Book Nook — Young Adult book reviewsI was a little bit nervous going into Asunder because I had some issues with Incarnate, but I ended up liking Asunder even more!My biggest gripe in Incarnate was the romance. I didn't feel it at all. To be honest, I still wasn't a huge fan of it in Asunder, but since it was already established, I think it was easier for me to accept. It also felt like it had a smaller role in the story. There were still some awkward moments in the book (for example, when Ana and Sam discuss the inappropriateness of their relationship and the 5,000 year age difference), but overall I just kind of tuned it out and that allowed me to enjoy the fantasy and story elements much more.Ana was a much stronger character in Asunder. There were still a few times when I didn't like her—mostly when she talked about her "inability to love"—but overall she was much better; she was a character fighting for an important cause. She took action and stood up for herself. She had big dreams and aimed to make monumental changes in the society. She wasn't perfect, but it was nice to see her out there fighting rather than lurking in the shadows.What I liked most about Asunder was the mystery element. Ana was very clearly working towards a goal: she aimed to make change and uncover truths. Her goal was much more focused in this book than in Incarnate, where she simply wanted to learn about her origins. In Asunder, Ana works towards forming alliances, doing research, gathering information, and uncovering mysteries. This clear focus made the story really intense and quick to read!I think the pacing was better in this book as well. There weren't any long, drawn out periods if inaction, or long periods where Ana was doing nothing but attending lessons and learning music. There were a few, but they were mostly short and fit in with the story. For most of the book, important things are happening—things that will keep you interested and engaged in the plot! It's really fun to sit there and speculate because Jodi arranges it in a way that you have no idea who to trust. I do have to admit that the end isn't really as big of a twist as I was hoping for. I kind of wanted to be caught off guard with the big reveal of who was behind everything. Normally I expect it to be the unexpected, but in this case it ended up being the expected.. if that makes sense. But even so, the action, mysteries, and reveals are interesting and engaging!One final complaint: I wanted more dragons! They didn't make an appearance in Asunder, which was kind of a let down for me. I feel like there's an interesting story there (as introduced in Incarnate), but we don't learn anything new about them. Hopefully we'll find out more in the third book!Asunder wasn't a perfect book, but I do think it was much better than Incarnate. The writing is beautiful, the plot was interesting, and most importantly, this book felt necessary. It wasn't an empty 'filler' book and didn't suffer from the second-book-in-a-series syndrome. The plot develops nicely and Jodi Meadows sets the stage for what will probably be a very interesting third book!