I am extremely disappointed with this book It held so much promise with the story of souls being reincarnated, dragons, sylphs, and a utopian society Doesn t that sound awesome And that cover It s simply gorgeous Well, you know that age old rule, Don t judge a book by its cover I should have listened to it Ana, our protagonist, lives in a world where once you die you come back reincarnated in another body Everyone always comes back, except on one night when the Temple flashes black and the soul, Ciana, dies Five years later a baby girl is born and everyone is expecting it to be Ciana Instead, Ana is born and is the first Newsoul Ana s father seemingly abandons his family, while her mother leaves the city, Heart, out of embarrassment Ana is kept away for eighteen years and mentally and physically abused by her mother, Li Li blames Ana for replacing Ciana and she along with others call her the Nosoul So, on Ana s eighteenth birthday she sets out to the city of Heart to find out why she was born That all sounds really interesting, right So, imagine my surprise when the majority of the book Ana isn t researching her past or digging into mysteries of the Temple, but instead playing the piano with the love interest, Sam Most of the book revolves around their relationship And while I really liked how it was not an insta love situation, it completely distracted the book from the actual plot In fact, you barely even know about any other characters besides Sam and Ana This book had a lot of potential and up until about 80% of the book, I was okay with giving this book 3 stars in hopes that the ending would save the rest of the book It did not.Let me break this down for you The Romance The entire book is the romance Do not let the blurb fool you Ana is rarely doing anything to find out about her past When she first leaves her mother s cottage she gets attacked by a Sylph and nearly drowns However, Sam, a thousand year old soul, just happens to be camping nearby and saves her From then on out their relationship consist of music lessons, almost kisses, and awkwardness It was clear that they did like each other, but it is not clear what the romantic conflict was Was it their age difference What the people of Heart might think about them It almost seems as if Meadows purposefully kept them apart just to add romantic tension because most of the time nothing is happening What really irked me was the choppy dialog between Sam and Ana Ana is always almost catching Sam s facial expression or too slow to see his true emotions Something flashed in his eyes, but I was too slow to fully see it.as well as a dozen other emotions flickering across his face too quickly to read His gaze stayed on mine, like there was something I was supposed to read in his expressionand when he glanced at me, some indecipherable expression crossed his face.He caressed the keys again, some strange expression crossing his face Or It was hard to tell I still couldn t interpret his expressions well.His expression was impossible to read in the dark.He closed his eyes and again, I wasn t fast enough to comprehend his expressions.He faced me again, but it was too dark to see the subtleties of his expressionAnd on and on it went Ana didn t know what was going on and neither did I For most of the book I remained in the dark about why Sam even liked Ana You like each other, I m not sure why, but I get it already They became so annoying that I just wanted to grab their little heads like so,and make them get it over with already.However, what really got me was how Ana just turned a blind eye to things Sam did When they first met he told her his birthday was the same day as hers, but later she finds out his birthday was a few weeks before hers I glanced at Sam he d said we shared a birthday, hadn t he Why would Meuric say something differentIndeed, Ana Why would he lie about that And she never confronts him about that Then when they get to Heart, Sam becomes Ana s guardian and teacher and resides in his house She notices that he sneaks out every night and never confronts him about it She often finds him talking about her behind her back and when she does confront him he pretty much says, I ll tell ya later UmmmWhhhaaaattt But he never actually tells her later So once again, I m lost Not to mention often times I couldn t even tell who was speaking due to choppy dialog The World Building or lack thereof We are told that there are one million souls that are reincarnated over and over when they die It is also mentioned that the Council monitors who can have children to not mess with the gene pool We aren t really told how this works and it bugged me the entire time I was reading It seems that the souls are asexual beings that can come back as male or female each lifetime So, I guess you could be Billy s mom in one lifetime and 10 lifetimes down the road Billy might be your mom Except