Friday, January 4, 2013
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (Goodreads)
Series: Newsoul #2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper Collins)
Source: ARC lent to me by Jamie (Thanks!)
Expected Release Date: January 29, 2013
Summary: Ana has always been asunder - the only one of her kind. But after Templedark, she symbolizes much more - the number of darksouls who died that night, the number of possible newsouls that could be born, and the change that is certain to come. Ana must fight for her rights, and the rights of those like her who may yet be born. As Ana discovers her life's purpose, Sam continues to stand by her. And even though she wants to believe him when he confesses his feelings, how can she tell him she feels the same when nosouls are supposedly incapable of love?
Asunder did not suffer from the rumoured "second book syndrome" or "sophomore slump"at all - that much I can guarantee. Like another second book in a series that I loved, I thought Asunder was well-written: there is distinct character progression, the reader is given the opportunity to uncover more of the plot and there is a lot of new information about the world of Heart and its various residents.
It was interesting to see what had and had not changed for Ana after the craziness that ensued in the last book. She had proven that she had a role to play in helping the citizens of Heart, but at the same time, the stark difference between her (as a newsoul) and them (as reincarnated souls) was even more pronounced. Watching her deal with the various reactions to her status - friendship or civil tolerance or curiosity or absolute enmity - was a struggle to me, as I really just wanted her to find her place among the people. The treatment of Ana in this book is a lot harsher than in the first, and it was so, so hard not to want to swoop in and save the day and protect her.
Not only did Ana have to deal with other people, she also had to deal with her own self. Like most people, Ana had doubts about her own self-worth and even her very existence. Most of these feelings and thoughts came from the classical conditioning that she had grown up with, but of course, it didn't help to be in a place where she was the first of her kind and had to figure everything out for herself. It was heartbreaking, anger-inducing and tear-inducing to watch what she had to go through. But by the end of the book, I was proud of her, mistakes and doubts and all, and looking forward to seeing what she decides to do next.
While I do love many of the citizens of Heart, Dossam/Sam is obviously my favorite. He earned the distinction with his swoon-worthy musical capabilities and genuine feelings for Ana in the first book, and this second one has just solidified my feelings for him. He's as patient, and talented, and swoon-worthy, and kind as he is in the first one, only this time, he has to invest more effort and time into figuring out how to handle his relationship with Ana. Though he is by no means perfect at handling the relationship and stumbles once or twice, I thought it added an extra charm and innocence.
Plus, there is a whole lot more going on with Sam and Ana in this book. Real relationships are the ones that can survive through the rockiest or craziest of conflicts. Sam and Ana were certainly put to the test in Asunder, and my opinion is that they totally passed and with flying colors too! They faced some of the most difficult things in this book, including their own personal problems, but they somehow managed to keep it together in spite of it all.
Apart from the romance, there was definitely a lot more new information we discover about Heart, its people and the magical creatures they often encounter. I'm incapable of saying any more about this without spoiling the book, so all I can say is that what Jodi Meadows has created and revealed in this book - well, it's a doozy!
I'm obviously a huge fan of this series, and I definitely enjoyed reading Asunder. While I was initially worried the book would not have the same effect as its predecessor, I am happy to report that I was proven incredibly, incredibly wrong. Asunder had me feeling every single thing and falling in love with Ana's story (and yes, Dossam too) all over again.