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Illumine Her

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  27 reviews
After being away for three years and graduating nursing school, Alana Vilo finally returns home to Samoa and knows nothing will ever be the same. Consumed with grief from the loss of her father, she buries herself in her work and the obligations that come with a large family. While her colleagues anticipate the arrival of a mysterious benefactor, Alana remains unimpressed, ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 8th 2013 by Createspace (first published March 1st 2013)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Ravioli Rachel

I was lucky enough to get the chance to read the book during pre-publication in its various forms! I loved the concept behind the book, I thought it was such a refreshing read. There is such a massive amount of YA Novels that flood the shelves nowadays and most of it is all drivel. The bit of mystery that surrounds Chase makes you want to keep reading and then finding out his secret made me want to jump up and down. Also, bravo for being able to keep it clean. A feat that seems almost impossibl
Sherre Copeland
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little hesitant to read Illumine Her when I received the review request from the wonderful Sieni A.M.. The story takes place in Samoa, and one of my most favorite stories of all time also takes place in Samoa. That book was the reason Samoa is on my list of places I want to visit in my lifetime. I was worried that this book might not live up to the hype I had in my head of Samoa and I was worried that I might not love Illumine Her as much as I wanted to. All my worries were unnecessary t ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tend to rate a book based on how much I enjoyed it. This book, I LOVED. Every moment of it. It is a love story, with a touch of the paranormal, but it is also much more than that - at the core it is the story of one young woman's personal journey and growth toward adulthood. The ups and downs of young love, of figuring out one's place in the world, of dealing with tragedy, of the intricacies of friendships and family relationships, are all dealt with here against the backdrop of beautiful Samo ...more
Tracey (Life and Literature)
Alana allowed her gaze to roam down the column of his neck to his masculine shoulders before resting on his forearms. They were thick and looked incredibly strong; she had a forearm fetish and admired his immediately.

Sometimes I need a book that is going to take me on a journey of discovery with the characters without that fast paced edge of your seat ride that a lot of paranormal books have. Illumine Her is just that!! It's about the closeness of family and friends, striving to find your pl
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book that jerks you in. This is a book that slowly leads you in with a crook of the finger and before you know it you are in the deep end and there is no return. It slowly engulfs you and then you are completely in love with it. I love both of the main characters in this book and I feel like I really got to know them deep down as the book went on. Alana lives in Samoa. As a result of the car accident that caused her fathers death, Alana feels a pull to work hard, get a scholarship, ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely, lovely, lovely read from its first page to its last. I was drawn in from the very beginning and gulped the whole novel down, barely breathing until the end. My favourite parts are definitely the descriptions of the Samoan landscape and the strong use of Samoan language and culture -- it is so thoroughly woven into the story that you fall in love with Samoa and much as you fall for Alana and Chase.
Sahar Sabati
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, I read a book that, when finished, leaves me content, happy and wrapped in a warm cocoon of happiness. Sieni A.M.’s debut novel, Illumine Her, was just this kind of book. Capturing me from the very first pages, it took me on a wonderful journey to Samoa, where Alana Vilo has returned to after studying abroad for three years. Armed with a brand new nursing degree, she starts working at the local hospital, the recipient of a large donation from one Chase Malek. While away fo ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie-bookshelf
Illumine Her is an excellently written and stunning tribute to Samoan culture. Sieni has a talent for creating vivid imagery and vibrant strong characters. It was a very interesting reading about a culture that I knew little about and I think I gained about 15 pounds just reading about all the delicious cuisine! Check out the Pinterest link at the bottom of the post for excellent inspiration while reading.

We follow Alana during a period of grief and self discovery to come out the other end a hap
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
OMG this book was so good, I wasn't expecting it.

The first chapters were a little slow, for me, I had to wait until chapter thirteen to read something juicy LOL but it was worth it. Since then, I coudn't stop reading.

It portraits pretty well the culture, really good descriptions.

Of course, I love Chase and Alana - especially him. (view spoiler)
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having lived in Samoa, where the story is set, for a few years as a pre-teen, I was intrigued to see how the history, culture and the beautiful lands of Samoa would be described throughout the book. And I was not a bit disappointed by what I found! Whether you've ever been to the South Pacific or not, the richly described details of the islands whisks you away there and paints a gorgeous backdrop for this beautiful, surprising tale of love, service, and just the right amount of "mystery."

