Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

From Hicklebee’s: 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?

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?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Ana has only lived one life. This makes her strange to the rest of the population who have lived countless lifetimes. Ana is a no soul. She lives with her mother outside of the city Heart. Her father left when she was born. Someone else was supposed to be born but Ana came in her place. They think she is a murderer and her life is incredibly tough living alone with a mother who hates the sight of her. Until she meets Sam…

Sam says she is a new soul, which is a far cry from being a no soul. He takes her to Heart and does everything in his power to help her find out why she was born. The more Ana digs the more questions she has.

Meadows delivers a unique take on reincarnation in Incarnate. Sam and Ana are both very likable characters. The evil guy was evil but had a pitiable quality that I genuinely enjoyed seeing. The plot was tight and there was many a surprise to be had.

The ending completely threw me for a loop and I wish book two would have been available for me to read right away. I loved all the mythological beasts and creatures and how they fit in to the day-to-day for the citizens of Heart.

My favorite part? The sexytimes at the masquerade ball!

I encourage you to take a look at Incarnate when it comes out next month.

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Review: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta performed by Michael Finney

From Goodreads: Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca – but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.

I received an audio copy of The Piper’s Son from both Brilliance Audio and Candlewick. Everyone had been going on about what a fabulous book this was and although I am new to reading Marchetta I know that I am a huge fan. The Piper’s Son was an amazing book to start listening to audio with.

Marchetta paints a family that has been devastated by several catastrophes. First Tom Mackee (the older one that our protagonist is named after) is lost at war and leaves behind a wife and two children who are awaiting the news for their whole lives that he was coming home so they can bury him. Secondly the third child born to Mackee’s wife and his best friend dies in the London Tube bombings. There was no body to collect and this is the pivotal point when the Mackee/Finch clan truly breaks apart.

Young Tom begins living in a shared apartment, he breaks up with his girlfriend, quits school and starts doing drugs. Uncle Joe was the glue that held the family together.

I have a friend who lives in London a very close friend. He was in the tube that morning, and it was super crowded. His life was saved when he decided to take the next train so that he wouldn’t be squashed and standing all the way to Charing Cross.

The story is performed by Michael Finney who I think gave the heart wrenching words of this story their true soul. I was enraptured and entranced by his reading and I cried and laughed and the Mackee family became so real to me in these hours listening to The Piper’s Son.

You do not have to read Saving Francesca to read The Piper’s Son. It is more of a companion really a completely new story focusing on Tom. I will however go back and read it, it holds some clues to Tom that I may have missed and I am wholly interested in this tiny soapish drama that Marchetta has created.

I received this book in audio from Brilliance and Candlewick for review.

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Forever cover reveal and Maggie has an awesome contest

So Maggie Stiefvater the awesome and talented and kick-ass-jeans-wearing author of Shiver and Linger and Lament and Ballad is having an awesome contest to celebrate the Forever cover reveal. This cover is my favorite so far I have to say. I love the red and the wolf and hello is Sam wearing some Diesel Jeans there? You can get all the info on how to enter said awesome contest by visiting Maggie’s Blog that has an ever more awesome and bigger image of Forever, and then come back and answer my question about Sam’s jeans. I asked on Twitter and Maggie doesn’t know yet if the font is going to be red like the cover but I am assuming that it will, but I have been known to be wrong before (okay so I am wrong most of the time). Celebrate Forever and make your own post!

Also the most fun thing and as soon as I am done with this post I am heading over to the Fountain Bookstore site and ordering my copy of Forever signed by Maggie *squee*. Seriously folks consider buying from Fountain. They are an awesome indie, I have been in the store and the staff are amazing. Shop Indie! Click here to get your signed copy of Forever from Fountain!

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Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Have you ever read a book and wanted to review it but had no clue what to say? That there is nothing you can add, or no way to get your point across without revealing the twist or the ending? I am having this problem with Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall. I want to scream from the rooftops read this book, alas how do I say it coherently or professionally?

We follow Sam reliving the same day over and over Groundhog Day style. She is the popular girl, the pretty girl with the perfect boyfriend. She is a bully, and she dies. She dies seven times over and is rewound and gets a new chance at making amends. Can Sam figure out what to change in her life and how important her actions are in time?

