“Incarnate” by Jodi Meadows

Where have I been?
I’m not entirely sure. See, I’ve been working and editing… and… well that’s all I can remember O_O Oh! Yes! I’ve also been reading!

I started a fantasy book that I decided 3/4’s of the way through – sucked. So, while I was looking for a birthday present for my husband at Chapters the other day (where else would I look?), I glanced around for a book to read. To my dismay, all I saw were…. fairy, vampire and werewolf books. *Sigh* I think my generation doesn’t have good taste in books. Not that I have anything against paranormal books, but the obsession that goes along with them doesn’t sit well with me.
Then! I remembered… “What was that book…? That one I read about on the author’s blog…?… Ah-ha!”

And that, my friends, is how I bought “Incarnate” by Jodi Meadows.

Ana is the first “newsoul” to be born in Range. For thousands of years people have lived, died, and been born again while keeping the memories from their previous lives. Ana, however, replaced someone. She was never supposed to be born. Her mother hates her and many are afraid there will be more like her that will replace old souls.
At 18 she travels to Heart, the city where most of the population of Range lives. Along the way she is rescued from drowning by Sam, a music composer. His body is around the same ages as hers but he has lived and died hundreds of times.
He watches out for her and takes her to Heart with him. There, Ana searches for the reason for her existence.
The counsel, however, isn’t as eager as Sam is to receive her and she is subjected to their rules. They claim it is for her safety and benefit. But she asks too many questions about things others think she shouldn’t. She finds herself in danger of being killed. Ana and Sam form a strong attachment through music which quickly becomes much more.

What I liked:
It was unique. I’d never read a fantasy book about reincarnation before. The book kept me engaged all the way through.
I liked that Ana accepted help from Sam. Most female characters tend to try to be too tough and it’s hard for me to relate to them when I am frustrated with them every time they get into a conversation with their romantic interest. Ana, however, had a nice balance of independence while still relying on others. Her character development was well paced.
The imagery in the book was also quite good. Imagery is something that I have always found hard to write but Jodi Meadows had enough description to give me a vivid picture in my head without overwhelming with details.
The book is well written.

What I Didn’t Like:
I appreciated the idea that a soul isn’t defined by it’s gender but I wasn’t a fan of the idea that people’s souls were reincarnated into both male and female bodies, depending on the life-time.
Sam and Ana make some suggestive comments to each other near in the latter half of the book. In my opinion, books for teens have far too much of that these days. “Intimate” scenes are uncalled for, especially in books for teen girls (I ought to know, I’m still one myself). I prefer to read and suggest a book to friends without being uncomfortable about parts in it. I returned “The Graceling” by Kristin Cashore to Chapters for that very reason and ranted to my friends about how annoyed I was.

Over-all, I liked “Incarnate” and look forward to the sequel!