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Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Release Date: October 14, 2010
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genre: Angels, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: Hachette Australia

Blurb (from

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...

The Quickie Review

Whilst Embrace is a well written debut novel (from Australian author Jessica Shirvington) which has all the elements that make up a story I should love - hot boys, a love triangle and a dash of fantasy – I found there was something lacking due to my inability to sympathize or connect with the two main male leads who were quite frankly pretty dodgy.

The Full Blown Review

I’m doing a little bit of a change in my reviewing style for this review as surprisingly the blurb pretty much sums up most of the events in the book, I don’t want to give the rest away, so I’m going to skip the whole blurby goodness I usually do and go straight to my bookish thoughts.

Okay so first off I thoroughly enjoy a good love triangle and this book is basically Violet swinging between Lincoln and Phoenix, two hot males (so if you don’t love a good ol’ love triangle this book probably isn’t for you at all), however for the whole love triangle to work I have to actually like the characters and I didn’t really which was a shame because I really wanted to, I tried oh how I tried, but in the end both male leads were not very endearing, they both were shall I say douchey even their hotness could not make me like them very much. Take Lincoln he kept this huge life changing secret from Violet then when she found out this secret he wanted to give her ‘space’ to think about it even though he knew Phoenix, an exiled angel (which are apparently really bad as they want to kill Grigori), was itching to get him some Violet, I mean can you say weiner that boy really needed to grow some and protect his woman! Then we have Phoenix who was dark and broodingly handsome but just as bad as Lincoln because the nut was manipulating Violet’s feelings influencing how she felt towards himself and Lincoln which in my view was pretty bad, especially when he popped her cherry, in the bush no less! So basically as you can tell I didn’t really like both Lincoln or Phoenix that much but if I had to choose one it would probably be Phoenix as even though he didn’t handle the whole situation well he did kind of redeem himself in the end after what he did, I mean he should have done it anyway but he didn’t have to, plus he was so much hotter than Lincoln, in my opinion anyway.

Then we have Violet, ahh Violet, Violet, Violet, where to begin. Well her ridiculous stance towards Lincoln’s lying and then trusting Phoenix even though he lied to her too, it made no sense to me, can someone say double standards and believe me I cannot stand people who have double standards, it makes me so frustrated, arghh! I was also surprised she let Phoenix pop her cherry (don’t you love that expression? It’s my new favourite expression!) I mean the girl was pining over Lincoln for ages plus she also had some trouble with a male teacher when she was younger, so I still don’t know why she did it, it just didn’t make sense to me especially from what we knew of her character, perhaps it was because of Phoenix influencing her but still I don’t know.

Apart from Violet, Lincoln and Phoenix we were introduced to a few secondary characters however they weren’t involved too much in the story at all. We had Violet’s father who basically left Violet up to her own devices most of the time (bad parenting anyone? For once I would love a decent parent who actually cared about what their kids were doing), Violet’s boy crazy shhhh I’m real smart friend Steph who to tell you the truth I cant remember too much about apart from the fact that she found out about Violet being a Grigori in a busy shopping centre food court of all places and Griffin, who looks after and guides the Grigori under his care in the city. There was also some really bitchy Grigori, her name escapes me at this moment, who was a wee bit jealous of Violet as she wasn’t impressed with Lincoln’s lovey dovey feelings towards Violet even though it was painfully obvious Lincoln was like totally in love with Violet, he’s a one woman man alright!

Now you may be reading this and think ohhh you must not have enjoyed this book at all, well not true, I did, I really did, I mean the main characters were a bit dodgy but overall it wasn’t a bad read. The whole premise behind the Grigori and exiled angles was quite interesting, that said I did get a tad confused at times about the whole angel hierarchy so it was good a hierarchical map was included so whenever I needed an angel hierarchy refresher I simply turned to the hierarchical map and voila! There was also some interesting discussion as to the whole ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels we give people, we tend to lump things into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ however it’s usually not so clear cut, good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things. I also found the book to be well written especially considering this is Jessica Shirvington’s first novel, she can sure write some good ol’ romance scenes for sure!

So basically whilst Embrace is not a deep novel (but you already probably knew that, its fantasy which is meant to whisk you away and yes it did that for me) and I didn’t really connect with any of the main characters, it was well written and definitely shows some promise. I’ll probably read the next book in the series, what can I say I’m a glutton for these kind of books, I want to find out if Lincoln and Violet can ever actually be together!


3.5 out of 5

There’s Another Book?!?

Jessica has signed a three book deal with Hachette Australia so there are at least two more books in the series, however with that said in an interview with Tina over at Book Couture Jessica said there will be 4 books in the series so I’m not sure!

The second book in the series Enticed will be released in 2011, here’s a little bit on what we can expect -

Violet continues to discover and do battle with her angelic nature within – will this nature ensure that any choices she makes stay true to the path of her pre-determined destiny?


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Romy @
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is Well is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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