Jun 17, 2012

Illuminate By: Aimee Agresti

Author: Aimee Agresti
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 528
Rating: 3.5/5

     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.

   Illuminate is the first book in author Aimee Agresti's Glided Wings trilogy. I picked this up a few weeks ago because I was really intrigued by the excerpt  on the back! I have to say that I was fairly impressed by Illuminate- it left me yearning for more.

   Illuminate is about a girl named Haven who is recruited for an internship at a glamorous hotel in Chicago. Here, Haven is in awe of the gorgeous staff known as The Outfit- especially Lucian. The main character Haven was a decent heroine. Her growth throughout the book was visible, but I sometimes found her character a bit boring. The times I found her most interesting where when she was interacting with Lucian. It was during these particular scenes that I felt I saw a great variety of emotions in her character that were interesting to read about.

   There's lots of mystery in Illuminate. It is filled with unanswered questions and shady characters that keep you as oblivious as Haven. In particular, Lucian's character was probably the most mysterious aspect of the book- aside from Haven's supernatural classification. Lucian and Haven's "relationship" was very dark and sexy in a way. I found myself anticipating their encounters throughout the entire book. Although, that being said, the romance did not go where I thought (or think) it should have gone. Haven's friend, Lance, starts to become a factor in what I strongly believe will be a love triangle in book two......sigh....oy vey.....

   Probably the thing I hated the most was the overall pace of the story. The first half of Illuminate was incredibly hard to read. There was little action and I felt like there was quite a bit of repetition. Between Haven's numerous trips to the Vault and her exploration of secret passages,  the story seemed to drag on a bit. That being said, the second half of the book was much more interesting- but I definitely feel like this book could have been cut back by 100 or so pages.

Favourite Quotes...

"Tell me you forgive me for Friday or I won't let you go," he said.
"Now I'm not sure what the right answer is."


"So, if I were to stop by your room later, on my way to grab a drink, like, say, a coffee, what are the odds you might be around?"
"I'd say...pretty good."
"I'd say that's a pretty good answer."


   Overall Illuminate was a fairly good start to the Glided Wings trilogy. If you love dark mystery then this is definitely the book for you! I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next in book two of Aimee Agresti's series! What are your thoughts on Illuminate? Be sure to check out the book trailer below and subscribe to my blog-there's a complimentary cookie if you do!.....I lied......there is no cookie :( Keep reading!

Your Y.A. Bookworm,
Caitlin <3

Pssst.....this is better than  cookie:


  1. I haven't read this one yet but I'm thinking about reading it soon. I love mysterious books that leave you with unanswered questions. My favorite unanswered questions novel was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. :)

    Thanks for the review!

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Haven't read that one yet! Oh, and this is book is perfect for "unanswered questions" ;p If you end up reading it, be sure to let me know what you think!

  2. Dark, beguiling and opulent, ILLUMINATE is a must for anyone who enjoys a compelling story of good and evil, with a strong and determined heroine, a leisurely pace, a touch of romance and an ending that doesn't leave off on a cliff but will definitely leave them wanting more.

    Ketterman Rowland & Westlund Attorneys


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