I received this book for free from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Jessica Shirvington
Published October, 2010 by Hachette
Provided by: Hachette Australia
Genres: Angels & Demons, Urban Fantasy
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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? 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…
WOW. I was absolutely blown away at how much I enjoyed this debut novel! I was getting tired of reading Angel stories, but this one was so blissfully different. I highly recommend it!
First of all I have to say – I can’t believe this is Jessica Shirvington’s first story! It was simply amazing and so well-written. The story was perfectly mapped out and planned, it unfolded at a great pace and almost everything was explained in a timely fashion. Instead of a huge slew of questions with no answers, everything works and dances together in perfect rhythm, and for the most part, we figure out the answers alongside our heroine, Violet.
I LOVED Violet! I tend to have a dislike towards the lead characters these days, feeling I’m unable to relate at all, but I really adored her. Most of the choices she made were my own, she was strong and brave and wasn’t afraid to stand her ground. I really believed her emotions and what she felt for both Lincoln and Phoenix.
Ah, boys. I was head over heels for Lincoln in the beginning – can you say amazing kiss? But then he was totally blown out of the water by Phoenix. I didn’t like Phoenix on his first meetings with Violet, but then he pretty much turned into Mr. Perfection for me. Oh, gosh, was he sexy or what? The pages will basically burn in your hands when you read of his, er, talents?
Embrace was so amazingly tingly without being downright graphic, so it fits in well with the YA genre. For those craving steam and heat, you will get it. For those not wanting to know too much detail, you will get it. How does Jessica Shirvington balance the two so well? Maybe I should have asked her that question in my upcoming Q&A with her! (Look out for that, by the way!)
Violet has friends and her father, but they don’t appear too much in the story that it distracts you from all the action going on. There are no ‘boring bits’ or boring dialogue where you want to slap the best friend up the side of the face (something I’ve found rather common in YA these days) Jessica doesn’t hesitate in weaving a great tale, doesn’t get sidetracked in trying too hard to make Violet look like she has a ‘normal’ life. We believe it from the word ‘go’ and it needs no explanation through dull school scenes. You jump right into everything!
I also must do a jump for joy that there is no ‘brooding, mysterious new guy at school’ present! Seriously, I wanted to scream this from the rooftops when he didn’t appear. Of course, you get Phoenix who is kind of strange and mysterious, but, Violet stumbles upon him in a nightclub. He hasn’t been brooding over her for an eternity or anything like that.
The next installment, Entice, comes out in 2011. I absolutely cannot wait! This was such a joy to read, seriously. I cannot sing it’s praises enough. The lore is consistent, the characters are believable, the story is balanced, there are no ‘annoying’ characters that are supposed to be lovable. It’s perfect, hence my five star rating. I began this book last night and read into the early hours, only pausing for sleep. As soon as I woke up, I had it in my hands again and I was turning the pages hungrily!
Go out and get this, right now. I cannot thank the lovely staff at Hachette AU for sending me a copy of this brilliant book. My first publisher-sent book – what a fluke that it was an unbelivable read!
Recommended to: People who are tiring of the usual angel/demon, light/dark stories…