first novel in the Gilded Wings series by Aimee Agresti.
Haven has fought hard her whole life to do everything perfectly. It's not like she wants to be the best, but she wants to appreciate everything that she has.
When she was 5, she was found on the side of a road with cuts and scars. One of the nurses at the hospital she was taken to took her in and raised her as her own, giving Haven a chance to live a normal life.
So when Haven was given the chance to intern at a new, prestigious hotel, Haven jumped at the chance to get more experience to hopefully gain her entry into one of the colleges she wants to attend after high school.
It also helped that there would be two other students from her high school there. Her best friend Dante and another smart student, who is somewhat shy, Lance.
The owner of the hotel, Aurelia, is a very young, successful business woman that Haven could learn something new from her. And Aurelia's second in command, Lucian, is very yummy to look at, so the job could definitely be worse.
But things are not as they seem at the Lexington Hotel. Something odd is going on with the staff. They are acting like zombies, living in a shell with no emotional attachments or excitement. Lance, Haven, and Dante are the only ones that think for themselves, with the exception of Lucian and Aurelia.
Then things start to get odd. Haven is given a book, with no text inside. But after a few days, an entry was written inside from someone other than Haven. The person writes that she needs to train, run, build strength, gather resources like food, light, rope, etc.
When Haven doesn't follow the directions the first time, she finds out that the book is right. Whoever is writing to her has Haven's best interest at heart and now she is listening to everything that is being written in there.
Haven can't trust anyone at Lexington Hotel, but finds consolidation in Lance when Dante is sucked into the ways of the hotel staff.
Can Haven figure out what is going on and stop the evilness at Lexington Hotel? Can she get Dante away from the ways of the hotel? Read Illuminate by Aimee Agresti to find out!
Seems the theme for angels is spiraling in the last few years for YA fiction! This is the first novel I've read of Aimee Agresti and it definitely has a different twist to the angel story that other's that I've read before.
The story was good. I liked where the author was trying to go with it. I just found myself lost through some pages. And other times I thought that the story dragged on and on.
Granted, there was a lot of information in this story, which is why it's 500+ pages, but I think it could have been shorter.
Also, the whole book talking to Haven? I could not stop thinking about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I'm a huge HP fan and every time there was a scene where Haven was reading from the book I kept flashing back to HP.
I thought the writing was really good, but there was just something about the novel overall where it just didn't make it to my top pile of favorite books. I also found myself taking more breaks through the book to check my email or go get snacks I didn't need, whereas if I was absorbed in this book, I couldn't pry it from my hands for any reason.
I am intrigued to see where the author will take the next novel(s). If I notice the release date and an curious by the blurb, I may pick up the second novel, but I won't go out of my way to get it on release day.
For anyone who likes mystery, stories about angels and demons, and about a girl who learns more about her troubled past, I would recommend this book to you. If you want a fast paced excitement thriller, I'm not sure if this book will be the one you're looking for.
The second novel, Infatuate (sounds like a great title! Intriguing!), comes out in March 2013.