Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

Title: Grasping at Eternity
Author: Karen Amanda Hooper

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing

Length: 328 pages
Original Publishing Date: May 21st, 2012
Series: Kindrily #1
Where I got it: NetGalley

Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 

"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
."

 
Main characters: 2/5

Maryah was a very bland main character. Part of this may have been intentional, to represent her as the "blank slate", however it meant that she didn't have a strong image in my mind. I didn't know what she liked or didn't like, or even what her personality was. The other thing that bothered me about Maryah was her naivety. This may be in part due to the writing style which let the reader in on what was happening, but everything just appeared so obvious to me.

Secondary characters: 3/5

Nathan also appeared one-dimensional. Besides his love for Maryah I really didn't know anything about him and I was frustrated with their relationship. He also had a really pessimistic way of looking at the situation (although I realize that it was a depressing one) that started to irritate me.
The rest of the secondary characters were better but there were so many! It was hard to keep track sometimes. I liked Carson because he didn't like Maryah at first and that was refreshing to have a character not fall instantly in love with her. Krista was also fun and upbeat.

Writing style: 2.5/5

The story switched POVS between Nathan and Maryah, which I wasn't a fan of. Normally I wouldn't mind but because we knew what was going on, Maryah just seemed like an idiot for not questioning or realizing some of the obvious stuff. Or even just the weird way everyone was acting. Also, I don't know what it was but some of the description threw me out of the story.

Plot: 3/5
Here's the thing: this trope? The lovers through multiple lifetimes? I've seen it before. I'll mention a couple minor details that I did like though. The Arizona setting was perfection and the descriptions were spot on. I liked the introduction of something new to the been-done-before reincarnation plot: the idea of erasing was cool and I liked the mystery of figuring out why Maryah erased. The aspect with the stars and astronomy was a neat touch as well. I liked the idea of a kindrily (although it reminded me of the Cullen family from Twilight) and the quirkiness that came from reincarnation regarding age and previous family ties. I didn't understand, however, how despite all of this plot information being thrown around, the plot could lack action so much. It really seemed like not a lot happened in this book.

Ending: 3/5

Bonus points for not ending on a cliffhanger, and for some real action. The downside? I didn't feel like we really learned anything. We have this whole mystery and at the end I was wondering if anything was solved.

Best scene: The climax


Reminded Me Of:  Transcendence by C. J. Omololu

Positives:
Some fun twists on the reincarnation trope, well thought out world-building


Negatives: Instalove (destined to be together), bland and one-dimensional main characters, not enough action, the writing style threw me out of the story


Cover: I actually don't really care for this cover. I like the title text but the image doesn't pull me in enough.


Verdict: Stereotypical addition to the reincarnation trope with lackluster characters.


Rating: 5.4/10 (3 stars)


What I Was Listening To: 
Something else fun about my quirky music taste is that I love remixes to great songs. For this one, the Tailors DJs remix a Tracy Chapman staple, Give Me One Reason. I listen to this song all the time because it pumps me up and relaxes me at the same time (is that even possible?). Check it out and let me know what you think!



Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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