"Like what happened to Ciana,
where did I come from,
and, if there were more unborn souls out there, why me?
How did I get to be born?
Or was I supposed to have been born five thousand years ago with everyone else,
and just got stuck along the way?
That sounded like something that would happen to me."
Genre: YA Fantasty, Dystopia
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 374 pages
Publication Date: January 31st, 2012
Wow. This is probably the most unique and amazing concept for a novel I have read about in a long time. So please excuse me while I fangirl over this concept of science for a paragraph or two. I'm jumping right in. While the description describes that this is what happens, it still took me a while to actually wrap my head around the same souls being born over and over again in different bodies. Everybody literally knowing everybody. Talk about small town syndrome. But beyond that, what was so fantastically weird was that they weren't always male of female. Through the last five thousand years...yes FIVE THOUSAND YEARS these people have lived...every soul has experience male, female. thin, large, tall, short bodies...how crazy is that?!...
...but so amazingly cool. The idea that the body makes no difference and it really is the soul inside that makes you who you are is so inspiring and beautiful it gave me chills over and over again. It reminds me of Every Day by David Levithan, another take on the importance of soul. Because really, what we look like should not affect how we feel about another person, thank you Disney and Beauty and the Beast because the inside is way more important than the outside. Gah, it was crazy for me to think about being in a different body in each lifetime and encountering people you know that look completely different...or are a different gender. It's bizarre and fascinating and mind-numbing. Just fantastic concept. Bravo Jodi Meadows, bravo.
The first newsoul in 5,000 years is Ana. She lives with her mother Li who treats her as a nosoul rather than a newsoul. Ana leaves home at 18 to find out why she even came into existence. Along the way she meets Sam and they get to know each other and continuously save each other *sigh* They are ador. The buildup in their relationship (just ask Alexa and Ellie) was killing me slowly. Ana has been scarred her whole life into believing she isn't capable or deserving of love that your heart breaks for her. You want to just hug her and tell her Li is wrong and she is a person too and she does deserve love and kindness and not everything is a trick. It is so sad but realistic how broken she is. Seeing her journey to break free of this mindset was beautiful. She really blossoms into a beautiful...butterfly, dare I say :)
I loved the entire background and lore and history of this civilization. There is so much to try and understand about these people. They live in Heart, a city with walls that have a pulse...for real...and thousands of years ago the people came upon this city with all the building already built and set...but empty...creepy, much? The center of Heart is the tower with no doors but everyone just inherently knows is empty...still creepy, yes. AND there is a possible deity that they worship called Janan. Some believe he is their god that they worship, others call foul and that he isn't real. OH OH OH AND DID I MENTION THERE ARE DRAGONS?!? I mean, they attack the Tower and kill people but dragons...you cannot go wrong with dragons people, let's be serious here.
Ana trying to figure out why she came to be is such a twisting journey that you can't stop reading. You need to see how she fits into this world and you NEED to see if her and Sam *ahem* progress in their journey as well. Seriously, I can't even talk any more about the plot because I can't give away plot points but I will say this...toward the end....shit. hits. the. fan. It is intense. And crazy. And fast-paced. And gah, just so much happens! I cannot WAIT to see where Asunder goes.
Should You Read? YES! If you like anything with crazy concepts (i.e. reincarnation), dystopia, or unique idea, check this out. Even if dystopia and fantasy are not your normal comfort zone, this idea is just too good to pass up and oh so unique that I think anybody can enjoy this. Plus there's the swoony boy :)