Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Title: Illuminated
Author: Erica Orloff
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Source: Won via Goodreads

An epic romance full of mysteries that transcend time—fans of Romeo and Juliet and The Time Traveler’s Wife will rejoice!

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?
Review: From the moment I saw the cover for Illuminated, I knew I wanted to read it! The premise sounded good too and I was happy that it didn’t give everything away. Illuminated is the story of two teens who meet after Callie’s uncle acquires a rare palimpest (people wrote on these thousands of years ago when paper didn't exist, usually made of papyrus or vellum) to fix up.

The book itself is really small so you know that the book is going to go either really fast or really slow. The plot focuses a lot on our protagonist Callie, her uncle and others (including August, a very attractive boy with whom Callie feels a deep connection) trying to restore the rare palimpest. When it is revealed that there is a story written between the margins, Callie and August instantly begin to research and find out who Abelard and Heloise were and what happened to their star crossed lovers, very much like Romeo and Juliet.

Callie was an interesting character. She never knew her mother and her life with her father is far from perfect and these two facts influence her thoughts and actions throughout this book. She wants to get along with her father but she also wishes that he would see her for who she is. She finds solace though, in hanging out with her uncle Harry, Gabe, his boyfriend and all the history that surrounds them. She is instantly intrigued by the palimpest that her uncle finds and wants to know what happened to the two people it speaks of. When she meets August for the first time, the two of them have connection. They begin to see more and more of each other when they realized that they to know who Abelard and Heloise.

This was a short book and for the longest time, I couldn’t tell if this book is geared towards young adults or middle grades but it felt like a middle grade read to me. The romance between Callie and August was fast and instant, it was really worked with the story but still irked me a little. There wasn’t enough character development and again, the plot only skimmed the surface. The extent of the history and places talked about in this book was enough for me to over right all the other things. It had a great background and the story of Abelard and Heloise was so wonderful. I like history even more than I did before! Overall, though, I enjoyed this book and hope to read more from this author.

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—I love the golden color and the burst of light and how the two models come together. I can’t figure out who they are supposed to be and I like that!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen very many reviews for this one, so it's nice to hear your thoughts! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Illuminated sounds good! :)
    - Lauren