Illuminate – Aimee Agresti

Illuminate has a mix of elements that will attract a variety of readers.  It is a combination of romance, mystery, coming-of-age, self-discovery, and paranormal good versus evil.  Haven is an over-achieving, hard working girl, whose adoptive mother found her outside when she was very young.  The only clue to her life before adoption is the persistent scars on her chest and shoulders.  Haven and two of her high school classmates, Dante and Lance, are selected to participate in an internship at an upscale, mob-themed New York hotel.  Her first task at the hotel is to take portraits of the silent, oddly beautiful staff members called the Outfit. Everything starts to change when the photos morph into portraits of scarred, decaying, horrifying people.  She also finds a book in the hotel with her name on it.  Every few days, entries appear in the book directing her to explore tunnels in the bowels of the hotel and to train for battle.  She and Lance begin to uncover more secrets behind the staff.  It appears the Outfit members have sold their souls to the Devil.  The three students are being lured to by every means necessary to join the soul recruitment campaign.  Can Haven and her friends resist or do they prepare for battle?  This engaging book will have readers clamoring for more.

Galley review   Publication date 3.6.12

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