Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Title:  Illuminate
Author:  Aimee Agresti
Genre:  YA, Paranormal
Pages:  534
Published:  March 2012
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source:  via Thomas Allen
Where to buy:  Amazon


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.

When this book unexpectedly arrived in my mailbox I was thrilled, the cover is GORGEOUS, the concept and synopsis sounded fantastic.  I just had to read it right away.  Like most book in the 500 page or more category it was a bit daunting at first, but as I got farther and farther into the story the more I loved the story.

Haven is smart, funny and shy.  She and two other classmates are recruited for a new program, to be mentored at one of the most prestigious hotels in Chicago.  Both Haven and her two friends are blown away by the place they are going to call home for the next several months. The luxurious Lexington is filled with mystery in so many forms - the people, the history and the hidden tunnels.

With Haven, we explore all the dark and dirty hidden depths of the hotel and the staff.  As she learns more about who she is, she finds out more about where she is living, and who she actually works for.  The Outfit is an interesting group of people, they are all gorgeous, but act like drones.

There were some parts of the story that took a while to build to, I found myself getting a tad bored - but when things picked back up I was hooked again.  I just had to get over that little slump - which I'm glad didn't last long.  The characters in this story were amazing, I loved Haven and watching her character build through out the story.  As well as the friendships she makes along the way.  I don't to give too much of the story away as it has some very interesting twists and turns along the way.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, this is a great YA paranormal with some awesome characters that will definitely appeal to a lot of readers.  Will I read more by this author?  Of course, I need to find out what happens next to Haven and her friends!


  1. I received this one recently too! So glad to hear it's good. I'm hoping to get to it soon. Although, I always seem to go to my Kindle for my next book though. It's just so much easier!

    1. I'm the same way, I tend to read my e-books more then my hard-copies. Much easier to take to work with me or to the gym!


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