This book is written perfectly. You know the characters immediately and even if you dislike their mean-girl attitudes, you cannot put this book down. The ending was shocking and poignant. I had mixed emotions. I was in awe, I was angry, then I was in awe again. I never saw it coming.

I love that Sam learns her actions have consequence and bullying is wrong. There is some drinking, there is some drugs, there is some sex. Trust me people your teens aren’t as impressionable as you think. This book is more about discovery, and learning how to treat others.

If you like Laurie Halse Anderson, or Gayle Forman you will love Lauren Oliver!

Book Trailer for Before I Fall:

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Author Review: Candace Havens

A while back I received an amazing box from Candace Havens, even with rocking bookmarks. This box really made my day as a reviewer, the books were pristine and signed with one of the most beautiful signatures I have ever seen. I am now aspiring to come up with my own fancy signature, even though I really have no need. Guess I could start writing checks for bills instead of paying them online.

It’s not very often as a reviewer that you get such an awesome present, and with that aside reading these books for me was a pure joy. It has the mystery of Charlaine Harris without all of the plot skipping and annoyances. Candace takes each of her characters and within the first few chapters she has fleshed out a person that you can see bumping into at the local Starbucks. Her list of side characters are also very personable and you really are able to like or relate to all of the persons in her stories. Her writing style is easy to follow and fun, and at least once in every single one of the books I laughed out loud. I am in awe of her persistence, and ability to keep up with the details of previous works from herself, even the small.

I first read The Demon King and I from my Haven’s selection. I was able to like the main character immediately. She was an heiress with actual depth. The book follows Gillian and her sisters through their every day lives, parties, shopping, complicated jobs, and the like. However the girls also have an extra responsibility, they are guardian keys that save our world from being overrun by beings from other dimensions. Gillian is the Guardian of the demon realm, but when the old king is supplanted and a new more human looking (okay actually hot) demon king is on the throne, will Gillian be able to perform her duties without conflict?

Immediately enthused with Havens stories I jumped straight into Charmed & Dangerous and I have to admit the Bronwyn stories fascinate me even more that the Demon King and I. Bronwyn is a high witch, meaning she has loads of power. She can do all the cool stuff I wish I could like melt someones brain with an evil glare. These books are great for the mystery and plot but also and foremost for me the list of characters and places. Sweet, Texas, albeit a fictitious town is teaming with small town vibe. They even have a Piggly Wiggly. Being a small town girl I loved the places in Sweet, like Lulu’s Diner where you can get a rockin’ chicken fried steak. Bronwyn has her share of man troubles but eventually settles for a non practicing warlock who recently moved to town as the new doctor. She works for the PM in London and saves him from bad magic, and meets a Sheik from Dubai who hires her onto his payroll too giving her a new jet to be at his beck and call. You also meet Kira the new librarian and she has a secret magic of her own. The next two Bronwyn books I breezed through really wishing there was more, I absolutely fell in love with the Sheik and wanted her to somehow end up with him but yeah I understand, Sam is the love of her life. In the second and third books we learn more about minor characters such as Kira, the PM, his assistant, and new rock star named Zane who uses his stardom to feed the hungry. The Bronwyn books are a awesome read for those of us who like a little paranormal in our romance. They have awesome characters you want to sit down at Lulu’s and have dinner with, and plot gripping action that keeps you on the edge of your chaise lounge.

The last and final book I had from Candace was a great surprise to me. Like a Charm follows Kira the new Sweet librarian through her romance with Bronwyn’s friend Caleb. Her finding out she can see, hear, and rent books to dead people, as well as her forming relationships in the town like with Bronwyn. Kira was a Sweet Texas girl born and raised. Being from a town that produces so much magic, Kira always felt lost and when old enough kicked it out of town to school and then Atlanta to becoming a high priced contract lawyer. Her love of Armani speaks to my soul, when trouble arises she goes home for a visit and is bequeathed the local library. It was a private collection. Will she continue in her fast paced law career in New York or stay in Sweet to build a life for her and Caleb in the library that was her solace growing up as a akward non magical child? Kira was always one of my favorite characters from the Bronwyn series and it was super awesome to get a close up look of her life in this installment. I cannot wait to read Haven’s title coming in July, “Dragons Prefer Blondes”, I have a feeling this will deal with Gillian’s sister and her being the Guardian of the Dragon Realm.

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