Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 397 (Kindle Edition)
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Alright, time for my full review.

I. Loved. This. Book.

When it comes to fiction, I’m not typically an angel person. The whole concept of the wings drives me batty. How does a character DO anything with huge wings attached to their shoulder blades?
How do they sleep? How do they wear clothes? How do they walk through narrow doorways?

Anyway, suffice it to say, I get stuck in my own silly headspace when it comes to angel stories and it made me hesitant to read Embrace – despite the absolutely gorgeous cover.

Wow. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that.

Obviously, I got over my hesitation and I’m so glad that I did.

Like I said in my mini-review, I loved Violet. Even though she fell into the cliché of the girl hopelessly in love with her best friend, I loved her right from the start. Her strength and badass attitude was one cultivated over time and it made her completely relatable. I loved that her relationship with her father was strained, but in the most loving way possible. She didn’t have a lot of friends, but it wasn’t because she was unlikable, she just happened to be the type of person who didn’t have a lot of friends, but the one she does have – Steph – is awesome.

Like most books, I went into this one essentially blind – I didn’t even read the description – and as such I had no idea that there would be a triangle. Although, considering this is a paranormal YA novel, a love triangle is basically par for the course.

I liked Lincoln when the story began. I thought he was a good friend to Violet and as physical descriptions go, his wasn’t anything to sneeze at. I was all set for Violet to gradually make him aware of her feelings for him and for him to gradually reveal the fact that he pretty much loved her all along.

Then Phoenix happened.


Like I said, I don’t normally get invested in triangles to the point where I have a strong opinion as to who gets the girl. I read The Hunger Games not caring one iota whether Katniss ended up with Peeta or Gale. Embrace, however, was a completely different story. As soon as it was clear that Phoenix was going to play a major role in this story, my mind was made up and nothing that happened during the course of the story swayed my opinion. Phoenix is a glorious bad boy right down to the dark hair and smoldering good looks and that is so my type. His connection with Violet is visceral and utterly delicious.

My affinity for Phoenix probably colored my view of Lincoln as well. As soon as the truth about Violet’s Grigori nature came out, Lincoln read as more cowardly, more petulant and his jealousy toward Phoenix wasn’t attractive in the slightest.

Phoenix’s jealously wasn’t all that attractive either, but it works better with his character. Considering the fact that Lincoln appears to be the good boy, I guess I felt that jealousy should be above him.
Unfair? Eh, maybe, but I don’t care. ;)

I just wrote my review for Divergent, so forgive me for making a comparison here because the two stories are nothing alike, but in terms of plot Embrace wasn’t as tight. While Jessica Shirvington clearly did a lot of research and mythology building to support her story, there were big exposition moments that, while fascinating and engaging, really felt like story time. There were also a couple of places where I felt like Violet arrived at a decision without cluing the reader into the decision making process – when she decided to be with Phoenix, for example. Violet talks about having made a choice, but I have no idea when or how it happened.

Those were my only quibbles, however, and as you can see from my five star rating, they didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. The plot itself – fallen angels, light vs. dark, Grigori and the whole concept of Embracing – I enjoyed immensely and I look forward to diving into Entice, the next book in the series.


  1. You? You like a bad boy? WhaaaaaaT?


    Love this review. I really need to just sit down and read this book, especially if it got such high praise from you! I can't wait to see what you think about Entice!