I just finished reading Illuminate by Aimee Agresti for an Around the World ARC Tour.
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.
I'm not sure how I feel about Illuminate. On one hand, I really liked the idea and plot of the story. On the other hand, I never got totally invested in it.
I was intrigued about how these high school kids got an amazing opportunity to be an intern at a place like the Lexington Hotel, but I was immediately suspicious. And the whole plot evolved from there and was good. But I felt that it was too long. I thought that some of the plot dragged a little and I found myself not really caring about picking up the book to read more.
The characters were okay. Haven was a good heroine but there wasn't really anything special about her. There was nothing I disliked, but nothing that really had me pulling for her. And the same went for Dante. If there was one character I liked more than the other, it was Lance. I liked that he was the geek-turned-main man.
There was something about the writing that made it seem choppy. I don't know if it was the wording or the timing of the story or what, but it seemed choppy and jumpy. And there were some things that were never answered that I think needed to be answered to make a full story. For example, Haven was abandonded as a child...by whom and why? And just who is writing the mystery book?
So while this book may be thoroughly enjoyed by lots of readers, it was just an okay book for me.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
Illuminate will be released on March 6, 2012.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2012 Reading Challenge 150+: 18
2012 ARC Reading Challenge: 16
2012 Debut Author Challenge: 4
2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 16
2012 Mammoth Book Challenge: 2
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.