Thursday 24 October 2013

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

I have read this book twice! Yep, you heard me, twice! I don't read books twice because I have that many books on my to-read list that I don't ever get around to reading my faves more than once. That being said, this book is special.

The plot. It's about a girl, Violet Eden, who after her seventeenth birthday learns that she is a Grigori, a kind of half-angel half-human warrior tasked with protecting the world from angel exiles. As you can imagine, there's the antagonist, the love interest (including a world of complications), and friends she meets along the way.

It's not what it sounds like. Give me a minute. At first, an angel story sounded silly to me. But really, this is such an emotion packed story that it blew me away. Why? The author, Jessica Shirvington definitely knows how to tug on your 'feels'. The way she writes is not complicated, her prose is very simple, but her descriptions of the characters' emotions hit the nail on the head because you can really feel yourself feeling what the characters are feeling. Deeply. And their emotions are oh so delicious to read, good and bad. Sadness, happiness, betrayal, love, hurt, longing, all of it I felt to my core.

Violet. She is kick-ass, but not in your overly obvious way. She is still your average girl with her insecurities, doubts, feelings of anguish, confusion, anger, (some of which are due to things from her past), some of which are due to not having a mother and an absent workaholic father. How she feels about those things is pretty much spot on to how you'd expect a seventeen-year-old girl to feel given the situation. But the author does not overdo it and explode it in your face on every page (I'm looking at C.J Redwine here). She's in love with Lincoln, which you learn straight off because they have been friends for a while. But the reasons as to why they are not together at first is a scenario every girl can relate to at some point in her life. She's unsure of how he feels, unsure of herself, insecure and scared to make a move, all the things I know I've certainly felt when I had a crush and never made the move. Obviously, it gets more complicated as you get deeper into the book, but it's not done in a way where you want to smash the character's faces in because they are being completely stupid, though at times it feels like the author forces impossible situations just to have obstacles to keep it interesting, but hey, there has to be hurdles to jump right? Still, I think it was done as well as it could be. Of all the books I've read, Violet is definitely a favourite character for me. I relate to her quite a lot, and I like that you know she's awesomely tough and brave and honourable, yet she's not in-your-face OTT, because she's also very feminine and has all the relatable insecurities that come with being a female.

Lincoln. Oh my. He's hot, he's silently masculine, he's loyal and devoted and protective. He's loyal and devoted to Violet even when he knows she will hate him for it, even when he knows he won't be rewarded for it, even when she won't know, he is by her side no matter what, looking out for her. The most important thing to him is her happiness and her safety, and that's always his objective. Even if it means he loses in the end, if he doesn't end up getting what he wants. As long as Violet is happy and safe. Why? Just because he loves her. And you really feel it. Jessica Shirvington has spun it beautifully, the inner struggles of Lincoln, even though it's written from Violet's 1st person narrative, you gain a pretty good understanding of where Lincoln's at and sympathise with him.

Pheonix. How can I say this?
I FREAKING LOVE HIM! There. Wait, one more time. I FREAKING LOVE HIM! Okay, done. I won't say much about him, because I cannot possibly do him justice by explaining him to you, and I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I will say this: of all the love triangles, this is my favourite. Seriously, it's a love triangle that hurts, really hurts, really really hurts, but I love it all the same. It's the kind of love triangle that had me listening to 'All Of This Could Have Been Yours' by Shooter Jennings & Hierophant on repeat on my iPod for weeks. I ran to it and thought of Pheonix, I walked to it and thought of Pheonix, I ate to it and thought of Pheonix, you get the drift. Pheonix was on my mind, and although he's dark and can be horrible (apparently), I was rooting for him because he's a complicated antagonist with a heart. A real one. He is misunderstood, and he just needs a hug. No, he needs love. From Violet. Why oh why did you do this to me Jessica Shirvington? I'm in love with two men at the same time and it's horrible of you to do this to me! I never thought that were even possible! But here we are. Look, do yourself a favour and just read the book because I think your world is less interesting without Pheonix in it. Pronto.

Honestly, my heart bled (not literally, duh) for the three main characters in this. The author thinks a lot about how to convey their emotions to the reader, and she does it in a very clever way.

Only thing I will pick on, is the fact that it's supposed to be set in America, but sometimes she lets Australian slang and tropes slip ('mate', 'bloke', etc) which I don't think international readers would understand or appreciate. Since it's set in America, I think she should have kept the 'Aussie' out of it so that it would be more realistic, because I really don't think, even in an alternate world/society, that Americans would or will ever use Aussie words. But hey, I read the first publication, maybe that's changed or improved for the international releases? I hope so.

Besides that, beautiful story, beautiful characters. A real treat. And what makes it even better, is that there's four more in the series, with the possibility of a sixth (I think). Keep 'em coming Jessica, lovin' your work!

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