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Illuminate: A Gilded Wings Novel, Book One Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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—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."
"Move over, Twilight!"
"Equal parts romantic and mysterious, and will keep you itching for the next installment!"
"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
The main problem with this book was that it was just too slow. It seemed like half the book was over before any of the plot really kicked in or any action started happening. Luckily the second half made the book worth reading. The buildup of the story is needed but a little more action along the way would have moved the story along at a quicker pace and made the beginning more enjoyable to read.
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When Haven Terra and two of her classmates land an internship at the Lexington Hotel, they can't imagine a better way to spend the semester. Not only will they be leaving their mundane high school existence behind, but they'll be earning money, living in a luxurious hotel and gaining experience that will ensure a better future for themselves.
Surrounded by beautiful people, guided by knowledgeable and powerful mentors, and working in a hotel that is rich with history, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. And it is. If the dream were a nightmare.
Because the Outfit isn't just there to give the hotel's guests a pleasant stay. They are there to take their souls. And they're looking for Haven, Dante and Lance's help to do so.
ILLUMINATE's pace is unhurried. Its descriptions elaborate. Its mystery intriguing. Its plot enticing. Its setting both stunning and chilling. And its characters alluring, charming, likable, detestable, gruesome and terrifying.
With her days spent capturing the glitz and glamour of the hotel, its staff and its patrons on camera and her nights spent uncovering its secrets, Haven must decide whether to give in to temptation and all that the Outfit has on offer, or to resist and in doing so put her life on the line.Read more ›
Overall, I thought that the concept of this book was amazing. A group of people that were all incredibly gorgeous are in league with the Underworld and they're pretty much trafficking souls. It was very creative. And by the cover of the novel and the name of the series, you can easily tell that Haven is one of the few good people fighting against the monstrously huge population of the evil, even if she doesn't know it yet. While I very much enjoyed the plot and how Agresti managed to get the kids to the hotel via perfect grades (something I wish would happen to me!) I was not always happy with the delivery. So I want to spend this review explaining what, I believe, hindered this awesome-sounding novel from reaching its full potential.
First of all, the characterization. Haven was an incredibly smart girl that took pride in that. She's not all that physically attractive and she's ashamed of scars over her heart and on her back. She'll do anything to keep them covered up. Found in a ditch on the side of the road as a baby, she was adopted by a nurse named Joan that raised her the way children in young adult novels should be raised--seriously and studiously. She was no absentee parent, which I enjoyed. However, my one pet peeve with Haven is that as smart as she claimed to be, she was very naive to obvious negativity around her and she was very gullible. She had no common sense and lacked the ability to put two and two together, especially when a handsome boy that normally would not pay attention to her decided to realize she actually existed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't have any expectations going into this book. But I absolutely loved the book. There was action and love and mystery all wrapped into one book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was hard to get into due to the intensely high vocabulary used by Agresti, but all in all it was absolutely amazing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Miranda Corbin
Found this book by accident and boy am I glad I did. I couldn't wait to read it and was just as excited for book two.Published 14 months ago by badrod85
I read this book because it was recommended after reading the twilight series! The book was better then I thought it would be. I really enjoyed it!Published 16 months ago by valerie
Awesomeness! What a fun book, I was not expecting quite that story, but I loved it. Can't wait to read the sequel😀Published 22 months ago by Ashley Gillespie
As I was reading the book, I was really mixed, but when I finished....I was still a bit mixed.
The book is good....not great or amazing, but good. Read more
I completely fell in love with this book. I love the ties to Dorian Gray, as well as the writing style. We never have enough of a strong heroine storyline!Published on December 20, 2013 by cpoolwhit
This book starts off as typical YA, with Devils'a Advocate flavour and it as many flaws. But for me, the ending redeems it all and I will pick the sequel for sure.Published on June 17, 2013 by Annathea
This book sat for a long time in my TBR pile. I had read some less than positive reviews on "Illuminate" and honestly I wasn't sure it was worth my time to read it... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Pacey1927