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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Harmony is a student at the best school ever known. It teaches life lessons and experiences. This school is known as Earth. Class students are sent to experience different lives and learn from them. But while they are there, they don't know any of this; they are simply living. This absence of recollection is thanks to the barrier. It keeps their real life separate from their class life. Harmony, however, has found a way to bring thoughts back with her, subtle things like a suggestion. When she shares her method with the class, and she is asked to prove it, something strange begins to happen. A string of accidental deaths centering around the experiment cause herself and Kaleb to die repeatedly as their paths collide. Is this a result of the experiment, or is there something more to these strange events?
Enlightened by Billie Kowalewski is a fascinating read. I loved how this book gave a possible explanation for past life memory in our world and gave a brilliant purpose to reincarnation. The thought that we are each on Earth to learn something and return to a more whole being, who is a sum of all our experiences, is something I have encountered before, but it has been rarely executed in fiction and never in this manner. I loved the characters; they were complex, deep, and real. Each one faces their own challenges on both Earth and in their reality. The bonds and relationships are well developed, and it is evident a lot of hard work and consideration has been involved in ensuring the story flows seamlessly. It has been well executed, especially since it covers Harmony's multiple lives and deaths, and is done in such a manner that it remains clear and concise. This is aided by the alternating narrative, from Harmony addressing the reader personally to her recounting the tales of her experience. Romance, tension, questions, and frustrations are enhanced by the journey of friendship and discovery in this compelling tale. I will certainly be interested to see where book two leads in this series.