Friday, 17 February 2012

illuminated by Erica Orloff

Some loves are not meant 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 hidden within the pages.  The attraction between the two is undeniable. And as the truth behind the diary - and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance-is unveiled, their romance becomes all-consuming. Will their love-a love that burns bright as a shooting star-flame out? Or will there star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?
 My review
I didn’t know what do expect from this book besides a beautiful cover, but when I read the first few pages it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be.  
When I read the blurb I thought this could be a great story for a cold winter day to snuggle into my bed and dream of a cute love story. In the end, I was a little disappointed because I had really high expectations.

Romeo and Juliet.  - A great dramatic story that everybody is fascinated by.
Heloise and Abelard.-  I have to confess, it was the first time I had ever heard of them but still their story is much more fascinating than Callie and August’s story.

Callie is a loveable, smart young girl. She’s just the perfect teenage daughter every parent would love to have and a very loyal friend.  Her mother died of cancer and her dad doesn’t seem to understand her.  That leads us to her uncle Harry.

Harry is her gay uncle, living in New York. He’s really into his work but also loves Callie like his own daughter. He’s the brother of her dead mother.  Every summer holiday Callie spends her time with her uncle and his partner.

Then there’s August. Described as mysterious and drop-dead gorgeous, August is the handsome son of Dr. Sokolov.  

Callie and August meet at the very beginning of the book and as soon as they met they fall for each other even though they don’t know a thing about one another! It would be great to read more about the development of their relationship but it’s just there.  They fall in love, pretty fast and they spend their time with searching for the ‘Book of Hours,. That’s it. For me, it didn’t feel like a ‘forever’ relationship. 
August is described as a very sexy and perfect guy but honestly, I couldn’t imagine him like this. It would be nice to have given him some character, some rough edges. All we get is this “perfect” boy and with him everything seems so easy.
It’s a great story and a brilliant idea. Two teenage kids chasing after a long forgotten story.  But in all the drama about the found ‘Book of Hours, the author forgot to ‘get real’ with the main characters or care about the other events that are happening around Callie.

There were potentially two good parts in the book but the author didn’t really go through with it.
At the beginning there’s the talk about a “Tome Raider” and how dangerous he could be. He came in once, when he stole some research papers from Dr. Sokolov but that’s it. Even the trip to Paris wasn’t great to read, though they had those mysterious dreams and finally found the book.

I wanted to like this book, dream about it and not be able to put it down but it was the opposite. Sometimes I had to force myself to read it because I really don’t like not finishing a book. It wasn’t the bad writing. The book was just very unemotional. The author tried, but it wasn’t there.
All in all I think it’s an OK-book. If you need anything for a boring holiday, it’s yours. But there were too many things I didn’t like to let me really concentrate on the good parts.
It simply didn’t thrill me!

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