Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Thomas Allen & Son for review
Publisher: Harcourt
Format: Hardcover, 534 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2012

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.
5 Reasons Why You Should Read Illuminate

1. You'll feel like you know the MC, Haven, from the very start.
Maybe you do know a Haven! You probably do. She starts off shy and bright but then you can see her confidence start to grow and soar throughout the book. She'll do things she never thought herself capable of and you'll cheer her on because she is so easy to connect with. Haven made some pretty good calls and I loved having her as my guide through this wonderful novel.

2. There are 534 pages to devour!
I get that for non-readers, this is probably more of a negative, but for me? Let the cheering commence! I'm pretty greedy when it comes to books - I just want more, more, more. With such a lengthy read, I was worried that my mind would wander, but it never did. Although the action doesn't start until later on in the book, the first portion will keep you well entertained with the characters and setting. Even just the set-up is fun!

3. The Lexington Hotel... it is gorgeous!
I'm not really a setting person so when I notice and comment on it, it's usually pretty notable. The Lexington Hotel, where the book takes place, has an amazingly vibrant atmosphere. There are such intricate details describing sections of the hotels and I really felt like I had been transported there. Plus, there are these hidden nooks and crannies which made me feel like I was on some kind of treasure hunt.

4. The suspense will grab you, slowly but surely.
So the whole situation behind the Lexington Hotel is kind of a creepy one. Haven sneaks in on some pretty freaky things and there is this almost tangible wrongness in the air amidst the gorgeous people working at the hotel. Even a lot is revealed in the summary, the tension and suspense still builds until you're desperately flipping pages for more.

5. The Two Ls <3
Oh, sigh. Lance and Lucian. Who will you pick? Lucian is almost irresistable with his charms and confidence while Lance is someone that you can always count on to be there right by your side. Personally, I'm definitely Team Lance, but I can see that I'm in the minority. Whichever type you go for, I'm sure one of these boys will win you over.

Are you convinced?

Cover Comments: It's absolutely gorgeous. I love the shimmer in the background and the swirly kind of lighting around the title. Haven's looking good (in her RED DRESS!) and I love the shadow of a wing in the place of a fully grown one.

5 stars

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for an interview with the lovely Aimee Agresti and a giveaway for Canadian residents!


  1. I love that cover! Great review.

  2. I was on the fence whether or not to read this book . . . guess I'm reading it soon. Great review!

  3. Fantastic review. I really want to read this book now! I always loved stories with remarkable settings.
    New follower :)

  4. SONIA! With the five reasons! And the two L's! And the one post of awesome! And Brodie! With the deep desire to read this book now! Because the Sonia is so damn persuasive and the Haven sounds like an awesome heroine and the Lexintong Hotel has all sorts of intrigue and mystery and suspense, which I like... I mean, the Brodie likes, I mean.. why the hell am I talking like a moron? Your fantastic reviews mess with my brain. I get so overwhelmed by how good they are, obviously.

    Erm. Anyway. Can you tell it's really late? Super intrigued by this! Very curious to learn more about the 'buying souls' business and okay, Lance sounds sweet and all, but... maybe I'm teensy bit more drawn to Lucian just by what you said haha. This may change when I read it!

  5. I love this style of review. You did a great job of convincing me that I need to pick up this book soon. :)

  6. I tried to read it awhile back but I couldn't get into it. I love your 5 reasons, so I might have to give this one another try. Awesome post, Sonia!