Customer Reviews for

Illuminate (Gilded Wings Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted April 3, 2012

    Wow! This book was fantastic! I have been waiting to read this b

    Wow! This book was fantastic! I have been waiting to read this book for awhile now, and finally decided I couldn't wait any longer! I am glad I didn't!

    Haven Terra was so cute. She just really wanted to do well. She swooned at the PERFECT HOT GUY. It was so typical, and it not once annoyed me! I loved Lance from the start - the nerdy, shy kid. Dante was also a fantastic character - the gay smart kid who just doesn't give a damn and grabs life every chance - he is the gay best friend I really wish I had!

    Haven, Dante and Lance get accepted to this internship at a hotel, but not everything is as it seems. I found this novel was constantly surprising me! I thought I had it figured out, but alas, I was mostly wrong!

    The only complaint I have with this book was it was quite long, roughly 530 pages, and I felt it dragged on in some places. But otherwise it was amazing! Buy it, devour it, LOVE IT!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Okay so I was looking for a good read at the bookstore today. Th

    Okay so I was looking for a good read at the bookstore today. Then out of the blue the saleslady said she had this great book that she is reading that I might like. There were no copies of the book on the shelf so she went to the back. Luckily there was one copy so I think it was fate for me to read this. I'm looking at the reviews  and hope its is as fantastic as everyone is saying. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Very well written and exciting!

    Great book! It was well written and very exciting to read. At one point I almost started crying because I felt so much for the characters. Its worth the buy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    This is ridiculous! Why is the paperback cheaper than the nook b

    This is ridiculous! Why is the paperback cheaper than the nook book! Amzons' version is only $7.43, just something to think about. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work i

    Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work in a prestigious up-and-coming new hotel. I’m not sure what kind of public school system they’re a part of, but they get to leave school and live at the hotel for an entire semester. It’s almost too good to be true. All of the hotel staff are young and impossibly gorgeous and Haven feels pretty special just being a part of it.

    Soon enough, odd things start happening (a plant spontaneously catches fire, photographs do weird things, people disappear) and Haven becomes suspicious. Throw in a diary in which passages suddenly appear and seem to give Haven directions, and she really gets freaked out. I have to admit, I would have become a little nervous much sooner than Haven and her friends did.

    Haven was an okay protagonist, though I had some issues with the way she handled some things. She had some scars on her body and didn’t know where they came from (she was an orphan, found on the side of the road), and when in danger, her scars started to hurt. Um, hello? Big fat warning sign. Does Haven pay that any mind? No. When the aforementioned plant catches on fire, she just tosses the thing and forgets about it. Besides the previous nitpicks, I did like how real she was. She was shy and nerdy, but also kind and friendly. I love the way she and her best friend Dante talked to each other, like they’d been friends forever. Lance was a nice addition to their duo and I especially liked how he and Haven grew as friends.

    Haven’s love interest Lucian and her boss Aurelia (anyone else think of areola when they see that name? No? Just me then?) were supposed to be just regular people, but I never fell for it. They were too perfect and beautiful and cunning and powerful. I never believed they were just normal, so it made it hard for me to be shocked and upset when Haven found out the truth and felt that way.

    The dialogue was standard stuff, nothing too artsy fartsy or simple. The mystery part of the story was interesting, although I think anybody else would have come to the obvious conclusion sooner than Haven did. But I’m probably just nitpicking. The length of the novel was way too long. The entire middle part dragged on and on. The beginning was interesting, as we learned about the characters and their environment and the ending was fast and held my interest, but the middle was unnecessarily long, without a lot of action or new information to move the story along.

    The cover is beautiful and appropriate. The wings are subtle (I didn’t even notice them at first) and she actually wears a similar dress in an important scene in the story, so props for that.

    The sum up: I wasn’t as excited about this book overall as I was in the beginning. It had a lot of promise and started off well, but didn’t finish as strongly as it could have.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    It Illuminated my soul...

