Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Format: Hardcover, 369 pages
Publisher: March 6th 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Series: Embrace | Entice | Emblaze | Endless
Source: Purchased


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…

My thoughts

Embrace was a surprise for me. I was expecting to like it, sure, but not as much as I did. Angels have never really been my thing (no reason, they just weren’t), but this one was a treat.

Violet’s mom died right after she was born (literally, minutes later), so it’s always been just her and her dad. They never talk about her mother’s death, but it’s always there, right below the surface. He’s immersed himself in his career and doesn’t spend a lot of time at home. Luckily for Violet, she has Lincoln to keep her company. They met in a self-defense class a few years ago, and they’ve hung out ever since, mostly to train in martial arts and the like. But it turns out he wasn’t just being her friend, he was actually training her for her career as a Grigori, a half-angel, half-human.

Violet wasn’t my favorite character ever. She tended to be whiny, and I thought some of her reactions were dramatic, especially toward Lincoln and Phoenix. But, she’d had a tough time, growing up with no mom, and I can understand her feelings of betrayal toward Lincoln. She wasn’t a very good friend to Stephanie, her bestie. She kind of tossed her aside to hang out with the new hottie. Lincoln was a bit of a mystery. You could tell he really cared for Violet, but I didn’t really get why he had to be so secretive about the whole thing. Why not tell her the truth earlier? And he kept saying that because they are “angel” partners (they can heal each other, etc.), they can never be together the way Violet wants, but he never says why.That part was frustrating.

Phoenix was a fallen angel, he had the ability to alter someone’s feelings, which he did in excess, to Violet. Although she said she minded, she didn’t really act like it. He had this crazy hair that Violet called opal, which meant it changed color, depending on the light he was in, and his mood. The fact that nobody thought that was weird, or pointed out his mood-ring hair seemed odd to me. Frankly, I was surprised that Violet was able to flip from being so in love with Lincoln to being interested in Phoenix, especially with his shady background and ability to manipulate feelings.

The story was exciting and mostly fast-paced. There was one section about 2/3 of the way in that I thought was the end. It would have been a good ending place, too, right after a big climactic scene, but it just kept going. For a bit, I was not happy, I thought it should have ended. But after a while, I was pleased that the story continued. The Grigori background information was confusing for me a lot of the time. There are angel levels, light and dark angels, when and why to “fall from heaven,” choosing sides… I don’t know if it was the way the info was explained, or if I’m just slow, but I found some of the angel lore convoluted. Plus, there were several unanswered questions that left me frustrated (Who was Violet’s mother? Why was Violet the only one with tattoos? Why didn’t her dad notice her new tattoos? Why couldn’t she and Lincoln be together, even if they were angel partners? Why was Phoenix so interested in Violet?).

The cover is very pretty, with the purple background and wispy wings. I’m not sure what those things are floating around the model (feathers?), but they add a certain balance that I like.

The sum up

Fast-paced and fun, Embrace is full of angst and drama with a healthy dose of paranormal.

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Other opinions

Refracted Light
Bookish Sarah

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  1. Cathy Summer says:

    In the past i had equal good and not good experiences with Angels (in one hand Hush, Hushand in the other hand Fallen But the thing is i always have a crush reading about Angels and the moment i read the summary i just couldn’t stop holding my self not to start reading immediately!

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