit like instalove.

While I liked some of the secondary characters (Carson, Faith, and Harmony), no one really stood out. I loved that the idea of a family was an important aspect of the plot, but I didn’t feel as if I got to know any of its members. Hopefully these characters will be explored in a bit more depth in the sequel.

Overall, Grasping at Eternity was an interesting, enjoyable read that answers several questions while setting up the remainder of the series. I can’t wait to read Taking Back Forever!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and All Night Reads in exchange for an honest review.

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