Expected Publication Date: March 6th, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Page Count: 531
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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.
I first featured Illuminate in my WoW a while ago. I was first drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover and the mysterious synopsis. It isn’t even until you’re halfway through the book that you really figure out what’s going on with Haven. I absolutely fell in love with this story and the characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens next! The only issue I really have is that the book is so long that it made it difficult for me to sit down and really immerse myself in it.
The characters are all really fantastic, especially Haven! I loved her character and I really connected with her! She’s incredibly bookish, keeps to herself, but she doesn’t mess around. When it comes down to it she has a lot of confidence in herself and her abilities and she has such a back bone! Her two counterparts, Lance and Dante were great also! I loved Lance, he’s so shy and cute, and Dante is such a loud mouth! He made me crack up! There is a love triangle of a sort, involving the gorgeous Lucian, who turns out to be not so gorgeous. Either way, everyone is incredibly well written!
The story itself is really intriguing, I never really knew what was going to happen next, and the mystery of what’s happening in the hotel is never fully revealed until the end. Agresti has a gorgeous writing style, everything is very elegant and her descriptions are fantastic! Typically, I’m not a fan of long descriptive paragraphs, but these really grabbed me! The only complaint I have is that the book is so long! I had a bit of a hard time getting through it in a good amount of time, but sometimes I need to read long books.
Illuminate is a fantastic read, and I definitely recommend it to lovers of mystery, romance and intrigue! If you have a good amount of time available to sit down and read this masterpiece then you definitely need to! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one and find out what’s going to happen with Haven next!