ILLUMINATED by Erica Orloff


Age Range: 12 - 17
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The hunt for the origins of a medieval tome sets the backdrop for revelations and romance in a Boston teen’s savvy first-person tale.

Callie spends the months before her senior year in Manhattan interning for her gay Uncle Harry, a manuscripts historian, who sets her up with an agoraphobic colleague’s son. An eccentric student at NYU, August is also his father’s custodian; the love-at-first-sight he and Callie experience is entirely plausible given the fertile heat of summer and their assignment to authenticate a rare manuscript. In her role as detective, Callie discovers her parents’ marriage devolved long before her mother died. Her new sense of purpose gives her the confidence to confront her high-flying and exacting attorney father for the first time ever, forcing him to get to know her in a meaningful way. Callie’s independence and focus on the goal at hand successfully override occasional moments of romantic overkill, offshoots of Orloff’s apparent zeal to mirror Callie and August's courtship with the historical relationship they uncover. The author ties too many bright, shiny bows on the end of the book, but she does convey a valuable message that intellectual ardor can redeem and direct.

A beach read that might inspire an interest in history. (Romance. 12-17)
Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-14-241376-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Speak/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2011


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