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!
Betwixt the Books is back with another weekly wrap up, plus what we read this week! As an added bonus, I look like a very sad and botoxed chipmunk, since I just got my wisdom teeth out. This is a sight not to be missed, Michaela says. I say that you shouldn’t miss this video even though I look like … this. Anyways, without further ado!
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
Published March 10, 2015, by Katherine Tegen Books
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.
She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.
She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
Three and a half stars
I’m not sure I’ve ever been this conflicted about a rating before. For sure, this rating would not go any lower. However, the conflict comes from whether or not is should be higher. I’m not sure. Let me explain.
Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!
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.
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?
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.
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
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!
Alright, folks, guess I got the Valentines themed one. This is amusing, because one blogger on this site is bitter about Valentines this year and one is not and GUESS WHO’S DOING THIS LIST! But no, actually, this list is still going to be really hard to put together. Gosh. Uh. Well, here’s some in no particular order!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
Title: Infinite (Newsoul #3)
Author: Jodi Meadows
ETA: January 28, 2014
About from Goodreads: DESTRUCTION
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.
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.
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 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!)
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.
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.
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.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
Okay, just fyi – TEN IS REALLY HARD. So don’t take this as the only top books I read. But this is what I could cull it to. And this is in no particular order.
Okay, you guys all know how much I love this books and Courtney herself. I believe I used the phrase “rapid machine gun of awesomeness” to describe this book in my review.
There are far too many CAPS in my review of this book. I mean, really. But I went so gaga for it I themed my prom dress around it. Okay, so that wasn’t originally intentional but it soon became that way.
Not going to lie: this was the first Julie Kagawa book I ever read. I’ve now caught the Julie Kagawa bug and want to read everything from her books to her shopping lists. See my review here.
Historical fiction. Assassin nuns. Fly to the bookstores right now. If assassin nuns doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will. It certainly did for me!
This historical fiction piece on World War II made me cry. And I never, ever, should have liked this book because it’s written with a few of my pet peeves. But it’s one of the best things ever, and here’s why.
It’s Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Do I have to explain it to you? (If so, read my review!)
Okay, okay, I’m still not a fan of continuing the series after what I thought was the perfect ending. But if there was a way to continue the series, this is it – here’s why.
High fantasy for young adults. They said it was impossible, but Maas did it. ALL OF THE LOVE. Another review with too much excitement.
It’s Richelle Mead and Adrian. I love Adrian. I love him so much I might almost love him more than Dimi– oh dear, I feel the fan girls descending. Go read my review for more!
The main character is two girls in one body. That is all. For more, read my review.