Krazybooklady's Reviews > Illuminate

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
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May 07, 12

Read from March 05 to 09, 2012

Haven Terra was found abandoned in a ditch when she was a child. She is taken in and raised by one of the nurses at the hospital. Haven is very smart but worries she won't have the money to attend college. When she is accepted as an intern at a prestigious hotel in Chicago, she is very excited for the opportunity, even though she didn't apply for it, because she knows this will help to open doors for her. Her best friend, Dante, and another student from her school, a boy she barely knows, is also chosen. They will be living and working at the hotel, effectively cutting off most communication with their families. Not long after arriving, Haven starts realizing that something just isn't right with the other people running and working at the hotel.

Illuminate started off very slowly. Everything was explained in great detail, from the hotel itself, to the nightclub, to the way everyone looked and what they wore. About halfway through the book, I was still wondering when the action was going to begin. There really isn't much action until almost the very end of the book. Until then, it is basically just reading about Haven going about her day, following orders she is given from reading cryptic messages that mysteriously appear in a book she found with her name on it, and eavesdropping to find out bits of pieces of the puzzle.

I found a large portion of this book to just not be believable. I enjoy books of this genre, but they must be set up in such a way that it feels believable to me. At 16 years old, she goes to this hotel, her adoptive mother simply drops Haven off out front without going in to meet the people herself and then is obviously fine with almost almost no communication with her. I also never could understand why she would just do everything she was told to do in the mysterious book she found. She was putting herself in physical danger and she knew she was, but she crawled through secret passages and ran along corridors every night simply because she was told to by the book. Furthermore, I wasn't too fond of the cliched best friend, Dante. He is the quintessential gay guy who loves to gossip, is able to cook gourmet meals, fix hair, and whip up a fabulous outfit in the blink of an eye.

The underlying concept of this book is truly an interesting one. It is a unique twist on the battle of good versus evil, angel versus devil. I just felt like it took too long to get to the point. At over 500 pages, this book could have easily had at least 100 pages cut from it. I also finished it feeling like I still had a lot of unanswered questions. In the end, it just wasn't for me, but I would recommend it to others who enjoy this type of book.
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