Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington - Book Review

It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.

LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.

PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.

Two sides: Angel or Exile.

Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.

The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...


Sigh….  Yet another book brimming with potential and a great storyline that managed to shoot itself in the foot with its execution.

Embrace suffers from what I like to call the Post-Twilight YA Syndrome.  It mercilessly shoves a love triangle in your face.  The writing is very average, and the characters could have used more development.  It has a very good storyline involving angels, but it’s so busy trying to compete with the YA trends that too much of the good is overshadowed by the bad.  It’s gotten to the point where I’m almost scared to pick up a new YA book by an author I’ve never read before because I’m terrified of it being yet another example of why these clichés need to die.

 Violet Eden isn’t quite as Mary-Sue as some protagonists I’ve read recently, but she’s still a two-dimensional character.  After a traumatic experience in her past, she’s become determined to be a strong-willed person who never runs when things get tough.  She also likes art.  That’s really all I know about her.  Well, that and the fact that she lusts after her athletic trainer and good friend, Lincoln.

Lincoln was probably my favorite character in this book, mainly because he was the least underdeveloped one in my opinion.  Phoenix, the bad-boy part of the triangle, with lusty eyes and smoldering looks, fit my usual “type” better, but he read like a walking talking cliché, and I predicted every single one of the surprises involving him way before they were revealed.  Even Steph, Violet’s spoiled, perky, loyal BFF, suffered from these characterization pit-falls.

 Aside from the minimal characterization, Embrace has a habit of dumbing down obvious things, and ignoring others.  A lot of questions got completely ignored, like why exactly Grigori – angel-human hybrids – partners can’t be together romantically.  It felt more like a convenient way to keep romantic tension high than anything else.

All in all, though it did keep me entertained, Embrace wasn’t the novel I was hoping for after reading a very interesting synopsis and some rave reviews.  It relied too heavily on proven popular formulas and didn’t have enough substance to wow me.

Embrace - 2.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I thought this was pretty solid, for readers who like paranormal romance in the first place. It didn't exactly convert me to the genre.

    I did find the love triangle original in the sense that both boys seemed to legitimately have a chance. The worst is when there is a "triangle" but it's 100% obvious which boy will get the girl. Why even pretend?

    1. Yeah, this book was a hard one for me to review. On the one hand, I did like a lot about it. But on the other, I felt that the writing and plot just had too many cliches, and Phoenix's backstory was pretty predictable. I just couldn't get into it. I can see why a lot of people like it, though. It just wasn't for me.

      I know what you're saying about the love triangle thing. And this one definitely didn't seem decided from the beginning like a lot. *ahem* Twilight *ahem* But it seems like every YA paranormal has a love triangle anymore, it'd be refreshing to see one with just one swoon-worthy guy in it.


As you may or may not know, life is eating up way too much of my spare time right now, so pretty please don't hate me if it takes me a few days to get back to your wonderful comments. I read each and every one from my phone, and they always make my day. <3