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Illuminate by Aimee Agresti


by Aimee Agresti

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Actually 2.5 stars (Goodreads should honestly add half stars)
The beginning of this book was such a sloooow read. I almost gave up on it a few times during the first couple hundred pages. But having stuck it through, the plot that developed wasn't half bad. Really, I'm just glad that YA writers are finally beginning to move away from the insipid main character, who-hadn't-realized-she-was-pretty-unitl-she-suddenly-gets-into-a-love-triangle-with-supernatural-on-the-side Twilight type book. I mean, can't YA novels have a confident main character? Anyway, that's besides the point. I actually enjoyed the plot of this book (after it peeked its shy little head through the overbearing first 150 pages or so). The characters, while a little on the generic side (I mean, Dante was every gay stereotype possible), developed pretty well and were not half-bad to spend time with.
Unlike most other "adaptations" of old books I have read, this book was not simply a contemporary retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was actually a pretty original storyline with the Dorian Gray backbone which was pretty great.
And the main thing that got me through this book? The fact that the main character was not whiny. I have had it with the lead females in YA novels just whining about anything and everything; waah I'm not pretty, waaah waaah, why won't my parents tell me this secret, waaaah waaah waahh! Jeez! I can't deal with these types of girls anymore. So Haven was a great respite.
Honestly, I would read the rest of the books in this series (unless the second book messes it up). ( )
  Keli_B | Oct 19, 2017 |
This book was incredibly difficult to read. I just was really bored out of my mind and felt like I was back in my undergrad writing course proofreading a random story that was far too full of description.
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
I like this book quite a bit. I didn't love it but I am definitely happy I picked it up. I finished it in two days so it is a fairly quick and easy read. Some reviewers say they felt it started slow but I had no issue with it. Though, honestly, that could partly be because of the previous book I read which I will not get into here haha.

So in this book we have the main character, Haven Terra. Not gonna lie little bit of a weird name to me but not as weird as America Singer which is in fact a main character in another book series. I can't complain too much about her name or the other main characters of Lance, Dante, Aurelia, and Lucian. In fact I really though the name Lucian fit that character and Aurelia fit well also. That said the names for most of the Outfit members were ridiculous including Raphaella and Calliope which I don't even know how you would say the second one. I think the only male Outfit name we got was Beckett so that was normal I suppose.

Anyhoot, the story itself was good even though there were moments where I just kind of had to suspend all belief or roll my eyes a bit. It is somewhat off that while Haven is described as being a nerd with no interest what so ever in fashion that she can describe in crazy detail outfits and hairstyles. That is one of the pit falls for authors who chose the first person, you want to give the reader a good image of the world and people but that can be challenging to do without going out of the characters personality type in some cases. It didn't bother me too much but it was something that I noted in my head as I was reading.

This is also not action filled at all. If you are looking for something with tons of kick-butt angel/demon action that is not this. A lot of it is ease dropping and running around doing chores. It kinda reminds me of Skyrim or Fallout where you are constantly running errands for people but less exciting because she didn't have to fight anyone on the errands. This is really a YA romance above all else but not like Twilight in that the girl can stand on her own. (Don't shoot me down for not liking Twilight and thinking Bella is a nitwit. It is just my opinion so don't take it personal.)

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I couldn't figure out who she would ultimately end up with till towards the end of the book. Usually I can pick out the one the main character will go for within the first 1/3 or so of the book but in this case I wasn't sure, which is fairly refreshing.

Sorry this is a fairly short review. Honestly it is hard for me to write reviews when a book doesn't really irritate me or wow me. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the whole angel/demon thing and wants an easy YA romance read but still likes their main females to have some independent thought. ( )
  Alexis_D. | Sep 22, 2016 |
I am DNFing it. Having a sixteen year old fawning over her employer (even if he is 25, worse if he is some ageless hunk, she is only 16, people!) and her best friend gay guy getting all excited about him hitting on her... doesn't strike me as right. I'm 1/5 way through and it's all still very one-dimensional. I am not comfortable with such situation. DNF
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Bad! Don't read, it's terrible. ( )
  coralily | Aug 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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I trust you have found the pathway. You will learn that it will do no good to cover things over and pretend they aren't there, just as this doesn't work for the markings on your body.(You call them scars, but that is only because you don't yet know the distinction that comes with them.)                             You will learn to break the rules: your life depends on it. You will learn the art of trespassing, finding your way into places others don't wish for you to find. You will learn inner strength-ti a degree far greater than you have ever known-and physical strength. None of this will be easy; all of it will be necessary.                                                               You are in training now. And you shall answer first and foremost to me, to these words. You will save your questions about where these directives are coming from. You will receive answers only when it is appropriate for you to receive them. You will see that your purpose here is greater than you could have imagined. Trust in these words, trust in yourself, and you will not falter.
Naturally, you want to doubt this. Yours is an analytical mind. You wonder why you should follow there words. Take heart, winged one-
There is so much you don't know, that you need to discover for yourself. There is considerable interpretation to be drawn from every thought in this book. Remember  this much: never count yourself out, no matter what you are told.
Your assignments for tomorrow: In the morning, you must forgo any engagements and instead venture out to amass emergency supplies. These items may one day save your life. Think of items to nourish, protect, heal, strengthen your senses.         At night, look for your next set of instructions. Continue to keep this quiet. One never knows whom one can trust.                                                       One last parting admonition: your necklace has deeper meaning. It defines you and is one of a kind. It is meant to be with you. Treasure it and let it remind you how strong you are.
Perhaps today proved that it behooves you to follow closely what is asked of you in these pages, when it is asked. There is a reason behind every task you will be required to perform; you need to trust implicitly in this book. If you fail to adhere to each task, you will only hurt yourself. There are opportunities every day to be killed.
For Brian
First words
Up until that point, English class had been unremarkable.
The soul is a terrible reality.
It can be bought and sold or bartered away.
It can be poisoned or made more perfect.
There is a soul in each one of us. I know it.

- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547626142, Hardcover)

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she is
awarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of a
group of gorgeous strangers: the 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 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A brainy, shy high school outcast interning at a Chicago hotel discovers that the hotel staff has an evil agenda planned for her classmates on prom night.

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