Illuminate by Aimee Agresti. Book one in the Gilded Wings series.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.As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel? Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew. (taken from Goodreads)
Objectionable:Language was a 2, drinking, demons and angels portrayed in a way that went slightly against my beliefs (although, duh, the demons are evil), gay character, a couple kisses.
Thoughts:Well this book is off and on, Haven is training to be an angel. And we can't train to be angels and well the whole demon/angel thing was portrayed in the world's sense and really had no mention of God. Which is fine for other people but I think it's a bit off, personally. Anyway, that was really the main thing that disagreed with me. So Haven is given this job with her best friend and another guy who she kinda knows. And they go to work at the hotel and wow...turns out that the beautiful people there are demons trying to steal their souls. Fun. So she fights back and in the end conquers them. With some consequences.
While this book takes a little while to get started (it's a pretty large book) once it gets started it doesn't stop! The adventure and plot are well done and interesting. There is an air or mystery around the hotel for a while and even after Haven and her friends discover the demons there are still secrets and mysteries. The whole book is really well thought out and the author has a great pen for details! Overall, I enjoyed this book despite the slight content and thought that it was really well written. I would recommend to 14+ girls.
Characters: Haven is a really strong character and I really liked her! She was quiet and shy at times but really bold and confident at others. She is a sweet girl and I totally called who she ends up with :) Lance is a sweet guy and kinda Clark Kent...only smarter I think. Anyway he's adorable. Dante is the other main-ish character and he is the stereotypical gay guy. But he's hilarious and fashion conscientious for Haven. (*note* I don't hate gays, I think they should be happy and all that, but I do believe that homosexuality is a sin. But I don't want to be hater, it's just my belief.)
Cover:I love this cover. The shadowed wings, the doodle around the title...the dress. It's really beautiful and one of my favorites.
Infatuate by Aimee Agresti. Book two in the Gilded Wings series.Haven Terra is still recovering from an internship that brought her literally to the brink of hell when a trip to New Orleans leads to more trouble. Graduating early from high school leaves the spring semester free, so Haven and her friends Dante and Lance head to the Big Easy to volunteer with community service projects. But their true mission becomes clear when they run across an enclave of devils known as the Krewe. New Orleans is a free-for-all for these shape-shifting devils, who are more reckless and vicious than any Haven, Lance, and Dante have encountered. And they soon discover their French Quarter housemates are also angels-in-training, and together they must face off with the Krewe in their quest for wings. But Haven’s resolve is tested when Lucian, the repentant devil with whom she was infatuated, resurfaces and asks her for help escaping the underworld. Can he be trusted? Or will aiding him cost Haven her angel wings—and her life? Thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises, this gripping sequel to Illuminate takes the battle of good and evil to the next level. (taken from Goodreads)
Objectionable:My main reason of not enjoying it as much is that the whole training to be angels + the demons thing is a little weird and not necessarily agreeing with my beliefs. There is also a gay character, but it's only mentioned a few times. Language wise there wasn't that much, only 10 words. There is some sleeping together but nothing farther and it isn't made out to be huge deal, barely mentioned. Um and some killing and voodoo.
Thoughts:I had read the first book, Illuminate and become interested in this series a while back. Basically Haven is training to be an angel and is constantly in danger of her soul and other's around her souls being stolen by demons. That are incredibly attractive and evil. In the first book Haven and her friends, Dante and Lance, survive and defeat the demons. Now they are starting on a new adventure in New Orleans, where there are different demons, interesting culture, and new powers emerging. Also everything starts going a little crazy when they discover other like themselves and the fact that they will be constantly and brutally attacked.
So apart from this book being a little strange it is interesting. Because this book is set in New Orleans I felt like I learned a lot and got to see a piece of the New Orleans culture. It was really interesting and now I want to visit :) The descriptions are definitely good and the writing may start of slowly but it certainly picks up. This book is on the long side...400 pages and not always page turning excitement. However it's still a pretty good story. Overall, this is a different, interesting book that I enjoyed the uniqueness of, some of the content not so much, but it was a good sequel I felt. And I loved the setting. I would recommend to 15+ girls who like adventure, a bit of romance and a unique story.
Characters:Haven is a good, strong, determined character and there are several other enjoyable ones :) Although Lance seems a little woozy in this one, I still liked him, but thought he was nicer in the first book. Dante is a sweet, fun guy. And there are a couple others. But the main story is on those three.
Cover:I don't like it as much as the first and I was a little disappointed when I first saw it. How ever I like the way the title is done and the mask :)