Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins January 31st, 2012
Genre: YA Utopian, know the difference!
Series: Yes, it’s the first book in the Newsoul series.
Other Books From Author: Asunder (Book #2)
Source: Borrowed
Amazon | Goodreads | @jodimeadows |


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.


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?

In the world of Incarnate, everyone’s been reincarnated hundreds of times while keeping their memories from every generation. On the night Ciana was supposed to be born, the Temple went dark, and Ana was born instead– the first new soul born in 5,000 years. Now that she’s 18, Ana is determined to leave her abusive mother and go to Heart for the truth. Will Ana find out if she has only one chance at life?

That sounds absolutely brilliant! I borrowed Incarnate from the library (JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER. LOOK AT IT.) but because of school and whatever, I picked it up with only 2 days before the due date. I knew I had to renew the book to finish it so I started rightaway to test if all that hype was worth the money. Only Jodi Meadows brandished little of the Revolutionary Reincarnation Theorem that I signed up for, and stomped all over it with Cheesy Romance.

Don’t let the blurb fool you, this entire book is about romance! Ana is rarely doing anything to uncover her past. When she gets attacked by a Sylph (some fiery shadowy thing) and nearly drowns, Sam, a thousand-year-old soul, just happens to be camping, and just happens to save her and just happens to be her reincarnated idol. From then on, their relationship consists of music lessons, almost kisses and… awkwardness. Was it their age difference? What the people of Heart might think about them? It almost seems as if Meadows purposefully kept them apart just to add romantic tension because most of the time nothing is happening. MOVING ON.

The characters are even stranger to begin with. Ana knows her mother, Li, hates her, and after her drowning episode, she thinks that Li hired Sam to save her. I mean… What?!  Li gave Ana a broken compass so she’d die in the wild, why in the world would she hire someone to save her? Ana’s childish and paranoid reasonings deserves some major eyeroll. But that is not to say Meadows’ writing is poor. I loved her construction of Heart as an enclosed city within a pulsing wall and the mystical creatures (draaagons!!) are some areas that we could have explored.

So in the end, I didn’t renew the book.


36 thoughts on “Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

  1. HAHAHAHA :D Great review, WU! Your last line made me laugh ;)

    I really didn’t like this book much too (cue memory of me doggedly writing out a review at night during BSE)…

    • WAHAHA THANKS SEL. The last line wasn’t meant to be funny!! xD I was in serious dilemma since I KNEW I couldn’t finish in time but I’m not sure if Incarnate was worth the renew cost (please refer to Annex A, Sel’s doggedly written review).

      JUST KIDDING. But I didn’t have any expectations for Incarnate especially after your review yet it still failed me so… Guess I saved money?

  2. The cover is beautiful, with the butterfly there. I guess it is what is so attracting about it. But it seems this book is not quite so popular,and the last sentence of your review is simply a joke :)

    • I’ll just be honest and admit that the major reason why I picked up this book is because of the cover– I can’t resist pretty colours!! I won’t say it’s unpopular since I do know of friends who enjoyed it but I wouldn’t recommend Incarnate when you have time for other, better books :)

  3. I have heard good things about this book and along with the pretty cover, that added to it sounded like a great thing all around. However, it seem the pretty covers have been deceiving again. Shame that the whole thing was romance-centric. Great review! :)

    • That’s what I thought too but you know that old clichéd-but-relevant saying that books shouldn’t be judged by their covers, register that, Alicia! >.< I don't think being romance-centric is BAD, just that Incarnate's love story is… Too bland and draggy to support one book in entirety :( Thank you, Livvy!

      • I know. I think we all need to register it to be honest. No, I suppose not, but if it’s bland and draggy then it is and I prefer something else to occur in a book other than romance myself. No problem! :)

      • I try to remind myself of that fact but uhhh… Judging can become a first nature when you see pretty covers haha. Yup! I’ll have liked more adventures and actions on the fantastic foundation that Incarnate has, maybe romance is more of a subplot… I’ll sit a while and wait for Asunder :P

    • MMHMM… Maybe I was trying too hard to like Incarnate that I ended up not liking it at all. If I was less picky, this may have turned up rather enjoyable :) I hope to see more world-building in Asunder too!

