Review: EMBRACE by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (Embrace, #1)
Jessica Shirvington
367 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 6th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

   Embrace is one of those books you aren’t sure you’re going to like. You haven’t read many reviews, you secretly want to read it because of the gorgeous cover, but STILL, you don’t know if you should. But let me tell you: you should. You should pick it up. You should read it cover to cover, because: It. Is. Good.

   I tend to steer clear of paranormal YA, mainly because I’m sick of the same ol’ plot they all have. I wasn’t exactly interested in reading it until Sourcebooks offered me a galley for review. Good thing I obliged. Embrace was exactly what I was looking for. Jessica Shirvington is an amazing writer. Her writing simply flows, and at times, the prose was incredibly beautiful.

   The protagonist, Violet Eden, is easy to relate to. I can see myself stepping into her shoes – though I’m pretty sure I would never be so clueless when it comes to putting two and two together. She’s a heroine to talk about – taking self-defense classes to fend for herself and a mouth that doesn’t want to stay shut. But her uncertainty is what makes her lovable. She’s not all tough on the outside and flat on the inside. Violet has her fair share of pain and grief, and when the life she knows comes crumbling down around her, she’s not sure she can even trust herself.

   Jessica Shirvington’s debut is a must-read. Fast-paced and filled with action, you won’t want to miss. You’ll find yourself glued to the pages, flipping them faster than you can read. And get this: the ending isn’t a cliff-hanger. You’ll be left wanting more, but certainly not dangling off a thread. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us next. And luckily for us, the sequels will release in just 6 month intervals.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    March 2, 2012

    This one is starting to catch my eye. Well, it already caught my eye since the cover is gorgeous, but I tend to steer clear of angel books. I have read some and loved them, but so many just don't do it for me. Your review has convinced me that maybe I should give this one a chance.
    Book Loving Mom

  2. Reply

    Addie R.

    March 2, 2012

    Yay, so happy I'm not gonna have to wait a year for every book in the series to come out! So far I'm hearing good reviews from this one so I'm excited to get it!

  3. Reply

    Forever Lost in Books

    March 2, 2012

    Great review! I hope I'Ll soon be getting my review copy :D

  4. Reply

    Carrie at In the Hammock Blog

    March 2, 2012

    wow! sounds really awesome! Thanks for the review!

  5. Reply

    Jenna D.

    March 3, 2012

    Hmmm, you're making me rethink this one. I was all ready to pass, but now I think I might give it a chance! :)

  6. Reply


    March 3, 2012

    Great review and I love the cover too.

  7. Reply


    March 3, 2012

    Wonderful review as usual Hafsah! I had a little trouble with some aspects of this one, namely some of Violet's behavior, and even though we're given a reason for it at the end, I couldn't quite get past some of it. I'm very curious to see how I'll feel about her in the next book! Glad you loved it:)

  8. Reply

    Mimi Valentine

    March 3, 2012

    I felt the exact same way!!! So many paranormal YA books nowadays feel like they follow a stencil or a pattern with just a touch of originality, but one of my favourite things about this book was how it didn't! And I loved how flawed Violet was too because it made her that much easier to connect with and understand, even if we would've done things differently. :)

    Amazing review, Hafsah! I'm really happy that you loved this book like I did — it's a good thing we don't have to wait too long for the sequel! ;) <3

  9. Reply


    March 3, 2012

    Great review although I didn't love it as much as you I still enjoyed the plot and angel lore in this novel. It was fun and original for once. I also love this cover! <3

  10. Reply

    Valerie StuckInBooks

    March 3, 2012

    I totally want to read this book. Paranormal is my favorite despite similar plots so it sounds like this one will be a good choice for me based on your review. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Reply


    March 4, 2012

    This is an amazing cover and I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for this review!

  12. Reply

    YA Book Queen

    March 4, 2012

    Fast-paced, filled with action, and no cliffhanger? Sounds like my kind of story :D

    Amazing review, Hafsah!

  13. Reply

    Julie W

    March 4, 2012

    Oh, I am SO glad you liked this book because I'm dying to read it!! Thanks so much for sharing your review :)

  14. Reply


    March 6, 2012

    I agree with you that it can be hard to keep picking up YA paranormal stories these days because they feel like the same thing over and over again. I'm just like you in the fact that I'm so glad I got an advance copy of this one to review because it was so worth it. I loved Phoenix, he is instantly right up there with my favorite YA male characters and I couldn't love him more.

    Thanks for the great review, here is to the hope that we will both enjoy the second book. :)

  15. Reply


    April 19, 2012

    I bought this book a few days ago.
    Based on your review I'll have to start reading this after I finish the current book i'm reading.

  16. Reply

    andrea dezan

    August 3, 2012

    Getting ready to read with my book group…glad I read the review.

  17. Reply


    October 16, 2012

    Thanks for the review. I love paranormal YA, sorry you don't like it. Maybe this will change your mind, huh? I am excited to read it.

  18. Reply


    October 29, 2012

    I enjoyed this book pretty well. It was probably one of the more enjoyable angel novels I've read lately. I'm definitely eager to read book 2.

  19. Reply


    November 3, 2012

    I have not read this one but it has been on my to read list. I feel in love with the cover and ever since then I have been wanting to read it :)