Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows

krismoon's review against another edition

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I really liked this YA- quite a few elements to this book, the most interesting to me was that all of the people had been reincarnated. You can tell Jodi Meadows really thought it through, and what it would mean to live over 300 times and remember it all.

emilymahar's review

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I absolutely LOVED Incarnate! From the beginning I found myself loving the main character, Ana. I loved her personality. From the moment that she meets Sam I loved her even more because she showed her stubborn side. Ana went through a TON in Incarnate and she really is a fighter. I also really liked Sam, of course. But who wouldn't? He's funny, smart, adorable, etc.

Along with all of the amazing characters, the story was so unique and so many different aspects that I loved, too. First there were sylphs - dark shadow things that can kill you with their burns. (For some reason I just kept picturing the dementors from Harry Potter...). Then there were DRAGONS! I loved how they were introduced into the story, and they added the danger aspect along with the sylphs! And of course there are the souls, who are really the main characters. I really liked how they were reincarnated into different bodies in different lives each time. It made it interesting when you learn about the different romances and relationships between the characters due to different physical appearances not going along with their real ages.

Overall, Incarnate was amazing and I couldn't put it down! I loved every bit of it, and can't wait to read Asunder!!
+ The cover is spectacular!

artsyreadergirl's review against another edition

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(Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl)

Do you ever read a book that leaves you thinking, "Ok, how on Earth am I supposed to go about reviewing that?" Don't get me wrong. I loved this book. Sometimes, though, I come across a book I love so much, that it leaves me wordless. Haha. This was one of them. I'm not sure exactly what it was that made me love it so much. Perhaps it was the sweeping, yet believable non-insta-love romance, the unique take on a utopian world, or the writing that I totally got. You know how sometimes your brain and an author's writing style just mesh, and you're writing in your mind the exact same story you're reading? Jodi just did everything right. She and I were on the same wavelength, and I totally got her. I'm not saying the book was predictable, because it totally wasn't. I'm saying that everything she wrote was exactly what I wanted. I got my romance, my mystery, my alternate world, my suspense, my excitement. Let's see if I can break this down for you in a way that makes sense. Haha. I'm really into putting my thoughts into numbered lists right now, so that's what I'm going to do. It works for me.

1. I really loved reading about Ana's journey to Heart. The very beginning of the book just sucked me in, and I was sold. It was suspenseful, and adventurous. It was also a great way to be introduced into this world. We're introduced to the sylph, which are vicious invisible fire breathers that burn anything in their path. Whoa.

2. And then we meet Sam. I LOVE SAM. He might just be one of my favorite YA male characters. Because he's been reincarnated so many times, he's extremely smart, talented, and mature. He's unbelievably caring and considerate. People in this world hate Ana because in order for her to be born, a person had to die and never be reincarnated again. Her birth was a complete mistake, and people resent her not only because she "stole" a life, but because they are worried that more people like her will be born in the future. Sam's totally not on board with their train of thought, though. He adores her and helps her figure out that she's worth so much more than her birth mother has been telling her her whole life. And he's musical. He made me melt a little.

3. I really enjoyed learning about Heart. The walls have a heartbeat. There's a mysterious temple with no doors that is so tall, you can't see the top of it. It's so huge that almost the entire human race lives there. Plus, it's been there since the beginning of time. The inhabitants of this place said they just stumbled upon it after being born the first time. They think it was given to them by their God, Janan (which is so close to my name. woot!), to protect them from the dangerous beasts of the world.

4. The Masquerade Ball is flat-out one of the most beautiful scenes in the book. The ball is held for two souls who have pledged their undying love for one another across all their incarnations, even if sometimes one of them happens to be 80 and the other one 5. Or... if they both happen to come back as members of the same gender. It's their souls that matter, not their bodies or age. So they celebrate this ceremony with a masquerade ball, where nobody knows who anyone is dressed as. The goal is for this couple to find each other anyway. What a beautiful underlying message of eternal love knowing no bounds. It's a breathtaking thought. And wow, this ball was sexy. I'll leave it at that!

5. The action and suspense! Dragons, Sylph, people out to kill Ana and Sam... SO exciting! I was flipping pages faster than I could read, and had to press the back button on my Kindle to go back. (Anyone else ever do that? Haha.)

6. Music was a HUGE part of this book. Sam's an amazing musician, and Ana connects with music on the same level I do. Music has always been one of the main elements of my life. It brings out such strong emotions and feelings in me. I connect with it on so many levels, just like she mentions throughout this story. I identified with her so much for this reason.

