Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Posted 26 April, 2012 by Pushy in Blog, Featured, Pushy, Pushy Book Review, Uncategorized / 22 Comments


Genre: YA, Contemporary, Paranormal
Publication: March 6th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Book provided by publisher for review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from goodreads
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?
Angels and demons, interns and mentors, and a prom to remember in this epic paranormal tale of coming of age.


Paranormal Adventure

Illuminate  is the tale of Haven, just your average high school girl who’s awarded an amazing chance at a glamourous internship in Chicago with young, hot wunderkind, Aurelia Brown.  And what’s more exciting is that she gets to go with her very best friend, Dante.  But early on things don’t add up and Haven finds herself surrounded by evil.  She must grow into the promise of herself and save those she cares about in the face of ultimate evil.

What I liked…

I liked the premise of this story.  I liked the idea of a girl going for a prized internship only to find out she’s working for something evil.  I also liked that Haven was a strong character, who faced the challenges put to her and remained focus throughout this book on achieving her goal.  Finally, I enjoyed the sideline about prom.  It was fun and ironic, especially the choice of prom theme given that the hotel where the event would be held is, well…evil central.

What didn’t work for me…

I felt like this book was needlessly long.  I got well past the 100-page mark and still found myself waiting for the momentum of the book to really begin.  I also never connected with the characters.  I liked them all and they all had individual personalities but something about them just fell flat for me.  Finally, I found the entity that gives Haven advice throughout the book grating.  I didn’t like the format or the content of the advice she received.  It really just didn’t work for me.

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

I read the whole story but I never felt I was apart of it.  For me, this was just not as good as the sum of it’s parts promised.

Additional Notes

So, you know I hate to not giving a glowing review without citing a few other folks who did like a book, and there are two bloggers I adore who simply LOVED Illuminate:  Mimi Valentine and Wendy from A Cupcake and A Latte.  So if you’re a fan of paranormal, check out what they thought and see if you think Illuminate might be for you.

Now go and get lost…in a book!
P.S.: Enter our Giveaway to win a prom themed book set, including a copy of Illuminate:
The following two tabs change content below.
Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

Tags: , , , ,


22 Responses to “Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti”

  1. This book was high on wishlist..i love paranormal..but the grating advice giver and your inability to connect or become a part of the tale concerns me. Off to read the other reviews..loved your review and appreciate your in depth thoughts on why this didn’t work for you.
    kimba88 recently posted..The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by Gahan Hanmer -Blog TourMy Profile

    Reply »

    Pushy 4/26/2012

    Thanks for stopping by, kimba88! Hopefully you’ll see something in the other reviews that speaks to you.
    Pushy recently posted..Review: Illuminate by Aimee AgrestiMy Profile

    Reply »

  2. This is exactly why I love reviews, no judgment of the book by its cover, that was a one simple and great one.

    In the “additional notes” section however: siting vs citing got me a little confused 🙂
    Emy Mackenzie recently posted..real online jobsMy Profile

    Reply »

    Pushy 4/26/2012

    I do love that cover…just gorgeous. And thanks for the heads up on the typo!!!! *sheepish smile* That’s what I get for proofing so late at night. Thanks, Emy!!
    Pushy recently posted..Review: Illuminate by Aimee AgrestiMy Profile

    Reply »

  3. We have about the same opinion on this one. I think I liked it a bit more because I really loved the setting and the vibe of the book. But it WAS very long and slow paced which made me a bit bored. Lovely review as usual 🙂

    Reply »

  4. Sorry to hear that this book let you down Pushy .. I hate when I can’t connect with the characters, it’s actually one of the most important things for me in a book … I still look forward to read this book because I think it sounds great but I won’t set my expectations too high in order not to end up disappointed 🙂 !!Thank for the honest review =)
    Elodie @ Once Upon a Quote recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday : Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn :My Profile

    Reply »

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge