I’m excited to be a part of the Embrace Book Tour, hosted by Incandescent Enchantments! I actually won a copy of Embrace, signed by the author, a few months ago, and when the opportunity to participate in the blog tour came up, I jumped at the chance. You can read my review below, and keep reading to the end to enter a giveaway for a signed copy of Embrace and some fantastic swag!
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Release Date: December 2011
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.
Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.
Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Sometimes a book surprises me, and I can’t wait to tell people about it. Embrace is one such book, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it immensely. There seems to be a bit of mystery around the plot, and I’m imagining based on the sketchy story description on the back cover, as well as the completely misleading cover design, the author may not want the beans spilled. So as much as I’d love to tell you what this book is about, I’m going to try to keep my review spoiler-free and gloss over the details, so as not to ruin the discovery.
Madison is a high school girl who has recently broken up with her steady boyfriend Kevin, whose family has moved away. She and best friend Kaylee go to a beach party one night where Kaylee tells her “Your life’s about to change, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” This dire warning turns into something much nicer when Madison meets Isaac, the new boy in town who is already friends with Kaylee’s boyfriend Josh. Madison is instantly attracted to Isaac’s good looks and enigmatic personality, and Isaac seems to like her as well. But when they shake hands in greeting, a painful electrical shock passes between them, making Madison wonder what Isaac could be hiding.
Things seem to be looking up for Madison as she and Isaac get closer, but soon after they meet, Kaylee is almost killed in a car accident, and even worse, begins to hallucinate and act crazy. After causing a scene at school one day, she is hospitalized and put in the psych ward for observation.
Madison is distressed over this, and when the doctors can’t seem to find anything wrong, she starts to do research on her own, digging up clues that force her to believe in something she doesn’t want to admit is real. Isaac and Josh confuse her further when they tell her that her research is indeed true, which leads them to the real reasons behind Kaylee’s diagnosis. But saving Kaylee is only the first step in dealing with some downright evil forces at play in their town, and the story only gets more tense and action-packed from here on out.
Colyer has a wonderful talent for describing the emotions of her characters, and it helps that the story is told in first person from Madison’s point of view. When Kaylee has her mental breakdown, I felt like I was experiencing it myself. Her emotions were raw and authentic, and I believed her when she saw things that weren’t actually there. Likewise, I loved Madison’s emotional journey as she started to fall in love with Isaac, but was later confused by her ex-boyfriend Kevin’s return to town. She clearly has feelings for both boys, but doesn’t yet have the maturity to figure out what to do about it. Yes, it was a bit of a love triangle, but for all you triangle-haters, I thought the author pulled it off pretty well.
As in all good tales, there is a final showdown between good and evil, and I was glued to the pages during the whole scene. I loved the way the paranormal elements gradually entered the story, slow enough to almost take the reader by surprise when the mystery is revealed. The location of Essex County, Massachusetts is important, and is a perfect setting for Colyer’s story. My only complaint is that the book ended too soon. Don’t let the cover fool you: this book is not what it seems, and that’s a very good thing.
Many thanks to the author for my review copy.