From the Notebook: Top 10 Series I NEED to Finish!

So, last week’s video was made of some rather unpopular opinions, as I discussed the Top 10 series I would never finish. On the heels of that, I boomeranged back the other way this week with a MUCH more positive (but no less expressive) video about the top 10 series I could have finished … but haven’t. Ergo, I need to get on finishing these series RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Ahem. Anyways, enjoy!

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Worth It Wednesdays: “Incarnate” by Jodi Meadows

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

IncarnateTitle: Incarnate

Author: Jodi Meadows

Goodreads Description: NEWSOUL

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, millions of 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.

NOSOUL

Even Ana’s own mother think’s 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?

HEART

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?

Why it’s worth it: This book is just as beautiful as it’s cover. That’s the simple answer. The long answer involves the characters, the plot and the ideas wrap into this book that makes it one, big, beautiful package.

The main character, Ana, is a bit cutesy, but I love her all the same. Meadows walks a fine line, having to make Ana sound younger than all the older souls, but it is rarely annoying. In fact, it becomes one of her assets. The world around her is also wonderful, involving mythical creatures like dragons and a god who might not really be a god. There’s a lot going on in this book. On top of that, Meadows works in a lot of great ideas about what loves is and what it means, as well as the dangers and fears that surround change and newness in peoples’ lives.

There’s also no love triangle. Instead, Meadows gives us a romance that begins as a friendship and then grows into something more–something more that still experiences bumps and challenges along the way. It’s an actual evolution of a relationship, rather than something that just appears overnight.

Is this book perfect? No. It’s a debut, after all. But it’s pretty damn good all the same. I reviewed Incarnate, as well as Asunder, on my blog, if you want a more in depth opinion!

Read it if you’re looking for: fantasy, fantastic world building, realistic romance, not another love triangle, magic, dragons, big ideas, stories about love, stories about change, action, adventure

Waiting on Wednesday: “Infinite” by Jodi Meadows

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

InfiniteTitle: Infinite (Newsoul #3)

Author: Jodi Meadows

ETA: January 28, 2014

About from GoodreadsDESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

Why?: If you missed my reviews of the first two books, Incarnate and Asunder, then you MISSED OUT. Jodi is writing one of the most gorgeous, real romances I’ve seen in a while and I cannot wait to see how the story ends!

Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

You know, I went into this list expecting it to be a lot harder to pick. As it turns out, I got REALLY skimpy with my 5 star ratings this year! Wow. That’s just crazy. Here are almost ALL of the books I have 5 stars to this year!

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Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

Gretchen here, filling in for Marina this week while she tackles Latin homework and midterms. This week was a hard one, only because there were so many options that I could have picked. Although I may have cheated a little, but only if you’re definition of “sequel” is book two in a series. If not, then we’re good. 😉 These are in no particular order.

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Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I’ve Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

See, this is where my ya lit obsession starts to let me down. I mean, c’mon guys. Very few of you have figured out that it’s really boring to see ANOTHER girl in a dress on a cover. So these are my top ten choices from all around the board! (If you give any picture a click, you’ll head to the Goodreads page!)

princessAsunder

CrewelStormdancer

Shadow and BoneIncarnate

Eonanefertiti

Alphabet of Thornslioness rampant

Review: “Asunder” by Jodi Meadows

AsunderAsunder (New Soul #2) by Jodi Meadows

Goodreads | Amazon

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

4 1/2 stars

There was no way I could love this book as much as I loved Incarnate. I just had to accept that fact before I cracked the spine. The second books in series’ have a hard time measuring up as a rule. There was also no way that anything could replicate the absolute gush of emotions that Incarnate stirred up in me. With that in mind, I was ready to accept Asunder as it came. Honestly, it came pretty darn close to Incarnate.

The shining light in these books is Ana, and that stayed true for the entirety of Asunder. In a world of books where I can tell the main character is the imagination of the author, I always feel like she is a real person. She isn’t perfect, and she is always growing. I am constantly amazed that Meadows can show just how young she is compared to all the other souls in Heart, yet it never seems like a bad thing. Every other time authors have tried to make young adult characters act young, they tend to end up whiny and annoying. Ana’s inexperience and ignorance keeps her real, and can sometimes be a strength. Her relationship with Sam sometimes verges on being clichéd true love, but every time Meadows reins it in and reminds us of the age gap or another obstacle that they have to work through.

Sam, on the other hand, I’m a little bit frustrated with, though I can’t tell if that’s the reaction I’m supposed to have or not. I say that because he’s obviously frustrated with himself, and what he wants from his and Ana’s relationship and what the societal conventions are telling him. Hopefully, his choice at the end of the book is going to clear this up. What choice you ask? Don’t be ridiculous, that’s a spoiler.

The plot of this book was overall really amazing. I didn’t get the same amount of wow factors as I did in Incarnate until the end of the book, but that also may because I was more familiar with the book. Some very interesting characters were introduced, which kept subtly playing with the themes of love and relationships that I gushed over in the first book—and were also just awesome. I will say that I saw almost every plot twist coming, or at least figured it out early enough into the device that it felt that way. I’m still really conflicted about how the book ended as well, but I can’t talk about that because SPOILERS. If you felt the same, give me a shout out on social media or something and we can chat about it!

All in all, Meadows continues to delight me with every page, and this series is definitely one of my new favorites. I never usually have a huge connection to main characters, but I so wish Ana was real so we could be best friends—she certainly feels real! I respect every decision Meadows has made with Ana, Ana and Sam’s relationship and the general themes about love that run throughout the book. In multiple reviews I have asked authors to write a believable teen character and a real romance that doesn’t need a love triangle to thrive, and Meadows has gone over and above my wildest dreams. My heart may be rent asunder when I get to the end of the final book.