22 March 2012

Embrace - Jessica Shirvington

Release date: March 6th, 2012
Number of pages: 367
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.
Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.
A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden… 

Embrace's premise is really promising and I jumped into this book expecting a great story. There were some things that bothered me in Embrace but mostly it was an amazing book that introduced us to an addictive plot with some really interesting characters.

Violet Eden is a rather independent girl who lives with her workaholic father. She never got to know her mother; for she died giving birth to Violet. Ever since going through a traumatic experience in high school, she never wants to find herself in a position of weakness again. In order to do that she starts training with a überhottie called Lincoln and they become best friends. Actually Violet's feelings are more than just friendly but it seems that her feelings are not reciprocated. 

Up to the day of her seventeenth birthday, some weird things start to happen. She notices some changes in her body, she receives a mysterious letter from her mother and she makes a move on Lincoln just to be rejected by him. The next day she overhears a conversation between Lincoln and Griffin that may change the course of her life. She is Grigori -part angel, part human- and so is Lincoln. Violet gets mad at Lincoln for not telling her something of this magnitude. And that's when she meets Phoenix, a falling angel and somewhat mysterious character.

I have to admit that Violet frustrated me a bit. I really liked her as a main character; she is a strong (her motto is: no running, no quitting) and confident heroine who has to learn how to live now that everything in her life is upside down. I understand her reaction but she kind of overreacts in being mad at Lincoln the whole time for not telling her about her being part angel, I mean, it was against the rules for him to tell her and she just can't accept that. But overall the characters in this book were interesting and captivating. Her relationship with Phoenix was something unique and explosive that kept me interested, while her relationship with Lincoln was cute and a bit slow. 

But the highlight of Embrace was its plot. Shirvington adds her own twist to the lore of angels keeping me enthralled the whole time. Angels are a hot topic in books nowadays and I praise authors who can bring some uniqueness to this genre in their novels. There are angels of dark and angels of light who are not supposed to get along. Everything should be black and white but there are some huge gray areas in this novel that keep the story full of unexpected events and intruguing moments. The romance was also a big part of the story but, for my taste, a too big part of it. I didn't like that the romance and the love-triangle in it overruled the more interesting plot about the angels, the Grigori and Violet's part in it.

Shirvington's writting is beautiful enabling you to read for hours without noticing. The plot kept me intrigued and captivated and the romance in it left me wanting more. Shirvington did an amazing job with this book even though I have to admit that I just love books with angel-related themes. I can't wait for its sequel Enticed, which is coming out in September!

Jessica Shirvington lives in Sydney with her husband of ten years, FOXTEL presenter and former Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington, and their two daughters. She has previously founded and run a coffee distribution company, Stella Imports, in London, and been involved in managing the restaurants Fuel Bistro, Tow Bar and MG Garage in Sydney.She is currently a full-time mum, author and co-director in the company MPS Investments Pty Ltd.

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