Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper

Genre: YA 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Says:  

*Recommended for ages 15 and older due to mature content.*

Forever is worth the fight.

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn’t erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts—more than one kindrily member’s life depends on it.

Maryah’s power is Harmony’s best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn’t big on asking anyone for help, and she’s tired of waiting, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way.

I go back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars.

Yo! Put your big girl and big boy panties on because it might be a bit spoiler-ish if you have yet to read Book One, Grasping at Eternity.

I literally dove into book two as soon as I took a breather that lasted long enough to switch books. I really loved Grasping at Eternity. It kick started a love in me that I don’t think I’ll ever let go.

There are no recaps, folks! This book is not one of those. I suggest you read Taking Back Forever right after reading/re-reading Grasping at Eternity. So! We jump right back into this wonderful world with all the excitement in the world ready to find out what happened next.

It turns out that Maryah is part of a Kindrily who has been together for hundreds of years. A Kindrily is a group of people who care for one another like family but are not blood related. In this series it’s a bit more complicated than that but you have to read it for more info. Maryah used to be Mary. Mary and company were all souls that chose to be reincarnated with their memories intact. That is, until Mary didn’t and instead chose to erase her memories of her previous lives. Essentially, this is what this series is about so far, trying to recover Maryah’s memories and figure out why she chose to erase. My theory is that she had faith in herself to remember but by erasing allowed her Kindrily time to be safe for a while because there is a very evil guy out there. I’m not too clear as of yet what this guy wants to do but I’m patient enough to wait for it. Again, that’s my theory.

I Liked:

Cover- Let’s be very real right now. This series has the best covers. Love them!

Backstory/Characters/POV- You really get a sense of who everyone is and why, what their role in the Kindrily is and how much they truly care for one another. Hooper has managed to create very believable relationships and ties between all of the members of the Kindrily which I find is hard for some authors. I find that as readers we have to take some relationships for face value but not here. This was achieved nicely from start to finish. The alternating POV’s between Maryah and Harmony were necessary I think. You definitely get a better understanding of where Harmony is coming from. I still don’t like her, though. I get her to a point but there was something she told Maryah about the past that was hurtful and made me suspicious of her if anything.

Romance- The romance in this book is incredibly sexy and beautiful. There is no doubt in my mind that Nathan and Maryah are soul mates. I have to admit that I don’t doubt that any of the peeps in this book are soul mates. Again, the connections are solid.

Subtle messages- There are beautiful messages within this book about true love, trusting love, healthy love, patient love, unconditional love, about love that moves mountains and about the love that gives you strength to let go.

Ending- You get to pick alternate endings, y’all! I personally like and dislike cliffhangers. I think it depends on the kind and I really won’t know until I read it. Weird? I accept that. At any rate I was a few pages into the cliffhanger part of the ending when my copy expired. I’m ok with not knowing what the cliffhanger was.

Bonus Like: One of my Goodreads Friends had mentioned something about a snow globe in her comments/review of book one and the author actually included it in this book. It’s the little things, folks! You’ll need to read the book to know what I’m talking about.

I Didn’t Like So Much:

There is no doubt that the most interesting character in the series is Maryah. It’s not because the others are not, it’s because she is our reason for even beginning this journey. We want to know what the heck happened two decades ago. I’m freaking dying to see what Maryah can do if she ever retrieves all of Mary’s memories! We catch glimpses of Mary shining through and find out more about Mary’s role in the Kindrily. She’s a catalyst for many events and I want to know more! These were all exciting moments for me. Yet, I felt these moments came far and in between. I was a bit spoiled with the last book where something was happening at all moments.

A momentum was created with GAE and it was lost a bit in TBF.

Overall, I am still a fan. I literally can’t stop thinking about this series because it’s truly that unique and that magical for me. I can’t wait to introduce this series to my kiddies.

Thank you very much Netgalley, Starry Sky Publishing and the very nice and talented Karen Amanda Hooper for providing an arc for review.


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