Review Time! Embrace is the first novel in the Violet Eden Chapters, it's also the debut of Australian author, Jessica Shirvington. Embrace is currently not avaliable in the US for purchase but you can pre-order it $8.50 on Book Depository ( HERE ). I'm very excited to review this, as it's my first Aussie author novel I've read this year! Thanks to T. at Hachette for sending a copy for review!
( Goodreads ) 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 Short Story ? - The first novel in a brand new angel series that is exciting and original. A fresh take-on the 'angel' mythology and a brand new unique YA voice. Jessica Shirvington's debut is an excellent addition to the YA paranormal literature!
The Long Story ? - It's actually a little awkward reading a novel written by an YA aussie author. They are such a small bunch that I simply can't not feel proud of them ( even if I didn't write the book) but it also means I have high expectations. Jessica Shirvington is an excellent writer who has a unique and distinctive writing style. Embrace is exciting and fast-paced and well-written but there are also flaws to the novel. However, don't let that put you off because the goods outweigh the bad and seriously, how many perfect novels have you read anyway?
One of the highlights of this novel for me is the originality. Angel mythology is one aspect of paranormal YA that is used often, not over-used ( like vampires) but it's fairly common. The fresh take on fallen angels, good and evil and human/angel hybrids is one of the things that make Embrace memorable. It's shown clearly that the author has done thorough research and had well-planned her plot before beginning the writing process. While we commonly read novels about fallen angels and nephilim it's not often we read about fallen angels that are both good and evil or about Grigori ( brand new name for human/angel hybrids) who act as protectors of the human race. It's even more uncommon to read about angels that only physical form after they are fallen which means angels are actually incorporeal. These are only examples of the originality, the author as portrayed in this novel.
Another highlight would be the fast-paced and adventurous plot. While I thought the action in this novel was not of my taste, it was nevertheless exciting to read. The constant battle between good and evil, internally and externally was both thrilling and extravagant keeping the reader at the edge of their seat. Filled with twists and turns, I felt like I was part of the novel myself. Both the beginning and the ending were satisfying which is one of the first things I look for in a novel.
I had a little bit of a problem with the characterisation. Although, Jessica, has managed to portray and describe her characters brilliantly. I found it hard to connect with any of them. Quite frankly, I thought Violet was a little hard to relate to putting aside her half angel heritage. Her personality tended to swing from normal teenager dealing with a big change to depressed, angry teenager who doesn't want to change in a matter of a few pages. Her personality changes throughout the book didn't flow nicely, changing from one extreme to another which was a little annoying and confusing.
Also, the romance in this novel I personally thougth could have been written a little better. While both love interests were without a doubt 'hot' and well portrayed. Lincoln being the 'good' guy who Violet has always been in love with and Phoenix being the 'bad' guy who Violet can't just can't keep but be attracted to, it's a well developed love triangle but it lacked passion. I thought even in kissing scenes and 'other' scenes while it's obvious they're in love it's a little distant. A little like reading a YA novel with a MG based romance. However, I'm liked that the romance wasn't one-sided. It's a balanced love-triangle where the reader doesn't know who Violet will pick to be with until the very last chapters.
Overall, Embrace was a enjoyable and original start to a series with a great deal of potential. I believe this will be one of those series' that get better with each book which is good since I have the second book sitting on my shelf at the moment ;) Very unique writing style filled with dry humour and witty lines. Fast-paced and action packed as well as a blossoming romance with many obstacles ahead. I can't wait to read more about Violet's adventures! Rating 4/5 ( I had to take marks off for the flaws but overall it was really enjoyable and hard not to like! )
Badass Bookie xx