by then, Billy would be a Susie And perhaps in the next lifetime she s your lover Sam has a best friend that is his sometimes lover Sam owns women s clothes because he has been a woman in other lifetimes and he lends these clothes to Ana to wear For whatever reason, this seemed awkward to me There was also the question of where the other people who didn t reside in Heart live We are led to believe living outside of Heart is very dangerous because of the dragons, sylph, ect so how are they surviving Is Janan their god What s up with the Temple There just didn t seem to be any rules to this universe Can we say, Back to the drawing board The Plot and The Ending Where was it exactly I should not be flipping through the pages wondering when the climax will hit One minute Sam and Ana are finally proclaiming their feelings and the next minute dragons are attacking the city So much time is focused on their relationship that I actually forgot her original reason for coming to Heart Hell, it sure seemed like Ana forgot And when we finally discover why she was born and Ciana wasn t reincarnated, I m like, That s it That s your big reveal The ending just seemed like it was thrown together it an attempt to make me worry for the character s lives And I didn t shurgs They all could have been eaten by dragons for all I cared by the end sigh I haven t been this disappointed in a book since Wildefire and the only reason why this book gets two stars instead of one is because it was interesting and the premise kept me turning pages in hopes that it would live up to the blurb I will read the next book in the series, but for now it resides on my, you re on probation shelf An ARC was received from the publishers for reviewing purposes This review expresses my honest opinion of the book.More reviews at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. With a cover as pretty as that you d think this book would be dramatic, but unfortunately very little seems to happen for the majority of the novel The story consists of Ana attempting to discover why she is a Newsoul and managing to fall in love along the way You see, in this utopian world every soul is reincarnated into a new body once they die, this has continued on and on for thousands of years Each time a baby is born, they search for a match in the soul database to find out which individual has returned until Ana Ana s soul didn t have a match, and at the time of her birth, the soul of another disappeared from the database In a world where everyone has known everyone for thousands of years, being responsible for a soul disappearing leaves Ana an outcast, abandoned by her father and mistreated by her mother because of it One day, she sets out to discover why.As much as I like the change from the typical dystopian setting, a utopia is difficult because nothing particularly bad happens and the novel lacks excitement because of it The story concentrates on Ana s relationship with Sam I found the focus on music and dancing for which they both share a passion to be very dull, this would probably not be the case if I was a big fan of playing instruments and ballroom dancing as I am not, however, I almost fell asleep during these scenes I would have also liked a better explanation as to why Sam s opinion of Ana differs so greatly from everyone else s even when he has only just met her He constantly tells her that she deserves to live her life to the full and enjoy it, whereas everyone else seems to believe that her life is worthless because she is unlikely to be reborn Isn t it too big a coincidence that she happens to run into a handsome young guy who also happens to be okay with who she is It seems every young adult heroine must meet that one guy that is completely different from all the rest.I also have some problems with this whole reincarnation thing I m guessing that their must be some incest going on if they ve been reborn so many times, isn t it also possible to give birth to your grandparents Weird And if you are with someone in one life e.g married are you just supposed to find someone else even though you retain all your memories of your past lives That doesn t seem right, and yet you would be a completely different person biologically, there s even a chance you could end up being siblings Imagine your husband or wife being reborn as your brother or sister too strange And perhaps I missed the answer but it wasn t clear if I did if people remember their past lives, are babies born intelligent On top of that, the changing genders issue also seemed kind of weird to me Now, you have to be careful with the subject of gender, I mean, what is gender after all Isn t it just the effect of primary socialisation on our behaviour It could be And I suppose having souls that are genderless is one way of getting rid of inequalities, I quite like reading books that explore the idea of one gender or being