7. The lyrical writing was gorgeous, but not over the top or flowery. Like I said, I just got it. I don't want to give away too many details, because it's something you've got to experience on your own.

8. There were no hidden agendas in this book. There were points where the people seem to be very religious and devoted to their God, but this was not preachy at all. I didn't feel like anything was being shoved down my throat. There were also a few moments that could almost be identified as anti-religious, but again I didn't feel like the author was trying to sway me one way or another. Remember in my review of Halo when I said that a good author can write a religion without preaching it? This book, unlike Halo, was a good example of an author who handles it without trying to force someone to have an opinion. I really appreciated that.

9. The idea of reincarnation was handled in a very interesting way. These people live, they die. Then they are reincarnated into a new body (male or female) and come back as a grown human in a baby's body. They come out smart, and with all the memories of their previous lives. It's a very cool idea, and opens the door for many interesting and well-rounded characters. I loved it.

10. And... I just have to mention the cover. It's gorgeous. And unlike some book covers, this cover tells so much about the story itself. I'm not going to elaborate on this because I don't want to spoil anything, but I might just have to buy a hard copy of this book so I can own the cover. I'm a graphic designer, and I really appreciate art that is done for a better reason that to "just look pretty". This is one of the best examples I've seen of a cover that very subtly opens a window to the story. You'll understand what I mean once you read it.

All in all, read this book! It's new, it's fresh, it's romantic, and it's pretty much awesome. I can't wait for the next one!

(Wonder why I classified this as a utopia instead of a dystopia? A utopia is when the community or society is perfect or ideal, and there are no thoughts of running away or escaping. A dystopia is when the condition of that place is extremely bad or unpleasant.)


lizbethandthelifeinbetween's review

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Remind me to write a review if I don't come back to this.

tiareleine's review

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This book was... Interesting. I really can't decide if I liked it a lot. Maybe it's because I've been reading a lot of more serious books, and this one is a little more light-hearted, it didn't leave me with the same kind of impacted feeling as the last book I read (The Darkest Minds) but I still enjoyed it.

What I liked:
- Original plot. This is a good break from the usual YA fantasy plots. I'm getting real tired of fairies and angels and witches and etc. this book focused on people who were technically humans, but their souls were reincarnated whenever they died.

- Ana. She was a good character. I loved her curiosity, and that she didn't let the way her mom treated her crush her spirit.

- No love-triangle! I think that speaks for itself.

What I didn't like:
- the world building. It wasn't terrible, but I was a little bit confused sometimes. I had thought that they were some sort of fantasy creature, since the whole thing takes place in basically another world, but it turns out they're human.

- Lack of description. I like it when the author gives the reader some liberty on what the character looks like, but with this book I really had a hard time picturing any of them, because there wasn't much to go off of. Ana has red hair and was shorter than Sam... I'd imagined her as pretty tall until they said that. I don't remember anything about any other characters appearances. And I don't really understand what Sylph rare supposed to look like.

I do think that I liked it more than I dislike it, and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

milamabres's review

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hannahsophialin's review against another edition

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I forgot all about Incarnate until I decided I was going to go through my TBR list on Goodreads and see if the book was available at the county library's ebook loan. My results of many failures?
Strange Angels wasn't available. But they have all the other books in the series.

1. I'm still waiting for 4 others to read Dorothy Must Die
2. I wasn't in the mood to read the sequel to Paranormalcy, but Mind Games wasn't available and I prefer jumping on one hold at a time. Apparently the same goes for Dualed.
3. Some of the books don't even EXIST in the ebook loan, and especially indie books. Unless, of course, you're a local author and you're recommended enough. Lucky you, Indie Missourians.
4. I was actually warned about Incarnate by Lupe, but let me just clarify she didn't have any influence whatsoever. Aside from predicting if I would like the book or not, and it's so accurate, it's really creepy.

I originally thought I would get Incarnate out of the way. After all, it was on my TBR, the ebook library had it available currently – unlike some peeps who just DON'T RETURN BOOKS – and it just seemed interesting.

