Friday, November 25, 2011

A Love that Spans Lifetimes

The Eternal Ones
Have you ever felt like you knew someone all your life even though you just met them? Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you know things you don't understand how you could know? Then maybe you are remembering a past life, the same way Haven Moore did all her life. In The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller, you will be witness to generations of love, hate, and obsession. 

Haven grew up in Snope City, Tennessee with her crazy, religious grandmother who is convinced Haven is possessed by a demon the same way Haven's father was before he died in a car crash with his mistress. Haven has always planned to escape Snope City as soon as possible with her best friend, Beau, but she is haunted by memories of a life she hasn't lived. When she faints in and has another vision, her grandmother refuses to let her go to college in the fall. After their house burns to the ground, everyone is convinced Haven was the culprit. No one wants to listen haven when she tells them she saw a strange man set her room on fire just before he lit her bedroom on fire. She knows she has to get to the bottom of the visions, and the only place to do that is New York City where the Ouroboros Society is- the same group that her father researched when he believed his daughter's talk of a former live and love was proof of reincarnation.

As soon as Haven gets to NYC, she realizes the Ouroboros Society (OS) is more than just a safe place for people who remember past lives- it is a complex, corrupt group that control people through debts and loans of more than just money. When she finds Ethan- now Iain Morrow- she knows she was meant to be with him. This life, last life, scores of lives before, they have belonged together. But the OS and the people involved in it want to come between Haven and Iain in any way possible, including convincing Haven that Iain murdered her in a previous life. Can she trust the man she loves unconditionally? Are these people really trying to protect her or exploit her? Who really did murder her in her most recent past life? 

Reincarnation is a topic rarely discussed in YA stories. It was in Lauren Kate's Fallen series and a few others, but only as a side note to bigger themes. This is the first book I have read where it plays the signature role in the plot. I was a little worried it wouldn't be enough to sustain a full-length novel, but Miller has made enough twists and turns, such as the Ouroboros Society, where the story was full and interesting and captivating. My one complaint would be the main character, Haven. At first, I loved Haven, but she quickly became annoying once she went to New York. She seemed too gullible to me, especially considering the strong character she was at home. When she was battling her uber-religious grandmother, she was hilarious. But in NY she believed everything everyone told her. First she believed Iain loved her, then she believed he was a murderer because someone she had never met told her so. Then she loved him again, then someone told her he was a bad man and she was cleaning the toilet with his toothbrush. Forgive him, hate him, forgive him, hate him. I hated how gullible and back and forth she was. I wanted her to really love and trust him or be completely skeptical- not change her mind on an hourly basis. 

Otherwise, this was a very interesting book. There was, clearly, a lot of history and the OS was an interesting twist. In fact, it was pretty cult-like. I imagine this would be a good book for a strong middle-school reader through high school readers. The love story started out as the premise for the entire book, but it was actually not as central to the story as they made it out to be. I think it might take a bigger role in the next book, so I am anxious to see where Miller goes with it!

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