Thursday, February 9, 2012

Illuminate Review + Giveaway

Hardcover, 531 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2012
Original title: Illuminate


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?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

To begin talking about such an amazing story, I must tell you 1 thing that helped tip it's awesomeness over the edge. The Gorgeous Cover! 

Now you may be thinking " Covers with girls in dresses are overdone, let's be rid of them!" Or maybe that's just what I think off and on. But here is what really made this one work for me. SHE ACTUALLY WEARS A RED DRESS IN THE STORY! Of course I won't tell you when or why, but lets just say the description matches up well, and makes me want the dress and love the cover even more. Not only does the dress tie into the story, but also the little shadow of a wing on the cover as well! Sigh.. I love it when covers tie into stories. 

Now onto the rest of the amazingness that was Illuminate : 

Illuminate is a story that I could not finish in one sitting. Not because it was too long ( not to me anyway ) I was busy, unable to sit down for hours at a time to read. However the fact that it took me longer to read than most book recently did not detract from it's awesomeness, to me it added to it. Too often do I read a book in one sitting and instantly feel as if it ended too quick. Illuminate was a story that I took in small chunks, then let it settle in my mind overnight, it was wonderful. I enjoyed having a story that made me slow down a little bit, if I had read it much faster I think I would have missed things!

Aimee Agresti has this wonderful style of writing, detailed and explanatory without being overwhelming.  Mixed into the story is some wonderful Art history, architecture, photography, As well as Capon and Chicago history! As an art student I really appreciated the way she describes things, without it feeling like I am taking a class. 

Sigh.. How to talk about this book! I have not read very many Angel books, though I know they are everywhere. However I feel like this story shows an interesting view of angels, just how do they earn their wings? 

Haven's character was one that was easy for me to connect with, an outcast at school, a  bit of a loner, who doesn't always feel right in her own skin. Feeling unimportant is the norm for her, so being thrust into a world where she feels admired and needed, it's something that takes some getting used to.

Dante, Haven's best friend is one of those people who have a vibrancy to them, a spark that draws you in like a moth to a flame, as you hope that some of their outgoing personality will attach itself to you. 

Lance,  Oh lance. He grew on me so perfectly. Like a new friend who you can just tell, is going to be a big part of your life. 

Lucian, You ever have the feeling of wanting to reach through the pages of your book so you can smack a character? That would be him. Though there is some " Insta love" an undeniable instant attraction, there is a darkness to him, always looming.  You will feel right along with Haven as she is pushed and pulled in many different directions. Though I felt like smacking him in the beginning, I can say that Lucian is a very dynamic character, and he may just surprise you like he did me.  

Aside from Lucian there is another relationship that comes into play. No I won't tell you who, but I will tell you it was perfectly executed. It felt REAL and honest, and grew at just the right pace, and ... sigh. made me swoon a bit ;) 

The darkness in this story was done in such a way that it slowly creeps in and expands, infecting everything in the story and connecting it in a wonderfully twisted way. This story was everything I wanted in a book right now. It was intense and beautiful, it held my attention and my love for it grew over the nights when I let it all sink in.  

I seriously hope this book gets the attention it deserves. 

Aimee Agresti is a Debut Author who I will SERIOUSLY be keeping my eye on. Though there is no title or news out on it yet there will be a book #2- and I will be anxiously awaiting it!

Who do I recommend it to ? Fans of Angels, Fantasy, love stories that feel real, horror that creeps it's way in, Artists or Art lovers. Or even if you are none of those, if you give this book a chance, you may be one by the end!

Rating 5/5

Illuminate is available March 6th ! Pre Order it HERE with free shipping from the Book Depository!


( Full Disclosure : The Passionate Bookworm is now a affiliate of The Book Depository and will receive a small commission from any books purchased when you use one of the posted links. ALL commission will be used to fund giveaways on the blog)

( keep an eye out for the Swagtastic giveaway coming soon, Aimee is sending me some wonderful things to share! ) 

After working on my review and being reminded how much I LOVED this book, I am going to giveaway my ARC copy !!  ( US and Canada only, sorry International Followers! I will do a Giveaway from book depository ( international ) Soon! )

Keep in mind it has been read once, but I try to take very good care of my books and other than very slight wearing on corners this is in the same condition that I received it in ! 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

86 comments:

  1. Your review makes me SO much more excited to read this one - I am SO pumped for it. I'm glad to hear it was great :)

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    1. YAY - excited for you to read it to hear your feedback!

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  2. "Now you may be thinking " Covers with girls in dresses are overdone, let's be rid of them!" "

    Perfect line! First thing I thought when I opened your post was think - 'Oh, a beautiful dress cover'. I almost got to post a comment about the dress, when I remembered that Rafflecopter usually has a question hidden under the "Leave a Blog Post" button! And sure enough....

    What makes me want to read this novel? I could be sarcastic and say: "It's a book, isn't it?" But I won't say that.... I honestly want it most for the cover!! Yes, I noticed the angel wing, also.

    Your review is very well written, tells a lot, but not too much. And now that I have read your review, I not only want to look at the cover, I actually want to read the book! It's not too horror, is it??

