Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1), by Aimee Agresti

Barnes & Noble

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.

Disclaimer: I have been friends with Aimee since we were kids, so many people might consider this review biased.

I was intrigued by the storyline from the moment I read the synopsis: a teenager out on her own in "the big world" for the first time, dealing with an unknown past, and finding herself fighting the forces of evil. AND the protagonist is a nerd? Right up my YA alley!

The writing is beautiful: Aimee understands how to make the words flow to paint a clear picture in the reader's mind. At times it distracted from the story, especially when the scene was supposed to be urgent and the prose only made for a slower pace.

I do wonder why the internship took place during the school year. Aimee and I--and our group of friends--were nerds in high school, and I can't imagine any of us taking a semester off like that.

Personally, I found it hard to immerse myself into the story simply because I do know the author. I kept imagining my former classmates and wondering who Aimee might have modeled her characters after. 

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