Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: 1st in Newsouls
Published: January 31, 2012 by Harper Collins
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: 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 suspicious and 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?
I Give This ...
I couldn't resist the beautiful cover. I also really like the idea of reincarnation and wondered how the story would present it. The concept was something I don't think I've read in young adult fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
Ana was a different sort of character. She's sarcastic, defensive, and self reliant. But, she's learned how to be these things at the hands of her mother. Her entire life, her mother has made in painfully clear this she dislikes Ana with every fiber of her being. She's a replacement for someone her mother has known for thousands of years. Her mother believes Ana has no soul, and therefore she is not worth the time and effort. Amazingly, Ana has survived this upbringing. She's curious as to who she is, why she came, and if she might expect to reincarnate as well.
The city of Heart was interesting for me to learn about. For the most part, the entire population that reincarnates lives there (or has a house there). Each soul has a special "frequency" that the gates of the city recognize. When Ana is granted residence, the council requires her to learn as many skill sets as possible. I think it hopes that if she does reincarnate she can prove useful and find a niche. But, not everyone is willing to give Ana a chance. In fact, quite a few people believe the same as Ana's mother. They are afraid that there are more no souls out there just waiting to take the place of one of the reincarnates.
I thought the idea of reincarnation was well done in this book. I'm not positive it's something I believe in. But, the fact that past lives could be remembered so acutely was interesting. It never dawned on me that they could relive all the happiness and the pain of each past life. Even at time reliving their past deaths. It made me realize that reincarnation is not all that great. But there were points that were really sweet, like the idea of soul mates. That no matter what gender the body was, certain souls would always recognize each other. I also loved that this also worked with close friendships as well.
Overall, a fantastic book. It's a totally new concept in the young adult genre. It's refreshing to see an author stretch the boundaries like this! I'm thinking this fits more into the fantasy genre than paranormal.