Publication Date: January 31st, 2012 by Katherine Tegan Books
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Ana 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 why.
Even 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 suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam 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?
This book stole my heart, broke it in half, stomped on the pieces, and then mended it. Incarnate isn't just about a girl with a new soul in a society of people thousands of years old - it's about a girl learning to accept herself even when most others won't.
Ana is, by far, the best part of this book. (And that's saying a lot, considering how I thought the entire thing was pretty much perfect.) She's grown up with only Li, who's always told Ana that she's a mistake. That she can't have feelings because she's a nosoul. And when Ana leaves Li and travels to Heart, she's treated almost the same way - like she shouldn't belong. Ana isn't unaffected by this, not at all, but somehow, she still manages to find good. Find the strength to go on and keep searching for the answers she wants. If I had been her, I probably would have crawled into the forest and let the sylph get me O_O
Ana's emotions were practically mine. My heart ached for her. She's easy to relate to, too. Ana is an outcast in her society; she feels like everyone hates her. (And most of them do.) Feeling like you don't fit in is such a common problem for teenagers, and regardless of how much more extreme Ana's case is, I think Incarnate can show you that it's possible to be strong no matter what.
I don't even know what to say about Sam. Except that he's awesome and I think I love him just as much as I love Jodi Meadows. I liked how everything brought Sam back to music. (And he plays the flute! Bonus.) And I especially loved that he had flaws. He brought fears from his past life into his new life, he was afraid to love Ana, and he wasn't perfect. Which, if you ask me, made him a perfect character. The romance between Sam and Ana was perfect, too - no insta-love, but it's not like the romance just came BAM! right out of the blue. They started off as friends, and though the potential for romance was always there, you still got to see their relationship grow in a healthy way.
And the plot was just . . . I can't even explain it. I'm not a fan of reincarnation. But somehow, Jodi Meadows made me love it. I've never seen any plot like this before. And the twist at the end involving the man who was supposed to be Ana's father - I did not see that coming at all O_O There were dragons, there were souls, there was a creepy temple, and there was even a different form of God. Incarnate is full of things I would usually have problems with, but I didn't have a problem with a single one of them. They all added to the story, and the way Jodi writes all of it is just . . . amazing.
Overall: I don't know how I can ever to describe to any of you how much I love this book, but I think I can honestly say it is one of the best books I've ever read. It's so much more than just a book about a girl who's "replaced" another soul. It's about strength. Accepting yourself. (And yes, maybe it's a little bit about falling in love, too.) Incarnate will stick with me for a long time. (And I will be stalking Jodi Meadow's online to find out whatever I can about the sequel. :P) 5 stars. I'd give it 6 if I did stuff like that.