Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Review: Illuminated by Erica Orloff

By Erica Orloff
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Summary: 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: I was SO excited to read this book because the cover is gorgeous and the premise sounded great, but I just could not connect with the story. I felt like everything was rushed and too perfect; it was not realistic or engaging in any way. 

I really liked the idea of August and Calliope hunting for the history of a mysterious book that could be connected to star-crossed lovers Heloise and Abelard. It just seemed so forced! Calliope and August new each other for like five minutes and decided they loved each other. I know there are times when people may like each other from seeing each other, but falling in love and being all over each other? Not very realistic. Calliope's life seemed oh-so-perfect with her 4.0 GPA, money, beauty, and charm that it just got annoying. Sure she had daddy issues, but she did whatever she wanted and got away with it. 

Everything that happened seemed too easy and the ending was just too perfect. Also, the book belonged to Astrolabe and quotes from him began every chapter, but we didn't figure out his love life and story until the last couple of pages. I thought the quotes had nothing to do with the story until then, so they just annoyed me at the beginning of each chapter. This was supposed to be a "great love story" like Romeo and Juliet, but this was no where near that romance. 

Illuminated held so much potential, but it just fell flat. The author seemed to take the easy, cliched way out instead of really making something original and romantic. If you still feel like reading this, you should definitely wait to get it from the library; you probably won't want to read it more than once.


  1. It's a shame when beautiful covers are the best thing about a book. All your reasons for not liking this one would bug me too. And so, I think I'll pass.

  2. Aw. I was hoping this would be a good read. ( At least I didn't waste money - I just picked this up from the library. Hee hee.)

  3. I hate it when books don't live up to their covers. I'm sorry this one was a disappointment.

  4. I have to agree, I really didn't enjoy this book, your review was good though, wish I had read it before I bought the book. I always get my reviews from The Book Report, and I love it, just a pity they didn't review this particular book.


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