Illuminate

Illuminate

3.72 (6,070 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 hotel?"show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 142.24 x 213.36 x 45.72mm | 657.71g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0547626142
  • 9780547626147
  • 268,105

About Aimee Agresti

Aimee Agresti is an entertainment journalist and author. As a staff writer for "Us Weekly" magazine, she interviewed many celebrities and penned the magazine s coffee table book" Inside Hollywood." In addition to "Us," her work has appeared in "People," the" Washington Post," "Mademoiselle," and the "New York Observer." "Illuminate" is her first novel for teens. She lives in Washington, D.C. Visit her website at www.aimeeagresti.com."show more

Review quote

* "Smart, well-crafted and sophisticated; without a doubt, this belongs on the top of the stack of the current crop of angel books. More, please!" "Kirkus Reviews, " starred review "Part "The Picture of Dorian Gray, " part "The Devil Wears Prada, " this original and engrossing story will keep surprising readers right up to the thrilling climax." Josephine Angelini, author of "Starcrossed ""Haven is a character who will definitely surprise you in the best way possible. Mysterious and deliciously creepy, Agresti's debut will keep you turning pages until the explosive climax." Cara Lynn Shultz, author of "Spellbound ""Agresti's story accelerates to an exciting climax, and the blossoming romance is sweet and satisfying." "Publisher's Weekly ""Move over, "Twilight"!" "US Weekly ""Equal parts romantic and mysterious, and will keep you itching for the next installment!" Seventeen.com "Such an enchanting book and we can t wait to read more in the Gilded Wings series. While the cover reels you in (How could it not? It s so pretty!), the words inside keep you reading. There s angels, mystery, beauty . . . which all rolled up into one, makes it magical." Just Jared Jr."show more

Rating details

6,070 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 32% (1,961)
4 28% (1,728)
3 24% (1,451)
2 10% (600)
1 5% (330)