    So that's it!
    Thank you for the Giveaway, Michelle - I hope I win!!

    Patricia

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    1. No it is not too horror at all! When I say horror I don't really mean blood and guts, but something that creeped me out and gave me shivers! The cover is truly gorgeous and I love it when the Cover artists do right by the story!

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  3. THE COVER! And that ending paragraph in your review! I love art, romance and intense books! Eeh! So excited for this one.
    Your review: v good.

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  4. If I didn't already have a copy of this book I would totally enter your giveaway HAHAH! I love this book so much!! I totally agree about how awesome it is that she wears a red dress too :) I loved that part!! Ahhh great review :)

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    1. I'm so happy you convinced met to read it next! and.. ya . I WANT that dress lol

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  5. Your review alone was enough to convince me to read this book! It had been on my TBR for a while.. now it's just a bit closer to the top! :)

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    1. >.< YAY ! I love that I helped add to you want to read the book!

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  6. What makes me want to read this book? Well aside from the fact that I think the cover is beautiful, the story premiss is intriguing.

    Loved your review. If I wasn't already interested in reading this book, your thoughts on it would have cinched it for me. As it is, I now want to get my hands on it just to see if I agree with your thoughts on it. =^-^=

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    1. Even if you don't love it as much as me I want to hear your feedback! We all have different opinions and I love hearing them!

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  7. Great review!! I've just added this to my ever expanding TBR list! :) I definitely know what you mean about how the image ties in with the story! I love it when that happens! :)

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    1. Exactly! I still love girls in dresses covers, i cannot deny they draw me in like no other, but it makes me extra happy when they actually wear the dress!

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  8. Oh noo, I was hoping this giveaway would be international :/ but anyway this book sounds really awesome! Can't wait for March 6!

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    1. So sorry Rachel! I believe Aimee is having a giveaway soon of Finished copies, I believe international. Follow her and keep an eye out for Illuminate book and swag giveaways!

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  9. I have been DYING to read this one. Your review just blew me away! I need this book even more now after reading your review. *cannot contain excitement*

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    1. *tries to help contain excitement* - wait why would I do that!? you should be excited!

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  10. I think the cover is what really draws you to the book. But I am so excited to read it! I love angel type books! And I am excited to find out where in the book the red dress appears! Thanks for the review! :)

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    1. * must read book to find red dress scene * it's like a where's waldo search! only better :)

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  11. At first I wanted to read it simply because of the cover, but the more reviews I read the better it seems. I haven't read very many angel books that have actually made my "like" list so I'm hoping this is the one. I love your review, and it's made me want to read it more.

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    1. I have read very few angel books as well. What I enjoyed about this story is how it slowly works its way up the the fantasy /paranormal aspects! It's not all BAM in your face.

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  12. Loved the review. I'm really intrigued after hearing you enjoyed it! Plus, I adore the cover. Definitely gorgeous!!!

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    1. HAHA I am such a cover girl :) especially if it has red!

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  13. I love the premise of this book! What girl doesn't love luxury and I find any hidden secrets (especially in a hotel) to be interesting.

    You're review was awesome. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I would love to find a hotel with hidden doorways and secrets! .. though maybe not the ones that Haven finds ;)

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  14. This sounds like a great book! And you're right, the cover is very intriguing :D

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    1. intrigue, elegance. So much to the cover to love!

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  15. I think the storyline hook me with the mysterious book and passage ways. I will admit I really need to find out what is going on and how it all plays out :) Thank you for sharing the fun:)

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    1. Who doesn't love some good hidden passageways ;)

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  16. Thanks for the great book giveaway.
    Your review was interesting and
    insightful. Yes, that is what I do
    if a book grabs me from the start.
    Try to stretch it out.

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    1. I do it when I re read the harry potter books >.< I always try to catch something I may have missed the other times around.

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  17. Your review was great and I'm entering because my daughter loves mystery, suspense books and think she'd love this.
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

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  18. OK for the review I"M hooked--love, adventure, suspenses--you got me--have to have it soon-PLEASE--but then I am a book it!!!!!lol

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  19. I saw the cover at ALAMW and fell in love. It's gorgeous! After your review, I'm going to have to read it! Great job!

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  20. When I first saw the cover, I died! I love how you said it contain "Art history, architecture, photography", well that just made me want to read it more. I'm kind of a geek of those subjects. :3

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    1. YAY for Geeks! we rock ! :D And it is seriously done in such a wonderful way !

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  21. Thanks for the giveaway! I love the cover too xD But after reading your review, I'm glad that it was a good book too!

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  22. The cover caught my eye at first. After reading the "blurb" and the review it made me want to read it even more. The book sounds right up my alley!
    Thanks for the chance to win this book!
    -Dawn aka dawnmomoffour
    thedoyle6@rogers.com

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    1. I agree! the Cover draws you in, but the description hooks you!

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  23. LOVED your review! I have heard so many great things (about the cover and book lol) and I am glad you enjoyed it so much as well. I would love to read this book not just because of all of the amazing things I have heard but because it sounds so amazing!! Thank you for the chance to win this copy!

