Embrace - YA Review by Isabelle

Reader: Isabelle N
Age: 14
Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: 03/06/12
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I found this book to be very-- different from the normal ones I pick up.  I found that the focus was not on her powers and how super awesome, macho, pumped up, amazing she was, but on her choice of becoming a Grigori or not.  Becoming a Grigori was a choice, just like people have to make every day, while adding a paranormal factor, and that’s admirable, because even she needs to make choices that can be tough.  Yes, there was the typical love triangle thing going on that I must say is OVERUSED, but I feel that she did not overplay that angle.  I admire how she made Violet so easy to relate to.  I know that it was a bit subtle at times, but at some places it was right on.  I mean I could totally relate to her insecurity and indecision on some of her choices, her regret, and blindness and more.  I'm sure many teens can, and that for one is something that can highlight this book to mine and others' appeal.  At times in the book I felt discomfort or uneasy knowing she was being deceived to or lied to.  Knowing she would be in danger or would get hurt.  To know that I felt unease at the thought of her getting hurt so unknowingly kind of made her seem stupid, but then was like a window to myself.  The unease was like I do this all the time; walk into things so stupidly when in the back of my mind I can sense something isn't right.  It was almost a turn off to the book, and I almost put it down.  The need for a good outcome or even just an ending however, lead me to finish the book.  I feel the ending was a bit of—a bittersweet ending?  In a way it did not falter to make me want to read the sequel, but it did not have the same gratifying feeling of finishing a book.  It kind of just left me sitting there going that was the end?  In no way was it memorable, I had to go back to remember what the ending was.  It could definitely be amped, but it was not horrendous.  Violet’s powers were said to be significant!  The heart of the keshet, but when she became a Grigori I did not see much difference, except in responsibility.  I think the author could’ve used more time describing how the Grigori affected her a bit.  In the club the scene of her against Joel and Onyx brought her powers into play.  I felt it was just like BOOM her powers are there.  Even with her powers restrained it was not much to show that they were there in the first place besides her sensory.  Now let’s talk about this cover issue.  It made me mad a little that the cover looked so epic, yet had nothing to do with the book really.  Angels in this book do NOT, sorry let me repeat that do NOT have wings.  Yet it is under false pretenses from the book cover that she has wings or something because, of the smoke in the shape of wings and the feathers.  I think although the cover may have been a bummer, the writing was not.  Although the plot and description could use a little work, ahem, the ending.  I believe that the literal writing was fine; it was easy to read through, pretty fast.  At points I had to pause when I got that feeling of unease, but I knew I had to keep reading to lift the feeling.  I did feel some things were left unaddressed, which may be because they’ll be in the next book or just are left for the reader to guess, but it did make me a bit confused and wondering.  For example she inherited a box from her mother.  One Grigori’s have, with bracelets.  There is only one bracelet when Lincoln has two.  Does that mean her mother has the other?  Then the fact that she can’t have Lincoln and she’s taking one day at a time, well that’s nice and all, but when did she state the punishments of them being together?!  I mean yes it was mentioned that they could not, but was there an actual known consequence?  Then her and Phoenix, they’re a nice ‘couple’, but that goes to hell with betrayal.  She does not act the same as she does with Phoenix at betrayal?  Or the part when they got into the relationship...when did this happen?!  I don't recall either of them asking one another out. Plus the relationship just seemed… too creepy.  It was like a turn off, it felt like Phoenix was influencing her every part of the way and stuff.  It just seemed she herself had no free will in the relationship.  I mean he just seems like someone who can come off as nice, but considering how they met…well yeah so another turn off to this book.  In the woods when they had sex, it was just whoa!  I did not see that coming, there was no build up.  It was just BAM it’s there.  As well as I honestly did not want him having sex with her; one I did not feel that’s how far they were in their relationship and two just what?  She was supposed to be becoming a Grigori to save Lincoln yet here she is having sex with Phoenix!  It was outrageous.  Overall this book was pretty good; I would probably not read it again.  I would maybe recommend it.  It was actually recommended to me, hence why the reason I looked past the tacky wings and finally picked it up.  It would do well in the teen community I believe, and most will enjoy it despite the defects I see in it.  I do not believe it will be something like the Hunger Games or Twilight, but it will not go unknown.
Memorable or Forgettable: Something that distinguished this book as memorable for me is that she put quotes at the start of every chapter.  The quotes were like for-sights of the chapters, however did not give too much away.  Another thing that was interesting was in this book, the depiction of angels was not only just pure good or pure bad, and they did not have wings or in the angel realms bodies for that matter.  It was all very intriguing and makes the book memorable.
Cover: The cover at first enticed me, but when I saw the smoke wings; it turned me off a bit.  I had thought oh, the wings are a bit tacky, and it will be like all the other angel books.  It however proved me wrong.  Though I still don't see the purpose of the wings except for marketing.  In the story the angels do not possess wings, so why should the book advertise that as an aspect, even if they weren't true wings.  You still make the assumption especially with the feathers.  The only thing that reflected the book really was the image of Violet herself.  If that is to be her.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags:  angels / supernatural/ coming of age / romance / ya lit

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