Thursday, July 19, 2012

Embrace Book Review *Jessica Shirvington*

Embrace, the first book in Jessica Shirvington’s Violet Eden Chapter series has to be one of the most boring young adult novels I’ve read, or to clarify, tried reading. I got half way through and gave up, so this is a typical KB DNF review.

The heroine, Violet Eden has just turned seventeen. Her father is distant and uninterested for the most part in his daughter’s life (which is yet another convenient plot device found all too often in YA’s of this nature to allow the main character to run free without any adult supervision). Violet’s father is still mourning the loss of his beloved wife. She died giving birth to Violet. So already, Violet has issues and is pretty emo even though for the most part her life isn’t lacking, other than no mother and an emotionally distant dad. But Violet is surviving the best she can without dad’s TLC because she had her best bud, Steph and older hottie, Lincoln who understands her so well, or so she thinks. She spends a great deal of time with Lincoln, and her feelings for him have grown. But poor Violet is still a child in Lincoln’s eyes, or so she believes because he’s an older man and would never be attracted to her that way because she’s not legal. If only she knew why Lincoln is such close friends with her and looks out for her. When she finds out the real reason why, she’s extremely hurt and upset. But Lincoln had to be deceitful! But on the positive side he’s her partner in crime. Lincoln and Violet must work for a higher power and combat evil and all that jazz, even thought Violet has no say in the matter.

Violet is a Grigori, a part angel, part human creature, and now that she’s seventeen, she has come into her Grigori powers and must stop the evil fallen angels doing horrible things on Earth. Violet can’t ignore what she is because she’s a beacon to these evil angels, much like a night light or the good old bat signal Gotham uses to reach Batman. Through pages and pages of info dumping, we learn why Violet is a Grigori and how she must train in the art of angel judo whatnot so she’s not killed. But since Lincoln lied and was false to her, she’s not down with this and stomps away, practically bumping into semi-stalker tween bad boy Phoenix who makes Violet all tingly and who is one excellent kisser. Phoenix’s powers must be in his lips.

By the time Phoenix and Violet team up and a young girl, who’s a flyaway characters to get things moving along is killed brutally by some rabid evil angel, I shut the book, not caring what happens to Violet and whether or not she and Phoenix go past first base and if she’ll forgive Lincoln or finally channel Uma Thurman from Kill Bill and kick some fallen angel booty. Embrace was unbelievably blah and had no real originality or dimension to it.

Even when Violet tells Lincoln of some horrible abuse she suffers at the hands of her teacher before she met him, I felt it was tacked on to give the reader some emotional response to Violet and her plight. It’s ridiculous and brings nothing to the story other than a sly way to tug on the readers’ heartstrings.

Embrace is another example of what publishers think the reading public wants and gifts the author a big 6 figure deal in the hopes it will make waves in the reading community. Embrace is flat, uninspiring and really has nothing to recommend for it. A big pass on this one (Sourcebooks Fire)

Final Grade: DNF


AnimeJune said...


I always hate the "my wife died giving birth to you therefore I hate you" trope in literature and TV. Firstly, it's so overdone - but secondly, if you really loved your wife so damn much you'd love her kid. And the fact that you maintain that distance over seventeen years? It's something I have trouble believing whenever I come across it. Like, I believe bad parents and all that, but, again, if you really loved your wife you wouldn't treat her kid like crap.

Also hell to the NO for jailbait YA romances. No no no.

Excellent review!