    This book was throughly enjoyable. I loved the length of it-- it felt not too short, but not too long, and kept me reading. I learned a great bit about myself interwoven in these pages, and I believe the novel showed a lot on the true American Dream. Haven kept her faith in the truth that hard work for goals brings true happiness, and that instant gratification is fruitless, and that is what saved her in the end.
    I love the Seven Deadly Sins theme in the Vault, and Lance was my favorite character. Not to spoil or anything but at THAT MOMENT there in the end (you know what I'm talking about if you read it already), I shouted, "I KNEW IT!!" And grinned widely.
    Spectacular story of not knowing your own strength and is very reccommended :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Great book

    If you have not already read this book, READ IT. It is such a great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2012

    I give this book 5 stars

    These are the kind of books that I love to read. Ones that I can not put down. It just seems that with the series books They can't publish them fast enough for me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    At first, I didn't really like Haven because she just seemed lik

    At first, I didn't really like Haven because she just seemed like the perfect student. Ugh. But as she became an intern, she was mature, sophisticated and professional. I really admired her. She was able to collect herself and conquer obstacles. It definitely in a way reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada.


    Dante was a bit feminine which I love! He was sweet, FUN, and caring. EEEE! Best friend material! *arms flail*


    Dante was your typical hyperactive kid. Wally (Wally West from DC Comics), and Naruto (Naruto from the Naruto manga) like.


    Lance seemed sweet and cool. I mean he wore glasses! Hello! You know I kind of have a thing for "nerdy chic". I mean my love for the guy below can be prove to that. Granted he is not real.



    I really enjoyed the slow build up between Lance and Haven. Some of you might know I hate instalove with the "Every-touch-sends-a-spark- and-I-want-to-be-with-you-forever" thing. Their friendship was very sweet, and very subtle.


    Lucian, wow, he was such a flirt. He was smoooooth. The tiny gestures that goes on between Lucian and Haven. Woowoo mister!

    I really couldn't pick whether I am Team Lance or Team Lucian.
    And what can I say about Aurelia?

    When she talked, it contained mystery and depth to it. At times she really reminded me of your "old-wise-one-mentor-with-the-philosophical-sayings-without-being-all-wrinkly".


    At time, I get the feelings like I'm reading the Mortal Instrument Series and the Iron Fey Series. The hotel totally reminded me of the Lotus Casino in The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. The hotel was just breathtaking! (Oh yeah so was Alcatraz as well!) One thing that I completely fell for was that the hotel set the week with the theme of the seven deadly sins. What came to my mind immediately was FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST! Yeah, that was off topic. I really enjoyed the historical reference to Chicago, the prohibition, Al Capone etc.


    The only thing "bad" about this book was that it was too long. I think there was too many dialogues and a lot of blah blah. That's why it is 511 pages long. There was basically a 100 page intro to the basic setting and few main characters. Overall this book was beautifully written. Aimee created a complete magical world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book and believe that the length did nothi

    I really enjoyed this book and believe that the length did nothing to skew the brilliant story line, and funny, captivating characters. 5 stars for sure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Wonderful!

    I coukdnt put it down cant wait to read more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    AMAZING BOOK

    ... an amazing book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Omg definitley five stars

    Loved this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Illuminate is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be an amaz

    Illuminate is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be an amazing series.

    Our protagonist Haven is a character that I really liked. She starts off quiet and not very confident in herself but by the end she's this strong confident girl that you want to root for. Haven is a very smart girl and isn't very easily swayed. I loved that she didn't just accept things that she searched and found out the truth, even when it wasn't what she wanted to hear. Haven is tested a lot throughout the book and I think she handled everything very well.

    Dante, Haven's best friend was probably my favorite character. Though he had his fair share of struggles throughout the book he fought his way through them and became a stronger character as well. Dante and Haven had some bumps in their friendship throughout the book but they always managed to find their way back to each other. You could really see how much Dante and Haven truly cared about each other.

    Lance, the other boy who was awarded the internship along with Haven and Dante was another character I really liked. At first I wasn't sure what to make of Lance because he came off kind of quiet and awkward but as the book went on and he and Haven became closer I began to really like him. Lance and Haven are just adorable together and I can't wait to see what happens between the two of them in the future.

    Then there is also Lucian, a boy who works at the hotel where Haven, Dante, and Lance are doing their internship. My feelings on Lucian are pretty mixed and to be honest I'm still not sure what to make of him. Lucian is a very shady and mysterious character and even though we learned some of his secrets in this book I'm sure there is a lot more to learn and I'm interested to see what we learn about him in the future.

