Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Published by Orchard 2011

I slowly opened my eyes. The sun speared its first bright rays of golden orange into the sky and I leapt from the cliff, with the sorrowful knowledge that no matter what the outcome, at least part of me would die that day...

Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. The one bright spot is that Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet’s idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend?

After he gives her the world’s most incredible kiss – and then abandons her on her front doorstep – Violet is determined to get some answers. But nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln’s explanation: he is Grigori – part angel and part human – and Violet is his eternal partner.

Without warning, Violet’s world is turned upside down. She never believed in God, let alone angels. But there’s no denying the strange changes in her body ... and her feelings for Lincoln. Suddenly, she can’t stand to be around him. Luckily, Phoenix, an exiled angel, has come into her life. He’s intense and enigmatic, but at least he never lied to her.

As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...

When I picked this up, I was immediately skeptical. I had seen and read far too many angel books last year and in my opinion, the subject of angels is wearing itself out; the same goes for werewolves and vampires. I asked myself, "Is there anything even remotely different that makes this stand out from the rest?" and there was, and there wasn't.

I'd seen the concept of Grigoris before in the first angel series I'd picked up: the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I liked those well enough. There were all the usual Grigori elements in the story, and as usual there was a war going on that Violet was thrown into, along with a love triangle with two amazingly hot men. However, Shirvington did manage to throw her own ideas into the Grigori world and make the story unique to her, which I enjoyed because it made the concept a thousand times more interesting. Violet was... an iffy character in my opinion. At first, I found her relatable. She was in a love with a guy who thought her as nothing than a friend and she knew that Lincoln would never see her any other way. Then as the story went on and Phoenix was thrown into the mix, I found her kind of naive and blind. The fact that there was more to Phoenix, something sinister and dark, which she at first recognised but after several appearances and him catching her as she fell while rock climbing, she was ultimately won over. It just seemed slightly too easy for me. I was a bit frustrated with her also as she didn't really Lincoln much of a chance to explain why he had kept the huge secret from her; I understood where Lincoln was coming from and why he didn't tell her. I just thought she was being a bit childish. Violet does have redeeming qualities however.  She was selfless and strong at times, and slowly came to terms with the situation; she matured. Lincoln was a gorgeous character and I sympathised with him at times; he is ultimately the best guy for her in my opinion. Phoenix was a dark and conflicted character. I liked him though: he was there for Violet and ultimately great support. I was rooting for him and Violet to get together and they made a good couple. But like I said, I had suspicions. The events and plot of the book were very engaging and interesting; an enjoyable read. I'll be picking up the next in the series... Maybe I'm just too easy to win over.   

4 stars

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