  4. O_O

    HAHAHA it’s rare that you ever have any book below 3 stars, I assume this would be a definite no-no? I tend to be a hopeless romantic at times but ehhh Sam and Ana just spells AWKWARD. Great review!


      I can tell ._. It’s not that I don’t give books below 3 stars, but because none of them deserve less you bodo! /knocks head/ But yeah, you shouldn’t read this. It kind of shatters any romantic dreams you have.

  5. A pity that you did not like this. I thought Incarnate was a mostly enjoyable read but on hindsight, maybe the romance dragged for too long and compromised Ana’s action in Heart. Like your honest review :)

  6. I’ve heard both good and bad things about this one so I’ve waited to look into it. I’ll definitely have to use the library for this one. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it enough to renew, lol.

  7. Aww you didn’t like it? That’s a shame, I really liked that book. But everyone has their own opinions so that’s okay!
    At least you tried reading it, and gave an honest review! :]

    • I guess… It wasn’t the perfect read to make me forget about the 2 days deadline! I was running on a tight schedule so Ana and Sam’s wishy washy story bored me and I was skipping past pages until the last 10% when things start to get interesting. Then it ended >:(

  8. Lol I just placed a reservation for this in the library! After your review, I will read it with more caution, sounds like Ana will be a not-so-likeable character… Great review (:

    • Haha, hope you’ll have more luck with Incarnate than I did! Ana was annoying with her childish thoughts I felt like giving her a good punch. Hmm. Anyway, thank you!

  9. I’ve tried reading Incarnate recently, but I felt like it was pretty boring. Needless to say, I didn’t finish it. I was pretty disappointed because I’ve heard some pretty good reviews about this one./: Anyways, great review! Maybe I’ll try to re-read it someday and try to see if it gets better.(:

    Niki @ Umbrella Dreams

    • We think alike!! Incarnate has a pretty cover and glowing reviews– I thought it’ll be a great one! Sigh, I was disappointed too… MAYBE I’ll try Asunder, just maybe. Thanks for dropping by :)

  10. I started reading this book, got a couple chapters, and was like, meh. It was kind of boring and the character seemed a little too self-absorbed. Not for me! I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought that way about it. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    • EXACTLY!! If you’ll plot my emotional stats while reading Incarnate, the graph will start off pretty high and then avalanche within the first chapter. I mean, it took me 80% of the book before I chanced upon anything remotely interesting! /knocks head/ Glad to know that I’m not alone on this heh


    I see you're being you again 8) Aye, ain't it sad when a cover deceives you? D: Pretty covers do lie T^T
    Solution: Just read Harry Potter <3
    And give it a gazillion stars, you can never go wrong with that :D

    • HOHOHO Me being me = global catastrophe xD

      IKR, Incarnate looks so pretty!! Whenever I see my 2 star rating beside the cover I feel bad :/ OH WELL, it’s the substance that counts! Haha do you know how hard it is to rate a book that you IRREVOCABLY LUUUUURVE?! Writing Harry Potter reviews are like Mission Impossible. And JK Rowling probably broke the scale.

    • Incarnate is pretty controversial but I’ve read 5 star reviews and kinda get where they’re coming from! It’s really how you view Ana and Sam, and pardon me, I have an inexplicable prejudice against Sams >:)

  12. Haha as I was reading the beginning of your review I was thinking’ Oh, this book actually does sound pretty cool’, until you got to the part about it only being about romance and then I realised you actually didn’t like the book. Darn. This was on my TBR list but I do keep reading that this book isn’t as good as it sounds.

    I hate it when that happens! I especially hate it when a good idea is turned into a story where the romance is the main focus and the cool idea is the background setting when really it should be the other way around…

    Sam does sound super attractive though. A handsome musician? Yes please.

    • That’s what I hate most too!! I wanted to buy Incarnate but couldn’t find it anywhere so I settled for borrowing in the library… And THANK GOD I didn’t buy it, I’ll be regretting so much! Not that Incarnate is incredibly terrible, but it just didn’t suit my taste :/ Sam was… A fairly decent character :)

  13. Loved the review. I hate books where there’s nothing at all going on but romance. This one sounded so promising! I think I’ll keep it on the to-read list but move it to the very bottom.

    • With books like Incarnate, I had expected the world building and mystery to come on first, not really the romance, so gaah!! /tears hair/ Hope you’ll like it better than I did :P

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