    The plot of this book kept me hooked the entire time, I think the idea of these three kids getting an internship to work at a hotel was a very cool and different twist for a paranormal book. I also had a really fun time throughout the whole book trying to fit the pieces together and figure out what was really going on. Little hints are dropped here and there and some things I definitely saw coming but there were also quite a few things that surprised me as well. Another great aspect of this book is the writing, all the descriptions of the hotel were really detailed and helped pull me into the setting. While this book doesn't end on a cliffhanger there are many threads left to pick up on in future books and I can't wait to see what happens next.

    Final Verdict: I can't say enough good things about Illuminate, it is an amazing book and I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out as I am dying to know what happens next.

    *This review is also posted on my blog and my other social media profiles.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Nyih....

    I havent read the book yet, but it sounds very cliche and predictable. BORING.....

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    To describe Illuminate I could only use two words: freaking amaz

    To describe Illuminate I could only use two words: freaking amazing! And to be completely sincere, I wasn't expecting for it to be this good. Angel-themed books have been so popular these last few months that I though Illuminate would be rather repetitive but it was just the opposite! Agresti's novel was a pleasant surprise. And I can't forget to mention that Illuminate has a beautiful cover which will love great on your bookshelf, just saying.

    Haven, an ordinary yet very hard-working girl, is chosen to work at a hotel for six months. Her best friend, Dante, and another high school colleague, Lance, are invited too. This job seems like the perfect opportunity to get her life somewhere. But she doesn't know that in this hotel nothing is as it seems. A book left for her in the library tells her that her life is in great danger but will she believe it?

    The plot was utterly amazing and surprisingly captivating. It was actually really surprising to find out more about the hotel's beautiful employees and the scaring boss, Aurelia. I had no idea when I started this novel that it would not only involve angels, but also selling souls to demons (if you watch Supernatural, you know what this means!). It was refreshing; for as I said many times before, angels are a popular theme nowadays in YA books. But what I loved most was the mystery in Illuminate. Agresti succeeds in keeping us at bay the whole time, leaving us guessing and never finding out much, though I guess this could be a bit annoying to many of you but I enjoyed it.

    The characters in Illuminate were a bit hard to judge and relate to, since they were for the most part mysterious. For example you never knew if Lucian (the gorgeous employee, with whom Haven has a few dates) was nice or if he was just playing Haven for his and Aurelia's evil plans (mua-ha-ha! You will have to read it to find out more!). But Haven was a wonderful main character. She grows up a lot throughout the book, becoming a strong and independent girl. She is really down-to-earth and prefers to work hard now and slack later. Lance was sweet, quiet and likable but I would have loved to learn more about him. I wanted to read more about Dante too, even though he was a pretty predictable character.

    Overall the story was amazing, the writing beautiful so that I can't wait to read the next one (my hands are already itching for more)! The beginning started a bit slow and sometimes I wondered about taking a break from reading it, but I refused to give up and it totally paid off! I'm so happy that I continued reading because after the action started to pick up pace I wasn't able to put this one down. Totally recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Okay, I just want to call this book out RIGHT HERE. Note the wor

    Okay, I just want to call this book out RIGHT HERE. Note the words in the last line of the blurb “suspenseful” and “exciting.” This book is 534 pages that it doesn’t need to be because it is NOT suspenseful or exciting in a lot of places.

    The problem is, this book is WAY TOO BIG. The pacing in this book is really wacked out, and the editing also strange. If Illuminate had been half the size (or smaller!) it could have been a really awesome read for me, a higher starred one to boot. But this book GOES. SO. SLOW.

    The fact that I finished this book is actually a fluke. I’ll admit that there was something compulsively keeping me reading. The prose was rather purple-y and overdone–further slowing down the already slow plot–but in some places it really did click. Flashes of action would crop up, but that’s all they were, flashes. Flashes of action is not actual action, people.

    WARNING! MILD SPOILERS BELOW!

    Our main character is supposed to be a protagonist. But the problem is, she isn’t. The entirety of the plot–when it does move forward–seems to be happening around her. The reason she starts doing ANYTHING is because she finds this notebook that tells her everything to do. It’s aggravating, especially when Aurelia and everybody start freaking out because Haven’s powers are growing and she’s effecting the photos but HAVEN ISN’T DOING ANYTHING. She isn’t any different, she isn’t even trying to be magical. It just happens.