genderless But, here s what s weird, and it s all to do with the reincarnation thing again at one point in the novel, Ana looks at a photograph of Sam when he was a woman in a past life, and she is jealous because he fills out a dress better than her I m trying to wrap my head around what it would be like to be jealous of your boyfriend because his curves look good in a dress Bizarre.Incarnate really could have been good It could have explored interesting ideas like the possibility of reincarnation and the nature of the soul It could have served as an important reminder that we have one life to live and that we need to make the most of it It could have, but it didn t. A gorgeous YA utopian tale Nope, not dystopian Do you know the difference This book blew me away with a Masquerade Ball, reincarnation, slyph, dragons, music, souls, butterfly, slow burn romance, tension, laser pistols, massive library, war stories, dragon battles Need I go on I mean Wow.I read this in a flurry of addiction I just couldn t get enough of the world and it s goings ons Completely entrancing. The Rundown Ana was born into a society of a million souls A million souls who have known each other in various forms for thousands of years They reincarnate into a new body every time they die Except for when Ana was born When Ana was born, they were expecting one of their own, someone named Ciana, who was now lost forever Ana s mother hates her for taking the place of Ciana and is ashamed, so she moves her new baby outside the city and locks her away from all the others Now, Ana is eighteen and on a quest to the city of Heart to find out about her birth and Ciana s disappearance Will she find the answers she seeks The Writing The author s prose has a very subtle lyricism, and the underlying message of this book seemed to be one of peace and hope for the future, which is a happy change from bleak and desolate outcomes of some recent dystopian fiction.The main character, Ana, gets things done The questions Ana posed to herself in her head were realistic and it was refreshing to have a character who asks questions and goes against the grain instead of settling for everyone else knows best The love interest, Sam, was complex, intriguing and a hottie The romance developed at a GASP realistic pace, so than most paranormal YA It wasn t all You looked at me like you LIKE me, so LETSBETOGETHERFOREVER I was afraid that it would feel cardboard or manufactured like some recent YA romances have But it didn t It felt natural and ended up being higher tension and surprisingly steamier than I had imagined for such a PG book.Although few and far between, there were some unobtrusive religious, or possibly even anti religious, undertones The thing was that I couldn t tell I couldn t see an agenda hidden behind the words and I appreciate that These undertones were woven in delicately and did not overwhelm the world or the characters It seemed to be about raising the questions, instead of forcing an answer on you.Should you believe in something you can t see That s one of the questions it raises Novels should be able to raise questions without imposing the author s answers onto on unsuspecting readers Books should make you think and learn and discover the answers for yourselves I felt this one did that pitch perfectly.One complaint I do have, however, is the lack of dialog tags oftentimes, it was necessary to reread passages over and over to figure out who was saying what But that might just be my ADD talking sings It s the FINAL COUNTDOWN Doodoodoo. Wait, what was I saying The World Building A fresh and unique twist on the mythology of reincarnation Finally It is handled beautifully and seems intensely creative But I want I m so excited to learn from the next books in the series.In actuality, there are SO many interesting things you could do with this society What if the same couple had been together for ten lifetimes but in the next, one just isn t attracted at ALL to the other Oh, the scandal Even though I love the reincarnation concept used by Jodi Meadows, it still weirds me out a bit Statistically someone who had been your lover in a past life could end up being your parent in the next.or vice versa shudder In general, I still have so many questions about the world building It was exciting and unique, but I wanted details More answers.But I guess we don t know everything about even our favorite mythologies Like what the hell are midichlorians besides bacteria and how do they work And WHY can t Darth Vader teleport I mean, if the Weasley Twins can do it, why can t the original Dark Lord do it Regardless, I LOVED Incarnate I inhaled it This is definitely of a 4.5, but it could have been a 5 if the ending had been dynamic.I was expecting something emotionally heart wrenching Break my heart into pieces and then put them back together just in time for the last sentence Give