Embrace – Jessica Shirvington (The Violet Eden Chapters, Book 1)


“All Violet wants is to be with Lincoln. But he has a secret so great it could tear them apart.

Then there’s Pheonix. He’s intense and enigmatic, but always there for her.

Caught up in a battle between light and dark – where angels seeks vengeance and humans are warriors – Violet must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice. And who to trust…

The wrong choice could cost her not only her life, but her destiny”

Jessica Shirvington is better known in Australia as the wife of former Olympic athlete, Matt Shirvington, but with her debut release of Embrace she’s set to make a name for herself in the young adult writers scene.

Violet Eden has always been crazy for Lincoln. They’ve grown close over the years but Lincoln has always been reluctant to let anything other than friendship be shared between them. When Violet becomes determined to get some answers she get more than she bargained for she discovers that not only is Lincoln a Grigori – part human part angel, but so is she.

Battle lines are drawn and Violet is put under pressure to accept her Grigori nature – but is she ready to accept a life she never wanted?

Discovering you’re half angel comes as quite a shock (as it would) to our main character Violet. This news leaves her with an identity crisis as she comes to grip with a life she seemingly has no say in. This gives her initially an anti-hero role in the story but soon enough finds a reason to ‘embrace’ her fate.

Violet is generally likeable though I found it a bit difficult to relate to her, particularly in her choice in men, but in this book, she can’t be completely blamed for her emotions. Violet swung from being strong and independent to damsel in distress at various times in Embrace. She is only 17 though, so for now, she’s forgiven but I’m hoping that once she understands her talents she’ll become the strong lead she’s capable of being.

The love triangle in Embrace fits into the mould of, good guy who’s been a friend forever vs the mysterious stranger with a dark past (sigh).  Although I did like Lincoln (Mr Good Guy), there wasn’t enough seen of him to make a proper judgment. Phoenix on the other hand I completely haaaaaated. This guy is a grade A stalker. The blurb describes him as intense, but he’s also manipulative, forceful, jealous and possessive (something at times both boys were guilty of).

The writing itself draws you in, as you begin to learn about the fascinating take on the Grigori and exiled Angels as well as the religious mythology that’s woven into the storyline (without coming across as preachy). I loved the use of quotes at the start of each chapter. I’ve seen some authors do it but usually they seem obscure or unrelated but these quotes complimented the story and the chapter ahead.

Though I found the take on the concept of Angels original and clever, there were some parts of the plot that I did find a bit predictable and there was a lot of convenience in the way some scenes were resolved (including Violet’s best friend Steph who is totes cool with the whole Angel thing after an explanation in the food court).

Violet’s dad is conveniently absent and neglectful to his daughter and her whereabouts. Which, although is handy for the story, just seems a bit unrealistic. It’s ironic that while he turns a blind eye, everything a parent dreads to happen to their child, basically happens to Violet (think sex, stabbing and jumping off cliffs).

It might sounds like I didn’t like Embrace, but I really did, it was enjoyable, Shirvington has a remarkable style of writing that immerses you in the story, but it’ll be the kind of book you’ll either love or hate. Like a lot of the books I’ve read this year, the story has potential, but it’ll really depend on where the next book takes us.

Pages: 382
Publication Date: October 2010
Rating: [rating:3.5]

Teaser Quote: “I slowly opened my eyes. The sun speared its first bright rays of golden orange into the sky and I leapt from the cliff, knowing that no matter what the outcome, at least some part of me would die that day…”

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