Thursday, March 29, 2012

Illuminated - Orloff

Erica Orloff

Callie's about to spend the summer before her senior year in New York City with her Uncle Henry. She thought that being a glorified assistant at his auction house would be the highlight of her three month stay until she meets August and they embark on an adventure to find the owner of an old and mysterious book.

At first glance Illuminated sounds interesting. YA mixed with a bookish mystery that could rival The Shadow of the Wind. Unfurtuneatly all the back cover left me with was broken promises. Illuminated is 99% unbelievable romance, and when I say unbelievable I mean texts in the middle of the night saying "I'm thinking of you" after knowing each other for five hours and dialogue that would make a wedge of cheese cringe.

When Callie, August and her Uncle Henry (who is clearly the best, most believable character) actually talk about the illuminated manuscript that the story claims to focus on there are some interesting moments. Since these frail pages may have belonged to Heloise and Abelard's son Astrolabe the historical exposition is interesting, especially if you don't know much about the star crossed lovers and their less than desirable fates. However, these moments are few and far between. Even the search for proof proves unsatisfying. A trip to Paris that is set up to be rife with danger turns into little more than a typical vacation, with a rarely mentioned villain never gracing the reader with their presence.

Overall I'd recommend you stay away from Illuminated if you are interested in anything but a cheesy teenage love story, because that's really all you are going to get from these 244 pages.

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