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on 3 December 2012
First of all, let me clarify something: I'm giving this book 5 cheeses but, if I could I would put six or seven. That's how amazing it was.
And I'm afraid I won't be able to write coherent things in this review and that the only thing you are going to keep reading in every single line is that I LOVED this book.

But I promise I'm trying to take deep breaths to calm myself down.
I think it's working. Now I have to put order in my head (to many things I want to say, sorry).

Facts:
- Since I discovered how to highlight quotes in my readers I've been doing so a lot. But with this book I didn't highlight quotes, at all, I kept highlighting paragraphs, PAGES. Really. I was completely amazed too, they are 94 highlights in total!
- I started with Incarnate at 10:00pm and I went to sleep at 8:00am (after my hubby left). I had already finished the book at 6:00am but I couldn't stop myself, I needed to re-read the quotes, paragraphs and pages I had marked.
- I even had a dream about the book.
- I should be writing 3 reviews before this one but I had to share this book with you all.
- Jodi Meadow is now in my list of Amazing-Wonderful-Incredible Authors.
- Incarnate, the hardcover edition, will have a special place in my bookshelf.
- I can't believe I have to wait until 2013 for the next book. That's just wrong...

Proper review:
Everybody was expecting Ciana to be born. That how things worked: once you died you were reborn again, over and over again. No surprises, no new souls, everybody knew that after a lifetime they would gain another one remembering everything that had happened before (and if they couldn't remember something they had the diaries they always wrote).
Things had being like that for the last five thousand years.
That's why when Li gave birth to a baby no one could recognize their perfect world crumbled down. Menehem, Li's husband, left the city ashamed of himself and Li had to take care of Ana, the new baby, the nosoul, even if she didn't want to.

And Ana always knew, thanks to Li, that her life was a mistake and that no one would ever love her. Li even assured her that she could never love because how could a nosoul feel love?! But she was wrong and Ana knew, deep down, that she loved music (she had once sneaked out and listened to music. It had cost her Li's rage but it was worth it). Her favorite musician? Dossam, who could make her feel emotions she didn't even understand.

As soon as Ana reached eighteen she left Li behind and marched to Heart, the city that held, hopefully, all the answers she sought.
But her trip to Heart almost cost her everything when sylphs cornered her: she coud die a horrible death with fire and pain with the sylphs or jump to the river and die of hypothermia.
She chose hypothermia (who wouldn't?!).

It was then that Sam saved her. A stranger that didn't look at her with disgust, a stranger that decided to help her get to Heart, a stranger that introduced her to new people who liked her. He shared his roof with her and always reassured her that she was a newsoul, not a nosoul.

But things in Heart weren't easy for her, of course. How could they be? A lot of the population blamed Ana for Ciana's death and were afraid that more "nosouls" would be born and replace some of them in the process.
And to make matters worst Li was back in town and the Council was considering to give her Ana's custody again...

Personal opinion:
The way Jodi writes is mesmerizing, you won't be able to put the book down. The words will flow from the pages to your head and create the whole story for your eyes to see. When Ana struggled I struggled, when she discovered new things I discovered new things with her. Her feelings were one with mine and it felt incredibly good.

The way Sam and Ana's relationship develops is just perfect. No rushing at all, just what she needed and what he could give her in every step they took. I valued their friendship like a treasure and I'm sure you will feel the same.

The ending is just great, everything happens fast but well explained and the plot reaches the point where you feel at ease when your eyes read the last sentence.

Now, as I said, the next book comes out in 2013 but if it's any consolation this book doesn't leave you in a cliffhanger that could make you cry, it leaves the story in a good point making sure that you will want to read the next one.
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on 7 July 2013
I did truly adore this novel. The cover is stunning and so is the story inside.

The world which Meadows created was beautiful and so far from the truth of reality yet it seemed so very real. I felt as though dragons, sylph and reincarnation actually existed as I read my way from cover to cover; I was so absorbed in this world.

Ana (our protagonist) was a character I adored from the first sentence and she continued to grow on me throughout the duration of the novel. She was as new to herself as she was to us; we knew everything she did and the best part was that we learnt it all with her - who she was, what she liked, why she existed and more importantly, who to trust. Meadows showed us all of this, she didn't tell us - this I liked.

Another character who I (and you will) love is Sam. He is so perfect, yet so flawed. He seemed so real throughout the book, so human. He was a lovable character and a great asset to the story.

