Review: Embrace

April 15, 2011 at 5:49 am (3 stars, Australian, review) (, , , , , , , )

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Pages: 382, paperback

ISBN: 9780734411846

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Date Released: October 14th, 2011

Genre: YA / romance / paranormal /angels

Source: library

Premise:

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… (taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

So, this may be the one angel novel that I actually enjoyed for the most part, even though I use the word ‘enjoy’ very loosely because I had a few problems with the text.

The story itself was interesting, that Violet is actually a half angel who has to fight evil angels that had been banished from heaven. For the most part, her characterisation is fairly believable, for instance, when she finds out what she really is. The angel mythology is well thought out, and is incredibly interesting. At times, though, it does get too much, as if  Shirvington is just going all out, throwing every idea at her readers, but still.

My main problem with the book were the not-so-subtle hints at rape. No, not the physical rape (to an extent) but rape as in mind-control, and practically full-on manipulation. See, there’s this one character called Phoenix, who we’re supposed to love because he’s hot and a bad bot and misunderstood because he’s an angel (I’m seeing a pattern here…) who we find out can manipulate people’s feeling, and that’s exactly what Phoenix does to Violet. He manipulates her feelings so that he hates her Angel Partner and crush, Lincoln, and to fall for Phoenix. And with her newfound passion–that he forced onto her without her realising–he sleeps with her, taking her virginity. And it turns out he was just using her. Good as!
BUT! I just have to add that Violet isn’t as passive as most other YA characters would be in her situation. When she finds out, she’s relatively mad. She’s filled with shame. She hates him for betraying her like that. Her reactions are fairly spot on for the most part, so that made my respect for her character go up.

Violet’s characterisation is pretty well done. Violet actually seems to grow a bit as the story progresses–when she embraces, it certainly shows a great level of maturity–but I can’t help but wonder if her growth and relationships–especially with her father and her supposed best friend–could be expanded. Her father is one of those ‘busy parents’ who is hardly ever present in the story, and Violet’s best friend is only there to talk about boys.

Now, the writing was fairly fast-paced and quick to read, so you can probably knock this book off in just a few days, or something, depending on how fast you read. I quite like books that are fast paced, especially in this sort of genre of un-serious books.

The story was quite predictable; I had essentially guessed everything before the halfway mark, but it was still a fun, light journey.

I’ll be eagerly awaiting getting my hands on the second book, which has been recently released in Australia.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 3
Characters: 4
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 3

Total: 3/5 stars

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