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.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is …
Haven couldn’t believe her luck when her school principal told her that she received a prestigious internship in Chicago. Who would turn down an opportunity to work as an apprentice under the leadership of the owner of a hotel, right? Upon arrival, Haven felt elated by all the glamorous beauty surrounding her. The building was stylish. Everybody there looked gorgeous and so many things seemed so surreal that Haven wondered if she – a plain high school girl – could really fit in. Could she?
I like Haven. She is brainy and observant. When things happened in ways that didn’t seem logical, she quietly took some time to do her research and she didn’t make any assumption about anybody until she found proofs. Even though she might be inexperienced, I like that she worked hard and used her common sense to prioritize what’s important for her. In the story, Haven and two of her classmates, Dante and Lance, were chosen to receive the internship. While she didn’t know Lance too well, I like that she didn’t exclude him when she and Dante were having conversations. I’m just glad that she found good people that she could trust when things took an ugly turn at the hotel.
Although I had an enjoyable time reading about all the things that were happening inside the hotel, I didn’t really feel captivated by the story until after Haven saw La Jeune Martyre, a painting of Paul Delaroche. Then, I felt pulled into the story. I began to feel very connected with what Haven had to go through and I kept hoping and wanting the best to happen for her.
I guess from reading the synopsis, we all know that the hotel owner, Aurelia, was evil, but I like that in the story, we got to see an unexpected side of her and I actually sighed and felt sad for her for a while. But then she did something really really bad and I became totally fed up and frustrated!!! As you can tell, all my sympathy for her went poof … GONE!
I must say I was nicely surprised by how quickly I could finish reading this story. With over 500 pages, I had thought I’d need a few more nights and now that I didn’t, maybe I could squeeze in another book into my schedule. 😀
While some of the things in the story are predictable, there are also things that I didn’t quite see them coming and so, I’m happy to say that I had a wonderful time reading the book. Maybe I’ll start reading its sequel, Infatuate, very soon.