    What in the world is going on in this book? I’m not kidding! The blurb tells you that Aurelia and crew are stealing souls, but what is Haven’s role? What’s her job? What kind of lore are we dealing with? I was asking these IMPORTANT questions all the way up until about halfway through the book! You don’t even find out what the deal is with Haven until later than that. I understand that since this is the first person and Haven is clueless she can’t exactly TELL us, but geez.

    And then when things actually happen… It doesn’t seem to FIT. For instance, when Haven finally figures out Lucian, I wanted to shout NO, REALLY? And then when things start rolling and some plot points are explained I went, WAIT WHAT? Because they happened too fast for me to get a handle on them.

    However, however, I do admit, I adored a few things…

    The character of Dante was awesome. I was upset we got to see him so little in the middle of the book. The Lance/Haven thing was also cute, because they took time to get to know each other, trust each other and THEN fall in love with each other. Major plus in my book. I spent so long on criticism I feel bad I don’t want to prattle on too much here, but yeah. Those were two major points for me!

    Now … the ending. THERE WILL BE NO SPOILERS HERE, even if it kills me. However, I must say, things REALLY got rolling here. It was like, after 500 pages of blah blah blah all of a sudden it went EVERYTHING is GOING TO HAPPEN, THE END. I truly did enjoy the ending, though it ended pretty abruptly after what I was used to.

    In a nutshell, this book was something. It was really slow for ages, then really fast for about 20 pages and then you were at the end. If you are the kind of person who reads books were something NEEDS TO HAPPEN then I would avoid this one. However, if you don’t mind slower reading and a slower reveal of plot points then you might find this one enjoyable. Though I did finish this, it really wasn’t quite the right fit for me–a fast reader with a short attention spam.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Amazing Debut

    Illuminate is an amazing book. A great start to an amazing series. All girls looking for an adventure and mystery should eead this. SPOILER: Think of Dante's Inferno.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting mix of typical mythical stories.

    This one took a while to pick up any main plot or idea of where the story was going. Not a very original story line, just a jumble of angels vs. demons, some Dorian Grey picture stuff and a whole bunch of plotting. I think I'd read the next one to get an idea if it gets any better. But I just wish there was more doing than just planning involved in the story line.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    3 - 4 STARS Illuminate by Aimee Agresti is a romantically capti

    3 - 4 STARS
    Illuminate by Aimee Agresti is a romantically captivating Angel story! Filled with enjoyable characters that will have you wanting to befriend, and some not so much (they're evil I tell you!); an intriguing plot and a whole-lotta angst you wouldn't know what to do with!

    To begin, the cover is more than gorgeous! I really like the shadowy effect of wings as if she really has them (you'll understand my hinting if you've read the book). It's the major reason I really wanted to read Illuminate, the second being the synopsis.

    I have to admit this took me WAY longer than it should have to read/finish. The story really wasn't that bad, and the only way you will know that is if you've read to the end without skipping/skimming any pages. It was really long [534 pgs] when it could have been spruced up shorter, and it's the reason why it felt like it dragged on. The first few pages were filled with unnecessary descriptions and were a bit excessive. Two thirds of the way it just started to feel lengthy where it could have been edited a bit or condensed in some parts. I can't remember where it started to catch my interest, but it does get interesting once you pass that hurdle.
    I love the three main characters! Dante is adorable and I SO want one for myself! The love drama is cute and not over done. I still don't know which guy I like the most. Haven is very likable and you just want her to succeeded in what she does and tries to accomplish. Lance is such a nerd, but a nerd to be reckoned with! My only disappointment aside from the length is the lacking of Haven's past along with the confusing cryptic mystery of the book and postcards which I'm hoping will be cleared and explained more in the second book. I LOVED the ending! There is really not that much to say about it because it was a great and perfect way to finish the story. Even though I cried at one point the result was still SWEET! LOVED IT!
    If you don't mind novels that are long-drawn-out (which are great for rainy days mind you) then this is the book for you!! It is also a great Angel story to add to your list! Get Illuminate'd' =)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2