Monday, February 27, 2012

ARC Book Review: Embrace

Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Pages: 367
Read it in: 2 days
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Summary: It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

LC's Take:

This book was total love for me. From the very first chapter, I was hooked and could not put it down until I had finished! I know, I know, you might be a little hesitant because it's in the infamous "fallen angel" genre, but really this one stands out from the rest-- and in fact, Embrace is hands-down one of the best YA angel books I have read so far.

Violet Eden is about to turn 17, and the biggest thing on her mind is figuring out how to tell Lincoln, her hunky trainer, that she has feelings for him. Unfortunately, things are about to get seriously complicated, because on her 17th birthday Violet finds out she is Grigori-- half angel, half human. Added to this, exiled angels are roaming the earth, trying to gain complete control over humanity to do their will, and it's up to the Grigori to stop them. Now Violet has to make the ultimate choice to embrace her role as a Grigori-- knowing that to do so means both saving and losing Lincoln-- and leaving behind life as she knows it forever.

I really loved Violet-- not because she was a perfect character, but because she was so perfectly imperfect. She made some major mistakes but she knew when she had screwed up and wasn't afraid to admit it. She was also incredibly strong-willed and had the ability to stand up for herself when need be. And best of all? She wasn't weak or whiny! I also thought that her emotions were incredibly real, and the author described them in such a way that you can actually feel all of Violet's conflict and struggle-- over figuring out who her mother really was, whether to become Grigori or hold on to a normal life, whether to fall for Lincoln or Pheonix, whether to stay true to herself or wander in a different direction-- The girl had some serious decision-making to do in this book! Altogether, Violet was the type of character that I love to read about.

As far as the romance goes, I actually liked the love triangle in Embrace. I usually find all the triangle drama to be annoying or tedious, but in this case, I was right with Violet and could not for the life of me choose between dreamy Lincoln who has been her friend for so long, or Pheonix, the sexy and dangerous angel exile who is both alluring and a bit creepy at the same time.

Added to the steamy romance, action-packed plot, and awesome characters was vivid imagery that quickly transported me into Violet's world-- a dangerous yet brightly-lit urban setting filled with nightclubs and shadowed alleyways, mysterious Grigori and dark angels. The world-building definitely pulled me into a whole other world, and provided the perfect backdrop for all the romance and crazy celestial showdowns.

Probably my favorite part about this book was that the plot was action-packed AND well-thought out. Many of the scenes left me biting my nails to see what would happen next, and much of the narrative was filled with unexpected twists, turns and surprises. I guess the only thing that was a bit of a draw-back for me was that some of the angel lore was hard to follow. (Example: the explanations of the different ranks of angels got to be a little confusing.) Still, Embrace was fun and entertaining, and it centers around a smart and strong-willed heroine. I would say that it was even good enough to overcome the bias against fallen angel books-- in my opinion, I think readers will really enjoy this one, even if they haven't had luck with angel books in the past!

~Cover Talk~

The US cover of Embrace is definitely beautiful, no doubt about it. I love the purple-y background and the smoked-out, whispy wings on the girl who represents Violet. I actually don't have this specific cover because the ARC cover art is much different-- much simpler. And then there is the original Australian cover, pictured to the right. This is probably my favorite out of the three. I'm not sure why but I just find it to be so eye-catching, and I love the colors, the girl's dark hair against the white and purple, and how you can just barely make out the suggestions of wings in the background.

Both are gorgeous I think! Do you have a favorite?


LC's Rating:
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Smart, edgy and completely addicting, this book was absolutely impossible to put down! Embrace will totally change everything you've come to think about the fallen angel genre.

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13 comments:

  1. Lea~ Babe, your review is brilliant and I agree with everything you said 100% Embrace is definitely different from all the other angel books out there, it was hot, sexy, pretty action packed and heart-pounding. I LOVED it and can't wait for Entice!
    I am definitely #TeamPhoenix, tho. As much as I liked Linc, I am a total sucker for bad guys, and Phoenix is, like, the hottest bad guy ever!!!

    Thanks for your review! <3

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    1. Yay! So glad you loved it too Evie, and that you liked my review ;) Yeah I feel like in this first book we got to know Pheonix better than Lincoln, so it was difficult to connect with Lincoln, although in the first few chapters I was so in love with Linc! Definitely looking forward to the next book!

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  2. Great review Lea I'm reading this one right now - about 75% in and I'm really enjoying it. I completely agree about Violet she's an awesome and realistic character. I also find the triangle actually awesome! Both guys are so charming in their own way and I want her to have both haha - signs of a great love triangle! :D

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    1. This book was definitely refreshing I thought, and made the whole angel genre and the love triangle fun and interesting to read about-- hope you enjoy reading the rest of Embrace!! :D

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  3. Lovely review! It makes me want to read this book RIGHT NOW, and I'm so glad it's a refreshing take on the angel genre!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

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  4. I prefer the Aussie cover because it's the one I have but as yet, I still haven't read this book! I enjoyed your review and I'm going to bump it to the top of my list.

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  5. I still haven't read my ARC yet, but judging from this review I'm probably going to read it as soon as possible! And apparently Entice will be released this fall so we don't have to wait too long for the next book! :)

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  6. This one sounds like a must read! And I'm SUPER glad that you liked the love interests. I'm not a fan of love triangles unless they are really well done and it sounds like that was the case here. Plus I'm VERY curious about the whole Grigori angle!

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  7. I've been seeing Embrace around a lot. Indidnt think I would like it b/c there are already so many angel books out there. I'm glad Emvrace stands out from the rest. I just may give it a try!

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  8. A good love triangle? interesting. Great review, sounds like an awesome book!

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  9. I received an ARC of Embrace and ever since I got in the mail I have wanted to read it. It looks amazingly good. This is the first review I read on it, and now I am even more excited! Thanks for the fantastic review!

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  10. I've been wanting to read this SO bad! Hopefully I can get my hands on it soon. Great review! I'm glad you loved it.

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  11. I am go glad people are finally getting to read this amazing series. The angel lore, yes.. it can be a little confusing. Even to this day, three books later.. I still don't understand it all, LOL

    I am a total Lincoln girl. <3

    As for the covers... I adore the US cover.. it's gorgeous.. but I think being Australian.. I am biast toward those covers, and I think the simplicity means so much more.


    Jen @ thebooktwins

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