Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review - Embrace by Jessica Shirvington


Author Site
Letter to Violet:

My girl, 
Happy 17th birthday. I wish I could be there with you, but I think if you ar reading this...I am not. For that, I am sorry. The day your dad and I found out we were going to have a baby was the happiest day of my long life. I know the only day that will exceed that joy will be the day you are born - no matter how that day ends.
A big decision lies ahead. The burden of the covenant is a heavy one to bear. Choose with your heart, for I already know that you, my girl, must let your heart guide the way.
I love you. Please forgive me.
Discover more at ""

by Jessica Shirvington
Hardcover367 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published October 1st 2010)

Premise: Ganked from Goodreads:
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…  
Look for the sequels ENTICED in September 2012 and EMBLAZE in March 2013!
My Review NO Spoilers!


I read this book as part of the mass Review with other Hollow Readers. 

I’m not sure what my preconceived idea was… but I was in for a surprise!

Right from the beginning, this book grabbed my attention and sucked me in. I was caught off guard by the speed and efficiency. Refreshing!

There are big underlying ideas – creative, attractive, thought-provoking, edgy!

Since this book is about angels – no spoilers, ok!! – there is a large backdrop of the spiritual world and how it functions. The author takes the idea of “good” vs. “bad” and shakes it up, mixing it together and then dumps it out into something new. What if angels weren’t “good” or “bad” exclusively? What if they had their own free will and sometimes didn’t like their jobs? What if they wanted to have a body, which they only could if they became part-human? What if these “exiles” had their own motivations and ulterior motives to go with super speed & strength & who-knows-what-all-else?

Suddenly, the spiritual world opens up completely different and unique from any preconceived idea I had before opening this book. The information is delivered as Violet learns it, fast, certainly, but also incomplete, which adds to the anticipation of learning more as the book progresses.  This book was fun to read as a creative story, setting aside my personal conclusions. I missed the idea that God was anywhere – He is set aside as a huge question mark that doesn’t take an active part in the spiritual or physical world. There is more reference to God as a swear word, actually, as a humorous way to relieve tension when the characters find everything too hard to deal with.

Yes, there’s swearing – mostly at the beginning and the end.

There’s also sex. It's not explicit, rather tasteful, but central to the story!

My favorite part of this book is how Violet is in tune with her emotions. She doesn’t always agree with what she feels, but she’s always aware. The author takes this to a deep level as certain angels can share emotions, instantly changing the mood of the moment. I totally believe in the fallacy of emotions, so this was amazing, I thought, and really well done.

I also enjoyed the love triangle as being very unique and well-developed, and emotionally reactive!!!  I loved Lincoln… and then I loved Phoenix… and I was suspicious of Lincoln, suspicious of Phoenix. Both men had enough that was good and enough that was selfish that I was never sure, right along with Violet.

I guessed some of who he was well before Violet did in the story. I think the author lets us readers in early on purpose because she didn’t spend time retelling… which I appreciated. It adds to the tension, again, of how things will work out by the end, especially with Violet’s character… she is so stubborn and she doesn’t forget.

[Slightly Spoilerish!!]  I was really weirded out with my own reaction to, um, Pheonix when I grasped who he was. *ahem* I don’t know exactly how else to say that. Instead of, say, the appropriate response of running away, I, um, liked him a heck of a lot more. *cough*  I just wonder what that says about me, that I really like “bad” boys.  You know? I’m totally curious where your emotions swing when everything clicks. When you read this book, do tell!!!  J  I can’t be the only one!!!!  (Please!!!)

En Fin, the concept unique, the characters (can’t say “people”) are all deep & flawed – all of ‘em!  The  spiritual side is plenty mysterious with that unbelievable dream-like quality, the powers are not fully developed in Embrace because the timeline is short and sweet and Violet’s just learning stuff.  I LOVE the use of color. 

This book is a winner. 

My Rating: 4.5 - Great Book!!

