There are some days when I want to kick myself. This is one of those days. This book has been in my very soon to be read stack for a week, but I was hung up on a book that had no pull for me. I’m so irritated because I could have been reading this the whole time! You guys, it’s amazing. There aren’t enough strong descriptors for me to use to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book. The main character, Ana, is beyond compelling and empathetic. I shed tears, people. I haven’t cried while reading a book since I was twelve and the little girl in the book died of cancer at the end (totally shattered my little heart.) This time around I wasn’t sobbing into my dad’s shoulder, but I certainly got something in my eye. Even if you’ve never felt like you’re not worthy of love, Meadows does such a masterful job of writing it that you will ache for Ana nonetheless. Here’s the thing though: this isn’t one of those books that you read because you want to cry. Oh, no. This book is filled with hope and love and marvelous strength and tenacity and its set in a world that will knock your socks off.
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.
Now, here is why I love, love, love this book so much: Meadows clearly belongs to the school of urgency. Her book is freaking steeped in it. You guys know by now that a sense of urgency is really important to me. It goes so far to make a compelling read. That’s why Patrick Rothfuss can write 900 page books that read like a 300 page book. Meadows does the same thing. I’m not going to tell you how, but I will tell you that the tools she uses to up the tension are frakking fantastic. Every time when I felt lulled into a sense of security, she ripped the rug out from under me and I loved her for it.
However, the key here is that she did all of this while still maintaining strong characters and creating a vibrant stage for them to play on. I loved that she used every sense to make the story come to life. It made it even easier to invest in Ana and Sam. And boy howdy, did I invest in Ana and Sam. I read this story in no time because those two characters had me flipping through the pages so quickly. But, what astounded me the most what the way that I immediately invested in these two characters. There wasn’t a single moment’s hesitation. I can’t even put my finger on how Meadows did it, but within a single page, Ana had won my heart. It was delightful.
Another thing, before I ADD out, is Meadows’ world building. The details she includes added such richness to the story. Sam’s graveyard was particularly evocative for me. To know that each of the one million souls has a graveyard filled with each of their incarnations was fascinating to me. I can see it so clearly in my mind’s eye and that’s all thanks to Meadows’ world building.
In the end, I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s compelling, evocative, well written, and startlingly alluring.
5 ink bottles.