I know
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
. I was a little reluctant to purchase this book because the cover made it look like another harlequin novel (you know-- protagonist falls madly in love with handsome devil, they conveniently end up on a boat and have passionate...). To my surprise (and a pleasant one at that), the book is far from harlequin-isms. It is a sweet little love story with lots of accurate (but duh! The author's Samoan) depictions of the Samoan landscapes and way of life. I love the references to the ifogga, ava cerem ...more
Shy Di
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd highly recommend this book! But I should forewarn everyone, especially my poly people that if you're attempting to read this in one setting, make sure you do it after toona'i or a big feast! Otherwise you'll end up absolutely ravenous less than a few minutes into it :) Even then, I fear this book will work up one hell of an appetite.

I loved Alana's character. I loved how she lived to honor his teachings and the life lessons he taught her, a very strong and respectable figure not only in her
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book within a couple of days because I couldn't put it down, it's captivating and the vivid imagery is excellent! A well written book and the characters are even better. I love Alana's strong personality and her independent attitude towards everything. Don't get me started on Chase-heart throb! This is the type of novel I love reading- romantic with a supernatural twist to it. Keep up the good work and i'll be waiting for your next book.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had so much fun reading this book. It had all the right ingredients to keep me reading late at night. I loved the noble characters with high moral standards and their meaningful conversations. Also, everytime I picked it up I felt like I was going on a mini-vacation to Samoa; the book really made me feel like I've visited the country, so great.
aina pasi
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really didn't expect who Chase turned out to be but it worked well with the story. Sort of felt sorry for Manu but he stayed in the friend zone too long. I kind of wish there were more villains but that's only because I like...villains lol. Can't wait for the next book and I'm definitely pushing this book on to my sisters.
Syd Syd
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the paranormal genre its hard to find books that have pure moral grounded characters in them. This book accomplished that and made the book exciting as well. Yet this book does start slow yet also surprises you as well. Worth the read :)

I loved this book. It Opened my eyes and inspired me even more to fulfil my goal of being a doctor. Honestly this book is gold! I loved the characterization :-) CHASE is beautiful. Alana is beautiful. Everyone is beautiful. Weh :-) just loved it honestly!
Jadyn Ualesi
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing book i would always want to read
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous story of awakening as well as beautiful introduction to culture and life growing up in Samoa.
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book and hard to put down. Hoping there is a sequel...sooner rather than later.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable with a twist of 'scifi'. Love revisiting places, foods, culture of Samoa as well as the tight knit family values.
Emily Perelini
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delicious book:) Beautifully written and took me home to Samoa. Loved it.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tiffany Le nevez
I didn't love this book, but I definitely didn't hate it. I traveled to Samoa for the first time a few weeks ago and felt like I was visiting again. The author did a great job describing the people, culture, landscape, weather etc. It all felt very real, then you add in the paranormal, hot, rich and super hot doctor and boom I'm hooked enough that I need to know if the girl gets the guy. Did I mention how hot this guy is?

It was just a bit slow, and missing some sort of obstacle to be overcome t
When I first started reading this book I couldn't really get into. I thought the first part was a little boring and then when I got to the middle I was hooked. I didn't want to put it down. Alana was a young girl that was trying to be independent and show her family that she could manage on her own. Chase I don't even know where to begin with him. I was so surprised to find out what he was at the end.
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2015
Jasmine Prentice
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Mar 20, 2015
Hamed Javaheri
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Sieni A.M. is a world traveler, avid reader, and aspiring writer. She was born and raised in the South Pacific, graduated from the University of Canterbury, and is currently living in Australia with her husband and two daughters.

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“Don’t ever settle for something short of amazing in whatever you do in your life—there are a myriad of paths and choices to be made. Seek out the signs that speak to your heart and follow them. Then rely on God to protect you the rest of the journey.” 8 likes
“When you love someone, that person holds the most incredible power over you because they have the ability to cause you the most pain.” 4 likes
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