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{May 30, 2013}   {ARC Review} Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper (Kindrily #2)

14062069From Goodreads:   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.

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

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This second novel in the Kindrily Series picks up just a few days after the first novel, Grasping at Eternity, ends, which is great for readers who are continuing the series without a huge lapse between readings.  However, for those who haven’t read the first novel in quite some time, I highly suggest refamilarizing yourself with the cast of characters and the ending plotline, because there are a ton of characters to keep track of, and things move very quickly in this sequel. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this novel piqued my interest even more so than the first—Hooper’s characters are more refined and now that Maryah remembers pieces of her past life, mainly, Nathan, the novel dives even deeper into the romantic side of the story, which made me very happy.  Gone are the wishy-washy ways of Nathan and Maryah as they tip-toe around one another (which heavily irked me in the first novel), and instead we see these two characters develop together, pulling the reader deep into their mix and, honestly, making us feel like a part of the story. 

This novel, like the last, ends on a happy note, though fear and sadness are present throughout; however, if you’re like me, then you won’t’ be able to wait for more, and Hooper delivers in a rather awesome way.  At the very end of the novel, Hooper tells readers that she couldn’t decide where to end the novel, because some readers like cliffhangers, and some don’t, so she does something I found rather remarkable: she lets the reader choose.  The novel has technically concluded, BUT, if the reader so chooses, they may turn a few pages after the conclusion and note from the author and continue the story, which ends with a pretty epic cliffhanger, even if it was heavily foreshadowed throughout the last 1/5 of the novel.  I highly suggest reading it—it will leave you screaming for more!

I also really enjoyed learning even more about the kindrily gifts each member of the kindrily possessed, and the novel itself reads like a classic journey story, which was fantastic.  Like I previously stated, I liked the characters much more in this novel, and I felt much deeper connections to them, and even days after finishing the novel, I still have thoughts about the characters and their plights, as if I’m a part of their world.  

My one concern with the series, however, is that every time the novel seems to take a turn of the worse, it seems that Hopper quickly squelches it and makes the heroes and heroines come out on top fairly quickly, which isn’t bad, by any means, but I’d like to see a little more adversity between the members and the evil they are fighting—especially because I still don’t know all that much about him.  Four stars.    

4 stars

All Night Reads and Starry Sky Publishing have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, vian Netgalley, prior to its publication tomorrow, May 31.
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