The only issue I had with characters was that I think Meadows introduced us to too many members of the 'council' in one go so that I forgot who was who for a while. Only a few members were relevant characters yet all these names were thrown at us. This was ONLY a tiny issue, do not let this put you off the novel! You will not get confused about who is who with any main characters, I promise!

The relationships in this novel were more realistic than in a lot of YA reads these days as friendships were tested and emotions were used as weapons as well as comfort. The relationship between Ana and sam developed well throughout the story - they were each other's lifelines but also each was the other's greatest weakness.

I love the plot, the characters, the writing (the cover!) and everything else about this novel. It was well thought-out and beautifully written. I loved it so much that I've picked out a few of my favourite quotes! (I couldn't include all as they wouldn't have made sense out of context.)

1) "Honestly? I think people aren't sure it's worth getting to know you. It would be like you deciding if it was worth befriending a butterfly, even though it wouldn't be there in the morning."

2) I was the brushstroke that ruined the painting.

3) I was trapped, a butterfly under glass.

I loved this story as much as I'd hoped I would. I definitely recommend it and will certainly be picking myself up a copy of the sequel.
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on 2 August 2013
Wow, hats off to Jodi Meadows, if book 1 was great, Asunder has all the great and some more for good measure!

We are getting some answers finally, as Ana keeps going through her journey and more questions that only the inquisitiveness of the New Soul can raise. There are big issues dealt with in these books, the hate of those who are different, the dismissiveness of those who we consider inferior... all of that started in the first book, and it's taken into even higher stakes in here.

There's so much of Heart's story that we don't know about, and apparently not even their own inhabitants are aware of it! Anna's discover part of Janan's secrets, but still there's so much more to find out about, and the threat is bigger than ever!

And in the more personal level, Sam and Anna deal with more troubles in their relationship, dealing with their own issues and differences, and dealing with some external influences, all of it well wrapped in some amazing swooniness!

I just can't wait for book 3 and hopefully all the answers to the questions left and others that might come up in the last book itself!
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on 17 February 2012
I tend to stick to contemporary fiction more recently so Incarnate was a refreshing and different read for me. It had dragons, mysterious creatures called sylph and romance too, which I feel was developed well throughout the book. The masquerade ball was probably one of my favourite scenes in the book and the most memorable for me too.
A couple of things: Quite a few times in the book there would be dialogue between Ana and Sam and I couldn't work out who was talking, so had to read and go back again. Also, I would have liked a little more backstory and seen more of the dragons and descriptions of them.
Incarnate was an interesting read and I'm pretty sure I will be picking up the next in the series which hopefully will build on the world created in Incarnate. I would say it's definitely worth picking up.
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on 7 March 2012
In a world where each soul has lived a thousand lives, each soul knows each other. Everyone has many talents and life is like a never-ending circle once one body dies the soul is reborn into the next. The people fight dragons and protected them self from the shadow sylph.

Ana is the only new soul her body was meant for another soul but Ana's soul new and fresh was born. People hate her from being new going against what they believe in. Ana has sent the last 18 years with a mother who does not love her and in truth she makes Ana's life hell, and her dad went and left them when she was a baby. Now an adult Ana plains to leave and head for heart, she hopes to find answers to why she is different. Why was she born what happened to the other soul she has so many questions that need answers but things go horrible wrong? Sylph's come for her the day she leaves and ends up nearly drowning when Sam saves her, and together they make it safely to heart but the place is not welcoming people fear and hate Ana before she can find the truth someone tries to kill her and Ana and Sam are left in danger.

Ana is the main character the book follows in a world where everyone knows each other Ana really is the outcast the new un-useful soul. Now I really loved getting to know Ana she started off as a very guarded and untrusting character fearing that everyone hated her like her mother did. I felt that watching and learning how abusive her birth mother is to Ana helps you understand why Ana was the way she was. In a world where no one helped or saved Ana from this woman who got pleasure out of Ana's loneliness and upset. Over the course of the book, you watch Ana grow into a more powerful character, and you saw a whole new side of her that made her more loveable to the reader. Now Sam is another character you follow in the book and from the very first time I meet him. I could not help but love him. He showed Ana that people do care, and he was so kind and something I felt even though he lived some many times he was just as lost as any new soul.

