Infatuate is the sequel to Illuminate; one of the (if not the) first book I ever gave a one star book review on Good Reads too and a book I basically ripped to shreds for its absolutely absurd framing device, predictable plot and the way that the cover and the names basically gave away any twists that the plot held.
At the same time, I had found the book a compulsive read. At the time I think I called it not-quite so-bad-its-good, but in time I’ve upgraded to that status. I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened. Not that it made me want to read the sequel or anything. I just picked it up because I was browsing the shelves and kind of figured out why not.
On the one hand, a lot of the truly bad stuff has been cleaned up. For one, the set up (the trio have finished a semester early due to summer school) is much less absurd than parents being okay with sending off their children to an internship that no one knew about and most likely violates child labor laws. Secondly, there are no Haven Terras or Luicans or Dante’s here. All the new characters have name like Sabine and Connor and Jimmy. The book even manages to make it’s one “twist” a bit of a surprise. On the down side…the book just isn’t as fun any more.
In the first book we got the story of Haven trying to figure out what she was and trying to survive in a place that felt like a legitimate threat to her. Here, Haven practically figures out who the baddies are, quite literally, on the first night she’s in town. She’s told that the Krewe (this book is set in NOLA) is more dangerous than the Outfit because they are “emotional.” However, from what I could gather, emotional just seems to mean “Likes to party and get you high as a kite as you go on a ritual murder spree, even though the would-be angels are actually more spectators than participants.” On the other hand, we actually got to know members of the Outfit; she was even seduced by one of them. They felt like a legitimate threat and there was exploration and discovery as she fought to stay alive. The stakes just didn’t feel as high here. My other big knock is that Agresti fell into the trope of a would-be love triangle with her fighting with boyfriend while being tempted by her would-be lover of the last book. It’s just there.
As much as it pains me to say it, by the book getting better it got more bland. What was so-bad-its-good is now just kinda competent and there. I’ll still probably read the last one just to see what happens, but this remains a series I can’t recommend.
Verdict: Skip It.