Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Title: Illuminated by Erica Orloff
Published: December 8th, 2011 by Speak
Source: Library
Format:  Paperback
Challenge(s):  Support Local Library, ABC Challenge
Grade rate: C-

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?

My Review

Let me put it this way:

Did the book have romance?  Yes, of the instant, all consuming kind.
Did the book have a mystery?  Yes, one that was interesting, but kind of estrange and with historical / paranormal undertones.
Do I believe in soul mates?  Of course I do!  After all I married mine almost 20 years ago!
Did I like the book?  Yes, just not as much as I was expecting to like it.

I think one of the big issues that I have is that the characters were easy to identify with.  We have Callie, which is a sweet and very smart teenager that has many problems with her dad and who enjoys her time with her uncle and his partner a lot more.  Her mother’s past is a mystery and I felt like there were a lot of loose ends.

The story of Heloise and Abelard was new to me and I appreciate the historical undertones of the novel, BUT (you saw that one coming, right?) I feel like the story was all over the place.  There were little details that didn’t make sense to me.  For example,  a ‘book thief’ is introduced and linked to a certain event and there was no follow up; another example is Callie’s mother’s story, it felt disjointed for some reason as well as August’s taking off after what happened to his dad.  The writing was fine.  I don’t know how to express how much I hope to like the story and how disappointed I was that I didn’t.

About the cover:  The cover is truly beautiful, I think it’s the best thing about the book J


  1. Hi there :) just popping in...
    I'm definitely going to be reading this book, sounds like a lovely romance.

    Book Enslaved

  2. I also love the cover. :) That'stoo bad that the cover is the best thing about it. Thank you for the honest review.

  3. tnx 4 the honest review
    i still want to read this


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