us a huge reveal, answers, something epic, something shocking, something weep worthy However, it just didn t quite do that for me, but I m hoping that the next books in the series will.Keep in mind that this is a series The story comes off at times as a mish mash of genres and ideas So if you are for streamlined world building and definitive answers, you might wait on this one I m hoping all is explained in the upcoming books but even I still have MANY questions.I CANNOT WAIT to read the sequels Just look at this word cloud How can a book with this word cloud NOT be awesome There s only one thing it needs NINJAS Because if I had lived for over 5000 years already, I would definitely have learned to be a ninja by now.This review is also posted on my blog Strange. Incarnate had such an interesting premise that I rushed to request the ARC The concept of a society of people constantly reincarnating and being reborn to each other was too good to pass up Blue Bloods had a poor crack at it and I hoped Incarnate would fare better Alas, no What Incarnate had the opportunity of doing was taking philosophy by the horns and riding that bull like a cowboy at a rodeo Instead, incarnate chose Philosophy Bull s friend, Philosophy Show Pony and skipped along very slowly and sweetly to Romance Ranch There it stayed, refusing to budge from it s very comfortable stall until the last thirty pages where it promptly collapsed in a fit of seizures and died I can only hope Meadow s next book in the series won t be beating a dead horse.One could reasonably argue that this is just YA literature and perhaps I was expecting too much However, I think that s not crediting teenagers with enough A book such as Incarnate has the opportunity to reflect on our society in so many ways, to do so much How does possession change when no one really dies How does parenting change when babies are really just miniature adults waiting to get back to their own lives How does society change Is there really murder and would it even be a big deal What about debt What happens if you can t die to escape that What does it do to a psyche to die and be reborn constantly Over time you will have probably given birth to, married, or been parented by almost everyone you know How does that change the way you see people These questions are only very briefly looked at and none are truly answered in any satisfactory way Instead, the world of Incarnate is eerily like our own with only a few minor changes to the facade This is not meant to imply that Meadows is a bad author What she does do, she does well The focus in the novel is heavily situated on the romance It s a very sweet, endearing romance and the characters are lovely Yet, if I d wanted a cutsie romance then I have chicken soup for the soul for that No, Meadow can write well with lovely descriptions and sweet romantic talk and tense, dramatic, emotional scenes If I were to sum up her writing style and JUST the romantic aspects of this book, I would say lovely.But this book looked to be than just a YA romance and in that it failed The mystery was flirted with occasionally but otherwise forgotten until the very end, there was almost no action or suspense to speak of outside the very beginning and very end Some characters were contradictory and nonsensical, some plot elements just didn t fit, etc Mostly, where the book failed is that I have no interest in reading any of this series I ve read my fill of chaste kisses, reluctant love, obstacles to affection, with a cursory nod at plot that only advances at a snails pace amid so much potential That s all this book was and I currently don t see any potential for the series to be anything than that Thus I have no intention at the moment of reading this book s incarnate.You can read this review on my blog Can you say disappointment I haven t been this bummed by a book in ages The cover was just too beautiful to resist and the premise was one of the most intriguing things I ve seen all year But, nope It was all aesthetics and nothing else On an aside note The cover totally reminds me of this And this ANYWAY Let s get on with the real review shall we By gods, this book was such a slow torturous read I wanted some awesome worldbuilding with an astounding fresh twist on reincarnation and what not because well, this plot premise is like a rare bird about to go extinct and there s only five left of them in the wild Instead all I got was a lot of sappy romance and major angsting You know that whole figuring out the origins of her existence bit Totally doesn t happen Everything is glossed over and forgotten about to make room for the sickening romance between Sam and Ana.Here s how the story basically goes Ana I hate you, you abusing woman Ima packing up mah shit and vacating, bitch Li Go ahead You too stupid anyway Ana attacked by some scary creatures and gets burned decides to jump off a