Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Title: Infinite
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Contest

From Goodreads:

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

My Thoughts:

When Infinite arrived in my mailbox I let out a yelp of excitement and immediately became nervous. I held in my hands the fate of Ana’s world. And Sam’s. And everyone that I had grown to love and hate since falling in love with Incarnate. In the past I have had a habit of putting series finales so high on pedestals of excitement that there is no way they can ever live up to what I want them to be. Infinite took my on a while rollercoaster ride that I can’t wait to board again.
Dragons. Rocs. Centaurs. Phoenixes. Sylph. Ana has so many amazing encounters in this book and I had to hold myself back from squealing anytime Jodi Meadows threw something else at us.
Ana who has Music. One of the reasons this book is so beautiful is because Ana (and Sam!) can hear music in anything. In the instruments that they plan, in the singing of the sylph, in the wind in the tree, the rain that falls, and the water flowing in the river. Everything has sound. Everything has music. As the reader will come to find out having music will become very essential in the end.
Ana who has Life. Once called a Nosoul and now a Newsoul there is one thing for certain, Ana has life. For some people, like Sam and her many friends, this is a joyous occasion and a miracle. After five millennia of the same souls reoccurring over and over again, her birth is met by differing opinions. Just because it’s been a year since she entered society again doesn’t mean everyone loves her.
Ana who has Love. Oh Dossam. Meadows does a fantastic job with Ana and Sam’s relationship in Infinite. There are a few ups and downs on the roller coaster ride of this book dedicated specifically to the two of them and it was fantastic. Their love story is authentic and relatable.
The pacing of this book and the addition of new material was perfect. Every chapter there was some new information that moved the story forward and make it even more exciting than it already was. There was no big info dump or too much information that was confusing. It was perfect.
One of my favorite things about this series is that Jodi writes so visually. I can see every single thing in my head while I read. One of my favorite images in all of YA happened in Asunder and I was thrilled to see this image continued in Infinite. Two words: Skeletons and Shackles.
Infinite was by far one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story, characters, and pacing was absolutely perfect. I am so sad to see this world end, but the ending was so satisfying.

Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Publication Date: November 11, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

The Society chooses everything.

The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems…

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.

Crossed was one of those books that effortlessly showed me what a romance story is all about. Ky said, “I believe in her” so many times. He may not believe in the Society or in the Rising, but he believes in her. In Cassia. Cassia was the same way.
Crossed picks up a little after Matched ended. Both Cassia and Ky have been in work camps, separated from each other, but fighting to get to one another. Their belief in each other is what keeps both of them going every day. I wasn’t expecting them to actually see each other in this book, I went in assuming the reunion would be at the end of the novel, but was pleasantly surprised to see that they found each other a little less than halfway through.
One of the things that I loved about this book was that Condie was able to show a normal relationship. It wasn’t glamorized it was honest. Ky and Cassia fought and disagreed, but their love and belief in each other was great enough to triumph over it.
Condie introduces a new cast of supporting characters in this book and it was great to see the way that Ky and Cassia respond to it. Each of these new characters served to strengthen and provide growth for our main characters. It was nice to see Cassia coming into her own and having to survive on her own away from everything that she has ever known. Ky’s attitude and strength in the book was something I expected, but Cassia really shined and grew as a character.
The ending of this book really sets up for an explosive conclusion to the trilogy and I am looking forward to reading Reached

When You Really Want to Love a Book…but Can’t

The conclusion to the Divergent Trilogy released a couple months ago and like most other readers out there I was so excited for it. It took me a few days to get through the book and sadly, even though I really want to say that I loved it and that it was a fulfilling conclusions….it wasn’t.

Why I didn’t like it:

It is my belief that the final book in a series should be used to wrap up the series. Give us the action that we’ve been building up to, let us see how it all comes to a climax, and then give us a satisfying end. I don’t think there should be tons of new information. Allegiant was not a book that did that. It was a long book (over 500 pages) and included way too much new information for my liking. There was also a lot of science talk and trying to give us specific reasons as to why things are. I was not a fan of the reason for the factions or how their entire city, Chicago, came to be how it was portrayed in the book. As readers we knew at the end of the second book that something big was coming in the third. We knew that something NEW was coming too, so I don’t know why I was so surprised when we were suddenly being shot at with tons of new information. Maybe it was because I felt like the book was one big info dump.

The two points of views in the book were interesting and I loved getting to see what Tobias was thinking, however the tone and the narration of the two were the exact same. Several times while reading the book I had to go back and see whose chapter I was in because I could not tell who was talking. There should have been some sort of shift between their narrations. They are two different people who have different thoughts and different tones. There was no reason why I should have been so confused on who was narrating at any given moment. The tones alone should have told me who it was.

The conclusion to the war between the Allegiant and those loyal to Evelyn and the factionless seemed unrealistic to me. All this fighting and leading up to this conflict, all the changes that had been made in Chicago I felt like it was all for nothing.

What I did like:
The ending to Tris’s narration. This plot point was actually ruined for me before I started reading the book and so I will never know if this was something I actually liked or whether or not I just had hundreds of pages to get myself ready for the inevitable conclusion. As someone whose favorite film is Gladiator because of it’s ending, it’s safe to say that I may have been biased in my like for this ending.

Allegiant is one of those books that I want to love so badly. When I read Divergent It was one of the best books that I had ever read. Insurgent didn’t quite live up to the very book, but it was still enjoyable. I just really wish she would have taken more time with this one and not info dumped as much, and that she would have given Tobias a separate identity and narration tone instead of sounding just like Tris.

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Title: Crewel
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Gift

From Goodreads

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

What I Thought:

Having just come off a reading slump I was really excited to receive Crewel by Gennifer Albin from my friend for Christmas. I had heard good things about it from my friend since it came out, but other than “It’s amazing,” I had no idea what the book was about. I love jumping into new books having no clue what the plot is or anything about the world.
The general basis of the book is simple. It’s about a world where people called Spinsters literally weave their world. Not figuratively weaving their worlds either, but literally using looms and threads of life and time to create their world and everything in it. Um. Amazing! I love that so much.
Crewel is filled with beautiful language and one of the things that I loved about it was that she wasn’t afraid of having little dialogue. This book had pages of just narration from our protagonist, Adelice. This didn’t take away from the story at all or reduce the need for other characters. It was perfect.
While reading there were several characters whose development I thought was flawed. Their personalities seemed to shift in the story and it was confusing to read. This was remedied at the end of the novel when some characters full personalities and backgrounds came into view. I do however wish that Adelice’s friend Pryana would have been developed a little better.
The pacing of the book was very strange at first. It seemed to me that it developed rather slowly, however I was completely drawn in from the first page. I had reached 200 pages in before I knew it. My only complaint is that there was a lack of serious action. The ending of the book drew me in even more and I know that I will continue on with this series. It is definitely worth checking out!