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Source: ARC from publisher
Published: March 2012
Harcourt Children's Books
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." (Source: Goodreads)
Honestly, I was almost sure that I wouldn't like this book. I thought that the cover was too pretty, that there surely wouldn't be a scene with a red dress, and that it was just going to be fluff. I thought it would be like so many other angel books I've read and been disappointed in. Still, when I got the book, I promised myself that I'd look past my first expectations and give it a fair shot.
I did, and I'm SO glad! Illuminate ended up going above and beyond, to become one of my favorite angel books EVER. I really enjoyed the story and the twists and turns it took. I really got into Aimee's writing style and decided that she's a genius. Really, the book was brilliant.
Haven was the kind of character that a nerd like me could relate to. She's pretty, but not drop-dead gorgeous, feels inadequate in social situations because she's a nerd, has friends but not loads of them...in short, she's a normal kid. When she falls for Lucian, I felt disgruntled and a little bit like 'OF COURSE SHE'S GOING TO FALL FOR THE INACCESSIBLE HOT GUY'. It was totally in character for Haven, but I'd hoped for something more. I wanted her to fall for a different guy. As things progressed in all relationships, I ended up happy with how things worked out all around.
I felt like the story was even realistic, for all that it's a paranormal. I mean, who *hasn't* wished they could have everything they ever wanted? Who hasn't had moments of feeling completely inadequate and wondering what they'd do to change that? I know I have. So in short, I could relate to the characters and I could relate to the story. It's a win and worth 4 Eiffel Towers.
Violence: Moderate to Heavy