I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. I did like it, but I just had some issues with it.
Haven is a smart girl and I LOVED that. She's that girl who does her best in class because she knows what she wants: to be a doctor. So of course I could relate to that! I liked that she had a really great relationship with her adoptive mother and that her friendship with Dante. Of couse she's slightly dazzled by all the glitter of the Lexington and it's staff, but seriously, who wouldn't be?
I liked the part where she gets clues from a book where the writing appears at night when she's alone, it was kinda neat. I just would have liked for Haven to be a bit more curious as to WHO or what was telling her these things and why. She just seems to accept everything and it made me a little iffy. I mean, I would have been totally freaked out and she mostly just takes everything in stride. It's not every day you find out your new boss and your crush are taking souls, are evil and that you're supposed to stop them. I mean, seriously?
Also, I didn't really get why she stayed on at the hotel after some bad things happened. I mean, sure it's all noble to want to take them down and everything, but do you need to sleep under the same roof as these demons for that?? Especially after they found a secret passage in, I could have seen them doing a surprise attack.
I kinda loved Dante, though he's the stereotypical gay best friend you came across in YA a lot. He was fun, but I thought it was a little weird that he wasn't only an excellent cook, but a great stylist AND gave a mean haircut. That's a LOT of accomplishments for being a 16-year-old guy and it made me roll my eyes somewhat.
I did really like the parts we get to see about Haven's powers developing and I thought the thing with the pictures (yes, I'm being cryptic, but it's a spoiler otherwise) was really cool! I also really liked the friendship that develops between Haven and Lance.
As for the romance, I could see how Haven could be dazzled by Lucian, he just didn't do all that much for me, even though he is charming and handsome and everything.
I did totally roll my eyes at the whole confession towards the end that it was actually Lance who'd kissed Haven pretty early on in the story because the lights went out and he decided to 'take a chance'. I mean, seriously? And what did he hope to gain by that when Haven didn't know it was him? SERIOUSLY? I like them as a couple, but that was just slightly ridiculous.
So as you can see, Illuminate left me with mixed feelings. I did like the story in general, but it was a pretty big book and it seemed to take me forever to read it. I did like the characters, but some stuff made me roll my eyes. I am really curious to see what'll happen next though, so I'm going to start Infatuate soon!
My rating: 3 stars