Monday, December 05, 2011

Review: Illuminate

Book: Illuminate
Author: Aimee Agresti
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 544
Source: publisher (Thanks so much, HMH!)
Stars: 4.5/5
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.

(summary taken by Goodreads

Three words to describe this book: Beautiful, original, and absolutely MAGICAL!  

It wasn't just the story that was magical, but the romance and setting too! I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, but Illuminate surprised me with how enchanting it all was. Kind of like a fairytale spell.

I'm pretty picky with my angel books (although I didn't even know this was an angel book until I read it!), but I adored Aimee Agresti's interpretation! Just like the storyline, it was completely original with a sort of mystical feel to it that only added to the intrigue.  

But my favourite thing had to be the characters. Sweet, intelligent, and passionate about photography, Haven was so easy to connect with. And her romance with Lance was honestly one of the sweetest I've ever read! It was refreshing and realistic (no insta-love here!), and he just had to be one of the most adorable boys in YA! 

Both mysterious and mystifying, Illuminate was a debut that swept me off my feet! The only thing is that some parts seemed a little long, but otherwise I had no complaints. Aimee Agresti is definitely an author to watch out for! :)  

BUY or BORROW?: With its gorgeous cover and magical storyline, this is a book that every angel-fan should have on their shelf!  



  1. OOoh I can't WAIT to pick this one up. It won't be for a bt since it's only going to be reviewed in March but you're making the wait very LONG MIMI!!!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I can't WAIT to start this one!! I got it in the mail last week!

  3. Wow, Mimi! I didn't know about the angel :) Can't wait to read this book *grinning*

  4. sounds interesting. I'm going to make this novel one of my new challenge books to read for 2012.

  5. Glad to hear about the lack of insta-love! :) The cover is beautiful, too - definitely caught my eye. I'm not a real angel-reader, either, but will definitely have to check this one out.

  6. I had no idea this was an angel book either! Good to know:) Angel books are growing on me more and more, and if yous say this one is magical then it's definitely going on my list! Loved your review Mimi, I'm really excited to give this one a try:)

  7. Great review! I adored this one and am glad to see you liked it as well, and I completely agree the romance between Haven and Lance was just adorable :)

  8. You don't have to say anymore! 'Beautiful, original, and absolutely MAGICAL! ", hello, where is my money to get this book. Seriously, I need this book. Right now. :) Great, wait a minute, awesome review.

  9. I cannot get over how amazing this cover is! Like you, I'm very picky with my angel books as well. They tend to get overdone a lot. Glad to hear this isn't one of those cases. Will be reading this one for sure.

  10. Your review make me want to read it, you"re so enthusiastic, it's nice. I really liked the cover, it's gorgeous, if the book is interesting it"s pefect.

  11. OMG, MIMI!!!!!!! I seriously love your review! <333 I didn't know this was an angel book either. I thought the wings were from a faerie, but now feathers are all I can see! :P LAWL Mimi, this book sounds just like a book I'd really love! Can't wait! (:

  12. Oh, I had NO IDEA this was an angel book!
    This one had captured my eye entirely because of THAT GORGEOUS COVER, but now I'm seriously intrigued.

    And I realyl like angel books (so far). Might just have to increase the TBR pile!

  13. I have been interested in Illuminate since I first saw it. I cannot wait to get a glimpse into it. Excellent review.


  14. Wow I didn't know this book was about angels!!! Kay that along with your awesome review make me totally want to pick this book up. The characters sound sooo sweet. I am soooo relieved to hear there is no instant romance!!! Awesome review (as usual!).


    Win a GLOW audiobook!

    International 300 Follower Giveaway

  15. I didn't realize this was an angel book either! I'm not really a fan of angel books, but this one has me intrigued--especially with your description of Lance :) Thanks for the review, Mimi!

  16. Love the review Mimi! I already wanted to read it but now I want it so much more! Can't wait to read this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  17. I don't think I would have guessed that this was an angel book (as the wings on the cover are very shadowy). I will have to keep an eye out for it once it's released as it sounds like I'd like it. I am picky about my paranormal but I think this will be good.

  18. You didn't know it was an Angel book? But the girl has wings on the cover. LOL

    Same here, Mimi. I'm really picky when it comes to angel stories. I'm trying to let go of deeply rooted impressions and just enjoy the story, but sometimes it doesn't always work for me.

    But whoa! You've made this one sound soooo good, that I couldn't resist it if I tried!

  19. This one sounds soooo good. I know I say this about most books, but there's just so many goodies out there! And with the cover and you saying it's magical... *sigh* I definitely need to get my hands on a copy! Great review.

  20. Mimiiiiiiiiii! amazing review!! Im so glad you liked it! it means I will like it too hohohooh!! thank you for sharing such great review! =)

    MY WOW!

    Happy reading!
    Dazzling Reads

  21. Dip гemaіning 4 tοrtіllas into saucе and set up аbove second
    layеr. Αt least 51 % have to be com, despite the fact that often up to 75% is utilised.
    In 1915 the woгmwood was takеn out and the liqueur diluted to its
    up-to-date toughnesѕ.

    my wеbρage -
    my webpage - kitchen supply old stone oven baking tiles set of 6

  22. Eѵery weekеnd i used to go tο sеe this site, as і wіsh foг enjοyment, fоr thе гeаson thаt this this web sіte cοnatiоns іn faсt pleasant funny stuff too.

    Also νiѕit my webpage; Augen Lasern

  23. Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this website. It's simрle, yet effeсtіνe.
    Α lot of tіmes it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you've ԁοne a superb ϳob wіth
    this. Also, the blоg loаds ѵery quick for me on Internеt exрloreг.
    Outstanԁing Βlog!

    Heгe is mу ωeb blog ...


Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts! I love hearing what you have to say, and I always try to comment on one of your blog posts in return! :)

It's really nice to meet you!