Our customer reviews

Premise: Haven Terra is a hardworking, studious high school student. She was abandoned as a child and adopted by a nurse, and spends all her free time working in the hospital. Her excellence gets her selected for a elite internship at the most luxurious hotel in Chicago. However as she starts working there she notices weird things about the hotel. The staff are all stunningly and inhumanly beautiful, however they seem to lack any kind of personality. The whole place is packed in mystery and the hotel itself encourages indulgence and the seven sins. To further the mystery, Haven receives a strange book that gives her secret messages - that she's in danger, that she must train herself physically because she will need to fight, and that she needs to unravel the mysteries. Thoughts: The prevailing word that comes to mind when wanting to describe Illuminate is... average. Overall the story is an interesting one and it managed to absorb me and keep me reading, but it has some serious plot holes. What drew me in is the cover. Look at that!! It's amazing!! Serious love. Haven I loved as a main character because it's me. She just seemed exactly like me. I saw myself in her and through her narrations and possibly that's what kept me reading so rapidly. An example: she's always working super hard and everything to ensure that her future will be great, and sometimes forgets to live in the moment. I'd think of more but ehh I didn't take *that* many notes. I did like the Dorian Gray elements... Although at some points it did seem a bit too much of a carbon copy. It could have used a bit more originality. And sometimes it just felt really weird and unnatural. In the first half of the book I mostly just kept asking myself why the hell Haven stayed there... In the latter part, when Aurelia finally made her direct offers, I just kept asking myself why the hell she wasn't surprised at how much Haven knew. Lance was great. Really really great. Possibly the best part. The most gaping plot hole that I just can't shake is, "wtf about their school?" Seriously, what kind of high school lets their students take half a year of an internship? How does that work anyway? Do they still get to graduate on time? I can't imagine they'd be excused from their classes because they learned NOTHING. All throughout the book this issue just kind of kept bothering me. Anyway. I liked it. It was a good read. It wasn't brilliant or anything, but it was decent. I will read the next book in the series because it kept my attention and it had a lot of good in it. Oh, and I think a movie about this would be awesome. Recommended for: Not sure I would, actually. Fans of angels and the concept of Dorian Gray?show more
by Debby (Snuggly Oranges)
Haven never expected to be recruited for the internship at a historic hotel in Chicago, and she doesn't expect to get much out of the experience. Arriving at the hotel, however, Haven is almost overwhelmed by the decadence of the place and its employees: the mysterious Aurelia Brown, Lucian Grove, and the mysterious people they call The Outfit. Haven is swept into the world inside the hotel... but she can sense something isn't quite right, and when she starts digging around, her worst fears are confirmed. Now with the help of a strange book and her friend Lance, Haven must make her choice: will she join the dark-side, or do what she was born to? I really enjoyed this one! Starting off, I had predicted that the paranormal element might be something like vampires, and that this would be just another vampire book... but man was I wrong. There are no vampires to be found in this novel (so those of you who hate anything vampire can keep reading!). I really liked Haven and Lance's characters, along with Dante (who was hilarious). The creepiness of The Outfit was so well-described - at times I felt like the group itself was a character. The imagery in this novel was great as well. The author does such a great job of describing the hotel and the atmosphere that you can vividly imagine every detail. The following was probably one of my favourite quotes from the novel - it's kind of scary how much it reminded me of The Great Gatsby: Everything sinful is glamorous these days, isnt it? I recommend this novel to anyone who is a fan of darker, edgier paranormal YA.show more
by Stephanie
3 - 4 STARS Illuminate by Aimee Agresti is a romantically captivating Angel story! Filled with enjoyable characters that will have you wanting to befriend, and some not so much (they're evil I tell you!); an intriguing plot and a whole-lotta angst you wouldn't know what to do with! To begin, the cover is more than gorgeous! I really like the shadowy effect of wings as if she really has them (you'll understand my hinting if you've read the book). It's the major reason I really wanted to read Illuminate, the second being the synopsis. I have to admit this took me WAY longer than it should have to read/finish. The story really wasn't that bad, and the only way you will know that is if you've read to the end without skipping/skimming any pages. It was really long [534 pgs] when it could have been spruced up shorter, and it's the reason why it felt like it dragged on. The first few pages were filled with unnecessary descriptions and were a bit excessive. Two thirds of the way it just started to feel lengthy where it could have been edited a bit or condensed in some parts. I can't remember where it started to catch my interest, but it does get interesting once you pass that hurdle. I love the three main characters! Dante is adorable and I SO want one for myself! The love drama is cute and not over done. I still don't know which guy I like the most. Haven is very likable and you just want her to succeeded in what she does and tries to accomplish. Lance is such a nerd, but a nerd to be reckoned with! My only disappointment aside from the length is the lacking of Haven's past along with the confusing cryptic mystery of the book and postcards which I'm hoping will be cleared and explained more in the second book. I LOVED the ending! There is really not that much to say about it because it was a great and perfect way to finish the story. Even though I cried at one point the result was still SWEET! LOVED IT! If you don't mind novels that are long-drawn-out (which are great for rainy days mind you) then this is the book for you!! It is also a great Angel story to add to your list! Get Illuminate'd' =)show more
by SpadesHigh
Also reviewed on my blog, The Vintage Bookworm. (http://www.vintagebookworm.blogspot.com) Illuminate was just wow. I was really curious about it when I read the summary and then when the cover was revealed, I fell in love. I was enchanted by the cover, so when I received it for review in the mail and saw the finished copy. I was in awe! I sat staring at the shiny cover for a few minutes. My husband had to literally pry it from my hands. I couldn't wait to start it and when I finally did I was surprised. It was very good and hooked me from the very first chapter, but it was different than I thought it would be. You'd think that going through Haven's day to day life would be boring after a little while, but it wasn't. Each day held another clue to what will be happening later in the book and gives you another puzzle piece to your collection so you can keep adding them up. It took me a while to read this book. I caught the stomach flu a few days after starting it and I didn't feel like doing anything, not even reading. But when I wasn't reading it I kept wanting to. I kept thinking about it and how weird the characters were. A lot of the characters in this book seem perfect, beautiful, established. But they have a huge secret! Which I'm not going to tell! All the characters, even though most of them were bad, seemed really well put together and had their own voices. I liked Aurelia and Lucian, though after a while I started not trusting them. Something always bugged me about them. They were too perfect. And now I know why! Haven, the main character, kind of annoyed me a little bit in the first few chapters, but then she grew on me and her character grew SO much by the end of the book. She's definitely a new person now, which is not a surprise with what she's learned and had to deal with. And ah, Dante! I loved him, he was such a funny character and a great best friend. He's gay, which added to my list of awesome main character best friends. They are so fun to read about. He wasn't in the book as much as I would have liked, but you understand in the end. And ahh, Lance! He kind of weirded me out in the beginning, but I grew to love him and he was so swoon worthy by the end of the book. He is definitely a Clark Kent. =D The writing was amazing. Aimee has definitely made it onto my authors I admire list. She gives such great detail and paints a vivid picture in your mind, and she wrote this HUGE book that was amazing and she added a lot of its own great history to it and I'm left thinking "Wow, I want to do this." She's definitely on my author watch list now. Overall, this book was really good. The only problem that I had with it is that it kind of dragged a little bit in the middle, but surprisingly was still very much enjoyable to read even when it did drag. But the ending was kick ass. I loved it. I can't wait for the sequel, I wish I had it right now! This IS an angel book, but it's very unique. I recommend it! It has a little bit of heaven AND hell in it. Literally. =D You definitely want to check this book out. GREAT 2012 debut!show more
by Amanda
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