This book was my own purchase. It was a paperback of my shelf.
I have a deep fascination with past lives. From doing my own research, reading others and experiencing it myself, there was no way that I was going to pass up reading Incarnate. I was even more excited that a young adult writer had decided to explore the idea, and could not wait to delve into the world Jodi had created in Heart and in its unfolding of Ana and her journey.
Let's start by getting the issues I had with the novel out of the way, they were few, but they did impact my enjoyment of the book at times.
The first being Ana and her frustrating victim complex. I fully understood where she was coming from, living with her mother as she did and then coming into a town where people viewed her as a victim, or worse like she should be dead, however after the halfway point I wanted to shake her for being so defensive and snappy. Can I say that Ana grew over the coarse of this novel? Yes I can, during the last quarter of the book she really came into her own body and owned who she was, which me happy. I hope she continues to grow as a soul and as a person.
The second being the romance. Now I love a good romance, and the romance in the story between the two characters was challenging in a fantastic way. I really did enjoy how it came about and their connection. However I did feel a lot of the times that romantic element squandered the possibility for more action growth. There were scenes where I wanted more mystery and growth of the overall arching plot, yet they were watered down by the progressing attraction between Sam and Ana [no surprises there] Does that mean that the relationship was frustrating? No, I found the elements of past life, present time, history and life and death to be interwoven wonderfully together to connect these two in something magical.
My favourite part of the story was the exploration of past lives and how they functioned/ or didn't in the world of Heart and beyond. I didn't have strong expectations for this element of the story, so I wasn't disappointed and after hearing such great things about the book and the premise I knew I would enjoy the interpretation. I found it to be addicting to read about, and how it affected the characters was fantastic. The concept of many lives and the system that was put in place to manage them was fascinating. The overall arc of the affects that it had was heartbreaking, especially from Ana's perspective. There were many moments when I had to stop reading to think about the impact it was going to have on these characters, and many times when my eyes were teary.
Another element that I loved was the unpredictability of the majority of this novel. For me, I thought I knew where something was going and then the novel went someone different and I really enjoy that feeling of not knowing, because it makes the reading a much more unique and enjoyable experience. I still have no idea where the story is going after Incarnate and I do want to get my hands on Asunder as soon as I can, because I do want to know what happens after that insane ending.
Overall my lovely readers, I would recommend picking up this book. Brad from Books YA Reviews talked it up a lot, and I must say that without watching his passionate videos. I might not have picked it up at all. I am so glad I did, and it has so many post-it noted quotes that I cannot wait to re-read it again at some point and enjoy the experience again. If you are looking for something fresh, fascinating, slower burning, but still really thought provoking, then check out Incarnate.
P.S There were a few things that I left out, as I could talk about them for days. Like Sam, the Temple, Music and what it means, and the relationships with other characters. These things I believe are better enjoyed on your own without to much explanation- Enjoy.