cliff into a lake where she s rescued by Sam and taken to Heart.Ana OMG, everyone HATES me I m telling you You hate me, yo neighbor hates me, the council hates me, heck even that woman who looked at me funny in the street HATES me I bet they re plotting my demise right now Sam Surely, you must be mistaken No one hates you You re just different Ana Oh no, they definitely hate me, just like I hate MAHSELF Look at me wangst here in the corner like an idiot But that s okay because you make MUSIC that sings to my SOUL and I m like so in love DO ME NOW Sam This is highly inappropriate No, we shouldn t I shall refrain Ana WHY It s because you HATE me, isn t it I JUST WANT SOME HOT LOVING, WHY CAN T YOU GIVE IT TO ME Sam I thought you were trying to figure out your origins Ana Oh, yeah I remember doing that like NEVER Btw, yo big pillar of TALLNESS is totally messing up the feng shui of this place Sam Uh, yeah It does Stupid god guy dude who decided we should all be perpetually reincarnated s fault And, OMFG DID YOU SEE THAT DRAGONS OMG DRAGONS Those suckahs have it in for me They kill me all the time AHHH Lemme cry in my corner and be catatonic Ana HEY, I m a butterfly LOVE me I WANT YOU TO JUMP IN MAH PANTS Hold up Someone s trying to kill me, damn Totally killing my edge And so on and so forth This story Ridiculous I hated it I took forever to read this blasted thing It s all about their dumb romance and nothing There s some strange melding of sci fi and fantasy in here that doesn t really cohesively work I was expecting something deep but all I got was a story that was very shallow and superficial which didn t even delve into anything near that I wanted The writing s all right, though Not bad but certainly readable.I am so unhappy right now Ana is just too pathetic for my tastes Sorry for the nonsensical review, I just have no idea how to express myself LoL. I m lowering my rating down to 3 1 4This book is so bad it s good Didn t make any sense right My brain works in a weird way If it was so horrible, THEN WHY DID I LIKE IT I liked it because the writing pulled me in It s just a way Jodi Meadows wrote that sucked me in and made me forget how terrible everything else was Everything else was shitty AND I LIKED IT God damn it, I m going to try to explain my weird ass thinking This book is about a world where, when someone dies their souls are reincarnated into another body They have memories of their past lives and blah blah blah Ana is going to find out why she s different That s what the blurb says, BUT THEY LIED Instead of finding out why she s a nosoul, she lives with Sam and studies music and dancing and other stuff LIKE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON Here are some Pros I loved the whole concept about the souls even though at times I was so confused about it Like I ve never read a book about reincarnation and souls so it was a cool subject The writing This book was like a The Raven Boys situation The plot was pointless It made no sense with what the blurb said I couldn t care less about anything, but the characters The writing was beautiful It was dull and slow It felt solifeless The cons The main character was a whiny bitch who wouldn t shut the eff up about how pathetic her life was Alright I get it, you re a nosoul You re mother hates you and treats you like shit She tries to get you killed, but the fact that she continuously mentions stuff about how pitying her life was, was just getting annoying Also she was basically useless without Sam to guide her and help her Like she didn t even try to help herself for anything The lack of world building EXPLAIN TO ME ABOUT THE PROCESS OF REINCARNATION FOR THESE SOULS I still have a shitload of questions WHERE THE FUCK DID THE SYLPHS, DRONES AND DRAGONS COME FROM BITCH DESCRIBE THE CITY OF HEART A LITTLE BETTER Sam and Ana s relationship aka the romance It Was Terrible Boy saves pathetic girls life Girl doesn t want his help Boy won t leave her alone Girl gives in and starts to develop feelings for boy Boy becomes girls guardian. Boy has feelings and would do little romantic gestures but pretend nothing ever happened Girl wants to kiss boy but is afraid he doesn t like her BOY AND GIRL LIVE TOGETHER AND DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER BUT WON T FUCKING ADMIT THEY LIKE EACH OTHER AND FUCKING KISS AND I LOVED ALL OF IT PLEASE EXCUSE ME WHILE I READ THE NEXT BOOK.I can t believe I like this Read at your own risk fellow bookworms My review probably didn t even make any sense Oh well P Um Yeah I was rooting for the dragons to destroy everything by the end If you saw my status update or twitter thread, yes, there was one instance of unnecessary sizeism But that was the only one I noticed There were, however, a few knocks to Deafness, blindness, and mental illness Things like It was so loud even the Deaf could have heard it It came across as