Illuminate has all the makings of a gorgeous and enchanting read. Aimee Agresti chose a realistic setting and within wove the worlds of Heaven and Hell. The writing was beautiful and I was hooked from the first chapter. Agresti enthralls the reader with such a glamorous setting!
Haven Terra is chosen for an internship at the prestigious new hotel, The Lexington. She notices the glamour and the beauty of the hotel's employees and feels a little out of place, but she's determined to do this internship and excel. Haven is awestruck by Aurelia and Lucian, the mysterious front-runners of The Outfit. But, Haven is smart and with clues from an unusual source and friends at her side, she learns more about what she is and the reasons she was chosen for this job.
I loved that Haven was normal, just like any other girl in high school. She carries no 'glamazon' status and is eagerly waiting for her chance to succeed and do something grand. Even as Haven gains confidence, she never loses herself in the lifestyle the hotel offers. She's a consistent character and her voice is so smart and beautiful. Dante and Lance were wonderful supporter characters, representing the outgoing and shy side of the students. Lance was an amazing guy. He was very shy and it was a slow process in getting to know him, but it was very realistic and true to his personality....and well worth it!
Now, as for Lucian...he is a beautiful and romantic type of guy. He's mysterious and his intentions are never made clear. Which drove me a little mad! Lucian is someone you love and hate at the same time. There are quirks that drop ideas in your head and then others that make you say "aww". With him, its just a roller coaster of emotions.
Agresti's Illuminate world is very glam and 20's reminiscent (which I love), and yet still very realistic to today's standards. She kept everything together at a slower pace and threw curve balls throughout, which is guarantee to start your engine and throw you into the mystery of it all. I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope that when you read it, you'll feel the same way! Highly recommended.
For those who like: Good vs. evil, mystery, romance, glamorous settings
Source: Publisher (ARC)