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    1. I think I got to it before all the Hype >.< But I think that just made me more happy that I loved it so much !

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  24. I have been DYING to read this one./tnx 4 the rad review

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  25. Angels and devils are an interesting paranormal theme that I haven't seen much of, honestly. I'd be interested to delve into this genre. I also really like when covers can tie into their books. Your review tells me what I need to know about the characters and plot, but not too much, so I need to read it for myself now!

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    1. Wonderful! so glad I could catch your interest! Angels are not a topic I have read to much of either! So it was a welcome surprise

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  26. The cover got me excited for it, then the description completely drew me. I can't wait for it to come out! Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. For it sounds really interesting! I like the names and how that might play into whos 'good' and 'bad'. I also like that u point out that the cover has relavence to the story! I hate when theres a beautiful cover, but the story inside doesnt have ANYTHING to do with it! Anyways ill def check this out! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  28. I love the concept of them buying souls. I think its a very original idea and i could really read an original idea right now lol. Sounds really good!

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  29. I want to read it because I am seeing it everywhere. I have a weakness for peer pressure.

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  30. I love the cover and your review just helped seal the deal. I will def be reading this one!!

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  31. This book seems interesting and the cover is so beautiful!

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  32. I am so excited to start this one! It definitely sounds amazing and you've said so many good things :0)

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  33. Of course this book is a must read just for the fact that your review is so awesome that I cannot wait till it is out! Your review is just so awesomely done! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  34. What makes you interested in reading Illuminate? What did you think of my review?

    There was a time where the only thing I saw on Twitter and on my Blogger Dashboard was "REVIEW: Illuminate by Aimee" I was interested in buying it but they were sold out at my local B&N -_- But personally? I didn't even read the review. I think I have enough reviews on this novel :) I'm sure it's great though! I've read other reviews by you! :D

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  35. I simply can't wait for this book! The cover is enticing, I have to admit. and Haven sounds like my type of protagonist.

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  36. This sounds so good! And the cover is just spellbinding!

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  37. Aside from being a voracious reader and a lover of writing and books, I also enjoy fantasy, magic, and love. Who doesn't? I also have my own book blog, too. So, this would be a nice addition to my book list of items I'd like to read. And yes, you're right! The cover is pretty! As for your review, I appreciate your enthusiasm. I can tell you really enjoyed the book, which essentially makes me want to read it! I hope Rafflecopter picks me!!!

    Thanks,
    Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
    Email: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com
    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

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  38. I can't believe I have never heard of this book before now. I definitely need to get my hands on this A.S.A.P.

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  39. Great review. I agree the cover to this is BEAUTIFUL! That alone just makes me want to read it. Sounds amazing. Thanks for the Giveaway!

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  40. Great review! The fact that it's set in Chicago (my hometown) makes me want to read it even more. :)

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  41. I love the cover too!! I will keep my eye out for this one! Especially since it does sound a bit creepy <3

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  42. Illuminate's blurb makes it sound so intriguing!! I've been dying to read this book since its cover was a revealed because that was when one of the blogs I follow did a cover reveal for it, I had to check it out.

    Your review was a great review. Now I am more hyped up for the release of Illuminate than ever before.

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  43. Old world has always fascinated me - that era most especially. Your review just made me want this book more!

    Thanks for this giveaway!

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  44. Well, you made Lance sound pretty swoony! And the cover is pretty!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  45. The blurb for this book wasn't exactly drawing me in (making me want to read it) though after reading your review, it makes me actually really want to read it badly now!

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  46. Nice review! I love the cover :D the dress is gorgeous

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  47. The cover is amazing, and the summary sounds so good! Your review was so enthusiastic- its so obvious you loved it! :D Great review!

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  48. Your review of the book makes it sound so good that I really can't wait to read it.

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  49. the words you use you can already hear the storie being told. you should think about writing. very excited to read this one.

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  50. my interest? All the reviews I have read, and of course the cover! :)

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  51. I love this cover too, it's gorgeous. I can't get enough of girls in awesome dresses lol. The book sounds fab, I like your reviews, you don't give away any juicy details just an idea of what to expect. The way a review should be. Thanks so much for the giveaway ;)
    Tristan @ Reads With Wreckless Abandon

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  52. I love the cover and I really like how it sounds :D

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  53. I love the reviews here. They're clear and trustworthy. The cover looks really cool too!

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  54. Love the cover, and Angel books are one of my favourites! :) Great review!

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  55. Yes, it was a wonderful review!! The cover of this books is so pretty!! I just realize that there is a shadow of a wing on the cover as well.

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  56. I first heard about this one from Cara Lynn Shultz. I wasn't too sure about it because I've been SO over angels (although, Cynthia Hand changed my mind, at least partway). From everything I've heard though, this is a worthwhile read even with the length. Actually, I like that it's longer than your typical YA...maybe get more of the story in!

    Great review!

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  57. i haven't heard much about this book, but after reading your gushing review i will definitely be reading it! you did a really good job of describing what the book's about without giving too much away. thanks for that : )

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