ignorance about disabilities rather than intentional malice But it was enough to notice.The relationship between Ana and her abusive mother was extremely unpleasant Ana s best alternative if she can t escape her mother is to die by suicide rather than tell anyone While abuse can definitely lead to suicidal thoughts, the book didn t explore or unpack it in a way to make this feel representative It felt flippant And the fact that none of the adults seemed to care about how the mother was abusing Ana was pretty infuriating.Then there s the romance It s the case of a 5,000 year old reincarnated into the body of an 18 year old in love with a n actual 18 year old I m not typically bothered by age differences in paranormal instances like that, but this on was pretty undesireable to me There was a huuuuuuge gap in knowledge and power between them so it seemed very unbalanced If this is a trope you don t like, maybe avoid this one because it s very strong here.The end got weird with the whole temple thing and I ended up feeling like I didn t know anything about what had happened or where the story was going I realized I had checked out during the last hour of the audiobook and upon finding out that the sequels aren t available to me on Overdrive, no tears were shed I didn t have much desire to continue on anyway.Audiobook review One of the most dreadful audiobooks I ve ever heard The narrator has a pleasant voice to listen to and she enunciates very clearly Her voice was very fitting for the main character, and the love interest s voice was fine too, but EVERY other character was read like the Wicked Witch of the West was doing a one woman play They all had this very croaky, shrill voice that didn t fit any of them I need to know the reason for this acting choice Really, just listen to an audio sample somewhere because it opens with a quote that she reads in this way though she pours it on thicker further into the book. Gah No no no no no NO What was this mess So there s this city, right Every person in that city is a reincarnated soul, right Except for this one girl, let s call her Bessie I forget her name , who is a new soul she was born in place of a to be reincarnated soul So everybody hates her, including her own mother So, the girl leaves home on her birthday to find out the truth behind her birth and what went wrong with the other soul, then runs into some shadow monster, then falls into a lake and gets rescued by this guy let s call him Bob And then they talk And talk And talk And talk About nothing In very stilted dialogues I started skipping pages after this Something something about a Heart, how Bessie thinks EVERYBODY hates her, how Bessie thinks there s something odd about Bob, but oh, she might be falling in love with himfollowed by something somethingold libraries, dragons, Bessie s Dad YAWN I stopped reading right about there And all this happens in the first 30 pages.In summation only because I want to post a gif of the beautiful, beautiful, Benedict Cumberbatch Stay away for your own good. New SoulAna Is New For Thousands Of Years In Range, A Million Souls Have Been Reincarnated Over And Over, Keeping Their Memories And Experiences From Previous Lifetimes When Ana Was Born, Another Soul Vanished, And No One Knows WhyNo SoulEven Ana S Own Mother Thinks She S A Nosoul, An Omen Of Worse Things To Come, And Has Kept Her Away From Society To Escape Her Seclusion And Learn Whether She Ll Be Reincarnated, Ana Travels To The City Of Heart, But Its Citizens Are Afraid Of What Her Presence Means When Dragons And Sylph Attack The City, Is Ana To Blame HeartSam Believes Ana S New Soul Is Good And Worthwhile When He Stands Up For Her, Their Relationship Blooms But Can He Love Someone Who May Live Only Once, And Will Ana S Enemies Human And Creature Alike Let Them Be Together Ana Needs To Uncover The Mistake That Gave Her Someone Else S Life, But Will Her Quest Threaten The Peace Of Heart And Destroy The Promise Of Reincarnation For All Jodi Meadows Expertly Weaves Soul Deep Romance, Fantasy, And Danger Into An Extraordinary Tale Of New Life Since I wrote this book, I admit my love of it is not an objective and unbiased love I would feel weird giving it stars.Since I did NOT make the cover, I have no qualms about telling you how much I adore it touches face looks dramatic People seem to really love the cover Yay If you were curious, I answered a few cover questions in an interview here.
I like books Reading them, writing, and admiring them as my bookshelves begin to bow Yes, I will accept your friend request I will probably not reply to private messages, though If you want me to respond, please send an email jodi.meadows at gmail dot com Why are my ratings either five stars or none I give five stars to books I m enthusiastic about and think everyone should read A lack o
- 374 pages
- Jodi Meadows
- 10 January 2017 Jodi Meadows