Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Read it in: 2 days
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!
Both are gorgeous I think! Do you have a favorite?