Immortality and reincarnation for over 5000 years? If that were true, perhaps Bookwyrming Thoughts would be around for thousands of years! Passing from different hand to different hand... sort of. The ability to check who you were in your past lives? That would be awesome technology. Wouldn't it be weird if Hitler was reborn as someone really nice? Or maybe if Lupe and I were really siblings who were addicted to reading in our past lives? That would actually be cool. It'll explain why she's so intuitive about the books I read. Oddball who's apparently born as a new soul but accused of not having a soul and therefore YOLO? Interesting... wonder how that plays out.

Thus the last rhetorical question goes by the name of Ana, who's apparently shunned and ignored by the rest of the world because she doesn't have any awesome past memories to talk about. When she turns eighteen, she decides to leave and go to the City of Heart – really, that's what the city is named. Heart. – to find out WHY she didn't have a past life.

Sounds interesting, right? Wrong. The book was quite dull. Or maybe I was just tired, but that doesn't explain why I managed to finish up Remembrance by Michelle Madow and really enjoyed it. Or perhaps I just wasn't in the mood and Incarnate took the blunt of the blow, which isn't exactly true because I actually cherish the not inkly printed word (aka ebooks).

It honestly was boring. What I read in a nutshell, which was actually just a fifth of the book:

~ Ana leaves – great!
~ She jumps into a lake to get away from these evil air spirits called sylphs and gets rescued by this guy named Sam – okay?
~ He welcomes her and they travel together. Then she gets attacked by sylphs again and her whole hand gets burned – fantastic baby. And I mean the kpop song by BigBang.
~ She can't do much with her hands, so Sam has to assist her. Apparently they run out of painkillers and gauze,so the dude has to go to her old home just to get some. He returns with honey and they sit around to enjoy the sweet treat – way too sweet for me if I get a lot. FYI, I don't like vanilla frosting, but I like chocolate frosting. Why? – while telling stories.
~ Ana's basically depressed all the time – "OMG, I had this sucky life! And now it sucks even more!" She's so depressing, even I became depressed.
That was just a snooze fest for me. I mean, sure, she's trying to find out what happened to Ciana, which is what everyone expects her to be, but she isn't. The thing is, if there's anything interesting going on, it certainly hasn't caught my attention. Or it's later in the book, which I am obviously not planning on going to because I returned this book as soon as I was able to.

Incarnate certainly seemed promising though – I just think Jodi Meadows should work on Ana a bit more and the plot development. There needs to be more spice. The cover, on the other hand, needs no spice. It's GORGEOUS!
Original Review posted over at Bookwyrming Thoughts

the_cover_contessa's review

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When I first started reading this book, I was sure that I would not like it. I found it a bit confusing and couldn't understand what was happening. But by the third or fourth chapter I was hooked. I really enjoyed how the author intermingled the sci-fi/urban fiction/dystopian genre with the mythological genre. It was so different. The main female character was very well developed, although I do wish she was stronger. I can see that this might be something the author continues to develop with the next book. I didn't want to put it down, so it must have been at least likeable! LOL! I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys these types of genres, again, not sure exactly where it falls. I do look forward to the next book in this series.

lpcoolgirl's review

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Oh, loved rereading this book! So good, so amazing, yeah, can't wait to reread more!!!

*First read April 11th, 2012*
Oh, awesome book! It was a mystery of why Ana was born, and what happened to the soul that she might have replaced, and a romance that was so good, and a great plot and characters! Loved it! Can't wait for book 2!

mercyblue's review

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Star rating: 3.5 stars

As the first Newsoul born in 5,000 years, Ana has always felt like a complete outcast. Raised on the fringes of society by a horrendous mother, Ana has only ever known cruelty and derision. Millions of souls have been reborn generation after generation, why is she new? What is so special about her? Or was she just a huge mistake? Ana only knows one thing: She must travel from the only home shes ever known to the capital of Heart to try and make sense of her existence.

This novel constantly tore me in opposing directions with each chapter. The meat of this story is just so fascinating. What would society be like if our souls were reincarnated after we died? Not just reincarnated but capable of remembering our past lives vividly. Would the same mistakes be made over and over still... Or would society become more peaceful? Aside from the infatuating story line, this novel had more then it's fair share of flaws. First off the main character could be endlessly frustrating. I understand she had a traumatizing childhood but her childish behavior constantly rubbed me the wrong way. Her relationship with Sam was one of the best parts of this novel. Their easy camaraderie and burgeoning love made the book a more entertaining read. Another problem I had with this novel was it's laborious plot line that culminated in an ending that left me utterly flummoxed (and not in a good way). I do think I'll read the next in this series, I just don't know when.