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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Embrace Cover Shoot from Sourcebooks Inc on Vimeo.