Illuminate by Aimee Agresti | Book Review

Pages: 511

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Format: Hardcover

Source: Public Library

Age Group: Young Adult



Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?
Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

Rating: OK read

book 2 book 2 book 2

OK, so I was not a fan of the beginning of Illuminate. Actually, to be truthful, I found it slow & a bit dull. I felt like I was just flipping through pages listening to Haven go on about her daily hotel duties while not doing much. (Maybe I was just really in the mood for some action!) But, towards the end Illuminate finally managed to catch my attention. And, let me tell you, Illuminate was over way too quickly!

Haven, our main character, was a girl who I never connected with. She was clever, brave, & hardworking , but I never felt a connection. I guess I was kind of annoyed at how long it took her to finally take some action! And, when she ended up doing that, I began to enjoy her character much more!

Lucian is the so called “too good to be real guy” that’s giving Haven lots of attention except I was never a huge fan of him. I felt like there was something off about him & their romance. Lance is one of the other “lucky” students who won an internship at the hotel, and he was sort of cute in a geeky, awkward kind of way. I absolutely loved Dante, Haven’s best friend! (Well, for most part… I don’t want to spoil it.) He was so passionate and full of gusto! And, Aurelia, the elite hotel manager, just plain old CREEPED me out! There was never a doubt in my mind that there was something very, very wrong about her!

At the end, I enjoyed watching how everything tied together. I had fun connecting the pieces of the puzzle and it was very entertaining! Plus, it was a relief to finally see some action!

Overall, Illuminate was an OK read that took a while to get into, but once you did it was great! It’s not an action-packed read, but the build up towards the end can be worth your time! It really changed my opinion of Illuminate.

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