Our Souls to Keep by Gary A. Caruso (4 Stars)

I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own.

When I first started reading this book I didn’t like the cover. I kept missing part of the image that is there because my eyes were drawn to the swirl tattoo on the hand at the bottom of the cover. I stared at the cover right after finishing the book and saw what I was missing. There are two hands reaching for each other, one from above and one from below. For some reason I couldn’t see the hand from above.

I kept thinking while reading the book how weird it was that all the cover showed was a hand reaching up. It’s young adult and contains a love story so my brain kept thinking why only one hand on the cover? I also kept thinking I really want to see what the main characters look like. But in the end once I finally saw that there were two hands desperately reaching for each other it made complete sense.

Missing an important part of the cover isn’t so different from my own life. I can look anywhere and see what is being touched by and corrupted by the hand from below but it takes a longer look to see what is touched by the hand from above. I don’t mean that in the way of trying to think positive. I mean it in the way of it’s easy to look only at the surface of anything and see the flaws, but it takes patience and time to look deeper and see the beauty.

This story was furiously paced and filled with one emergency after another. It was strongly religious without being preachy or trying to push one side more than the other. I think when something is too in your face and seems like propaganda the real message can be lost, which isn’t the case with this story. I would not have wanted to read it if it was. I am still struggling with figuring out what I believe and I don’t want to curl up and relax with a book that crams one side of the coin down my throat.

It isn’t perfect, but I’ve learned that even the most seasoned writers have errors. That is distressing for me, but at the same time it adds the an unintended human element as if to say “I’m brilliant, but I make mistakes too.”

I enjoyed the story from beginning to end. Some of it was wildly unbelievable and some so wild I wished it was true. That is the fun in writing (and reading) a work of fiction, anything can happen regardless of if it follows the laws of nature as we understand them to be.

For as long as we know it there has been a battle raging between heaven and hell. We can’t see it, but on most days it sure seems like you can feel it. At one point there might have been peace, before Satan was cast out of Heaven that is. This story combines that rift along with the element of humans living between and being the picking grounds for both Heaven and Hell.

It is believable in the sense that what if something happened and we could somehow magically see past the veil that is between what we can see on our normal plane of existence AND what is beyond it. For example, there is much talk of Angels and Demons and souls. Some people even claim to have been able to see them when in a near death situation. But what if you were just walking along and suddenly could see it all?

I don’t think we could mentally process it, but this book doesn’t let you take the time to think about that. It pulls you in behind the veil and shoves you on the path of the story with no time to think about how it isn’t possible. It just is.

As an added fun fact, if anyone has seen the tv show Reaper, I envisioned the Satan in this story to be like Satan in that show. That might not do anything for you, but it tickled me.

I don’t want to spoil any specifics about what happens or just repeat what you can read from the blurb about the book. What I can say is if you are looking for an interesting take on how close we could possibly be to the other side of the veil without knowing it, this is a really great story to explore that with. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror or suspense, light romance, humor, teenage angst, and some crazy twists. I hope there is a sequel because I would most definitely read it.


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