Saturday, January 21, 2012

REVIEW: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Welcome to the 4th stop in the Incarnate Book Tour. Thanks to Once Upon A Twilight I was able to read this book before its release date, January 31st. I am so glad I did not have to wait to read the highly anticipated book Incarnate by Debut Author, Jodi Meadows.

Title: Incarnate

Author: Jodi Meadows (Check out her website)

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (imprint of Harper Collins)

Ages: 13 and up

Pages: 384

Release Date: January 31, 2012

New soul.

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.

No soul.

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 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? (From HarperTeen)


"Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut." *A Kippy is a cat.(From Jodi Meadows Website)

Incarnate is definitely one of those books that leaves you wanting more, but in a good way. You want more of this world Meadows has created that is filled with soul tellers (machines that map out souls), reincarnated souls, dragons, sylph, walls with heartbeats, and of course Ana (the New Soul). At the center of this story is this tragic girl who has been told her whole life she is nothing, a "nosoul." From day one Ana is an outcast. After being abandoned by her father, she is brought up believing that abuse is normal by her mother. At 18 Ana heads out on her own for the city of Heart to find out why she is the first new soul in 5,000 years. Then she meets Sam who treats her with kindness. It was like watching a TV show where someone rescues an abused dog. They are skittish at first but they steal your heart away before you know it. I felt Sam's hesitation and Ana's reluctance. Meadows does a great job of reminding the reader of all the small things that make up a person long after they are gone. People have this natural ability of keeping things that are important to them, that after they are gone, remind others that they were there, that they mattered. For Ana, who may only live one lifetime while others live many, she is faced with her own mortality at a young age. Her greatest fear is not being remembered, but isn't that the fear we all share? Do we all not strive to leave behind a legacy whether that be in our work, our kids, or just our on family? I thought Incarnate was a nice book to set you up for the second book in the series. It left me wanting more! Meadows does a great job of making you truly hate some characters (Li and Meuric), yet fall in love with Sam, Ana, and Stef. I hope to learn more about some of the other characters and life outside of Heart in the next book.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Want to meet Jodi Meadows? Well Texas will get their chance soon because Jodi Meadows is part of the Winter Dark Days Tour 2012 along with Cynthia Hand (Hallowed), Brodi Ashton (Everneath), and Courtney Allison Moulton (Wings of the Wicked). 
February 16, 2012 at 5pm: Barnes and Noble in Southlake, Texas
February 17, 2012 at 7pm: Barnes and Noble in Austin, Texas
February 18, 2012 at 4pm: Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas

I do hope that you will go out and pick up a copy of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows on January 31st and keep your eye out for the next book in the Newsoul series currently set to release in 2013. Also if you would like to see what others had to say about the book check out the first three stops on the Incarnate Book Tour:
Second Stop: Lauren Gets Literal 
Third Stop: Eli To The Nth

Happy Reading!


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Australian Honeymoon Recap

For those that have been wondering where I went and why I have not posted since Christmas, well I went on my honeymoon. We went on an adventure across the world to Australia where we spent time in Sydney, Port Douglas area, then Palm Cove/Cairns area. For those that do not have going to Australia on your bucket list, please go do it now because this post will not even begin to describe how much I loved Australia. 

We started the trip in Sydney. After a long plan trip we arrive at our hotel, InterContinental, we of course dropped our bags and immediately started our exploration of the Harbour district. I have to say that walking towards the Opera House and then watching it come into view was a magical moment. My parents always wanted to go to Australia so I grew up hearing about how amazing it would be to go and it did not disappoint.

We celebrated New Year's Eve right on the water to the left of the Opera House at Eastbank restaurant. I will never see fireworks that amazing ever again. They were going off from so many points it was hard to watch them all and there was a nine o'clock show for the families followed by a boat parade followed by fireworks at Midnight.  Needless to say it was quite spectacular, so I decided to find a video of them from an aerial point of view. You can watch them too, but be warned it is a full 12 minute show.
After New Year's we did all the tourist things in the matter of three days - Sydney Eye Tower, Aquarium, Wildlife Center, Maritime Museum, Shopping, Toured the Opera House, road a ferry, walked across the bridge, saw the library, parliament house, the old prison, and probably a few more things I am forgetting. 

One of my favorite memories though was one night we went to dinner at the place called The Winery in the suburb of Surry Hills. The only reason I had to go to this place is because I heard about this amazing brownie that had "faery floss" on it. It was well worth making a trip out there for the brownie alone, but the restaurant reminds you of walking into a secret garden. 
We left Sydney and headed to Mossman, which is just North of Port Douglas where we stayed at Silky Oaks Lodge. This is the part of the trip that I would probably change because they are located directly in the Daintree Rainforest where is was the rainy season. So what made it so awful? Bugs, BUgs, and more BUGS!! They were outside, inside, landing on everything and never would relent. Found out that mosquitos are called Mozzies (new favorite word). I was even attacked by a leech, which my husband does not believe to be a big deal but it was.  There was only one restaurant with the same five options every night. This was my least favorite part of the trip, but the one highlight was that I got a lot of reading done. I was very happy when headed to Palm Cove - aka Australian paradise.

Most of our time was spent by the pool and the ocean. We did leave paradise to go to the Cairns Night Zoo where we got to hold a koala and I even touched a snake (that is a complete forced smile), then we fed kangaroos and pelicans by hand. It was so cool being that close to all the animals.

The other big excursion we went on was to the Great Barrier Reef. We road a sailboat out to Michaelmas Bay, which is a bird sanctuary, to go to our first stop on the snorkeling adventure. We saw lots of jellies and even a sting ray while on this stop. The second stop was another 45 minutes out, called Paradise Reef, and the colors of the coral and fish were amazing. We saw Nemo, Squid, and lots of Trigger fish. I would make the Great Barrier Reef a must do when you visit Australia. 

We had a blast! If you couldn't tell and coming back home was harder than we thought it would be. Definitely going to make another trip out there soon and see Melbourne and Brisbane next time. I would like to thank all the Australians and other travelers that we met along the way for helping to make our honeymoon incredibly special. We now know what it is to have Aussie pride.
G'day Mates,


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