The world the book was based in was like nothing I had read before the concept was brilliant with all the old souls and then introducing a fresh new soul really did suck the reading in. Then, there was the bonus of these wonderful creatures like dragons and sylphs that added this dark dangerous feel to the outside of heart. There was conflicted between some characters and the council of heart seemed to care more about keeping secrets than the well-being of their people the whole story was fantastic. . It was a beautiful world that the author thought up, but she added lots of danger and darkness that readers will love!

A magnificent start to a new series.
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on 1 August 2013
I was so excited when I found out that I won a signed ARC of this book from a contest on Jodi's blog as I adored the first book in the series! I have to start by saying that Jodi's writing is absolutely beautiful! I found myself captivated by her attention to detail and her descriptions in the book and her writing style is original and fresh which was amazing! I have to be honest and say that I did have to go back and actually re-read the last few chapters of Incarnate before I started reading Asunder to remind myself where Incarnate ended! I freaking loved this book though! It was an amazing sequel to Incarnate! The plot of Asunder was slightly confusing up until a certain point and then I couldn't put it down! I didn't have my own ideas about where the plot was going to go so I didn't really know what to expect but what I got exceeded my expectations and it blew me away! The plot continued on from Incarnate and some questions raised in the first book were answered as well! There was also lots of action in this book which I loved! I re-connected with the characters as soon as I started reading again as well! Ana in this book grew so much! I honestly wasn't expecting her to become as strong as she did but I loved her determination and her changes! I also loved that she stood up for herself and all the other newsouls! Sam in this book was amazing! I loved that he stood up for Ana and that he protected her! I also felt so sorry for him during a particular scene but I can't tell you which scene or it will give away a spoiler! Ana and Sam's relationship was slightly fragile at times during this book but they always found a way to mend it back together and it was perfect! I also loved their relationship development! I really enjoyed the new characters introduced in Asunder as they brought so much to the story as well! I am really looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book in the series and the cover is absolutely stunning and it goes amazingly well with the cover for Incarnate! Big thank you to Jodi for sending me my signed copy of Asunder!
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on 16 December 2012
I loved this book! It blew my mind but I have to be honest and say though that I did find the first few chapters quite confusing until about the fifth chapter! After that I couldn't put it down! The plot was so original and unique! I haven't read anything like it before and that is one of the reasons that I loved it! The plot focuses on reincarnation which I actually haven't read in a book before so I was a little optimistic about this book but I was soon shown that Incarnate is in a world of its own! There were some action scenes in this book which also left me on the edge of my seat as well! The characters were also amazing! Ana is sort of an outcast as she is a nosoul and this made me feel so sorry for her! I thought that she was brave and amazingly strong! Sam was the love interest of Ana and I loved that he treated her like he did everyone else! He was also so hot and protective of Ana! Sam and Ana as a couple were amazing!They protected each other and worked together! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series and the cover is perfect for the book!

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on 2 March 2012
This book has such a unique premise and raises such interesting questions such as, "How can anybody live if nobody can die? (@lord_voldemort7)" but I feel like they're never really explored. A good portion of this book is based around Ana and her relationship with Sam. I liked Ana and Sam a lot and it would have been great if it was the side story. However, it's not and it's much of the driving point of the story until the end, where plot finally moves forward. Their relationship is based on misunderstandings and one of those pesky moral dilemmas. I enjoyed them friends but as something more, I wasn't as interested because I felt like the age gap was dominant. Although they are physically the same age, Sam has lived longer so he takes on the role of the mentor for Ana and that emotional disconnect was jarring for me.

Ana was the strongest part of the story for me, she's been berated and so unloved her whole life that it broke my heart within the first pages. Her mother felt more like one of those wicked stepmothers in fairy tales to me because of the lack of maternal instinct. I still can't wrap my mind around that Li was her biological mother. I just wanted to hug Ana and assure her she is a great person and worth living for. The isolation Ana felt is so immense, she is literally alone and new in her world because everyone else has been living forever and known each other. Can you imagine that crippling loneliness with the ostracization from society on top of that? I enjoyed seeing her progression from being suspicious and guarded (with good reason!) to be more open and sure of herself. Much of that can be attributed to Sam, which I really appreciate him for. I'm still not sure why he was so nice to her (like Ana, I was suspicious but no ulterior motives were revealed so it can be assumed he's just really a Good Person) but he gave her what she never had: love.

I'm interested to see where this series takes off because I think it's a pretty good start. The characters and the settings are set up in this so I hope to see more of the plot and questions explored in the next one. Incarnate is a book that I think is worth trying out!
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