About the Amazing Author:

Jessica ShirvingtonJessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES. An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for FOXTEL and Sky News. Married for almost eleven years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels. Previously, she founded a coffee distribution company, Stella Imports, in London, and before that was involved in the management of restaurants Fuel Bistro and MG Garage in Sydney. Jessica is now a full-time novelist and living her dream.
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to fall in love forever at 17? 

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Embrace Cover Shoot from Sourcebooks Inc on Vimeo.



  1. Very well-written, detailed and insightful review- all without giving the story away. Your enthusiasm is infectious. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm definitely adding this to my to=read list:)


    1. Hey... thx!! I always want to DISCUSS details and I tried really hard to leave out spoilerish things. Not easy!! But this is too new to spoil! :-)

  2. Ever since I've heard of this book I've been super excited to get my hands on it. I want it right now! I am super obsessed with angel books currently, and I just know that I'm going to LOVE this book. Part of me wants to read it ASAP and the other part wants to wait until closer to the second release so I don't have to wait *too* long in between! I'm a little ehhh on the love triangle aspect though, I'm so sick of them. For an awesome book with angels, I will make the exception though...

    1. Yeppers - I'm with you on the triangle!! That's why I mentioned it as a "love triangle" - hahahahaha - vs. say, frustrated romance or intrusive interest.

      It was kind of weird having God sooooo separate since "angels" and "God" sort of work together.

      But this book is DEFINITELY different and exciting, which I loved. It's not cliffhangery, which is also great.

      I did research a little to see if I couldn't get the second and third from Australia. I guess there's SIX in the series so far, though... so I'm resigning myself to waiting impatiently!!!

    2. Six?! That's my kind of series! I love longer series. I never want them to end, so if they can last longer then I'm alllll for it.

      I was going to go to the bookstore tomorrow and spend all of my money on new books, but this one doesn't come out til next week. Will I be able to save some or will I see too many other awesome new books that I don't own?! My dilemma... I might have to put my dystopian month on hold for a day or two on the 6th when I somehow get my hands on this!

      Plus, if it's not really a cliffhanger, then I can definitely read it and not be need the second SO much. Maybe...!

    3. OH MAN!! Bookstores are so dangerous when you see all those books you want!! I take out my aggression on the library first, carrying out such huge stacks I draw attention to myself, stumbling into walls under the weight of my WANTS! jajajajaja Have fun!! And just get what you can read!!! (if you can!)

  3. Wow! This sounds like a read that has a deeper side. I am definitely going to pick this one up. Thanks for your great review.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

    1. Yep. Deeper and darker than other angel books... although I'm planning on verifying that!!!! :-) I'm looking forward to finding out!

  4. I'm so glad that you love the book, Laura! It's such a shame that this book doesn't really work out for me. Violet is a really stubborn one, but I hope that whoever she chooses in the end will be the best for her! May the best man win! ;)

    1. I agree with you about Violet. She is stubborn and has lots of attitude. I don't mind those things with real reason, which I felt Violet had. Not sure I want the best man to win this time, though... which is a first for me!

      Thx for stopping by!!!

  5. My dear! Im so freaking happy you liked this book! I totally agree about the presence of God in those certain moments you mention XD, but I actually like that this story is not focused in God after all but, as you say, angels with their own free will. This was totally envigorating to read in an angel book =D I loved it. Btw, about Phoenix.. *cough, cough* I DID liked him even more when I knew the truth =D. It actually made him even more special and unique. I love that in this book, there is a strong difference in who your parents are and who is really you.
    Excellent review my sweet!!! now we can fangirl together our Gorgeous and perfect Phoenix! yaaaaaaaaaay!!

    have a lovely weekend! muah!!!
    Dazzling Reads

    1. Yay!!!! :-) Hahahaha Hilarious. I'm so glad you felt the same!! The worse he got, the better I liked him, which... YIKES!! Hahahahaha At least we can rave together. Phew!

  6. Great review. This book is on my TBR list. Hope to get it off soon!

    I clicked on your ad at the bottom of this post!


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