Friday, February 4, 2011

Elixir by Hilary Duff

Hardcover, 327 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 

Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world. But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea’s photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man—a man she has never seen before. 

When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance, and they discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives—and their futures.

I found this book while shopping at the grocery store and my first reaction was tilting my head to the side and going, "Oh, Hilary wrote a book? Huh." And without giving it another thought it ended up in my grocery cart.I like Hilary Duff's music, the cute movies she makes, and I used to watch Lizzie McGuire when I was in high school. I think she is overall a very talented person, but I wanted to go into this book with no pretenses and not allowing any of my fandom for Hilary in general carry over to the book without first reading it and being able to form an opinion about the story and the writing.

Clea, the main protagonist who narrates the story, was too flat and too annoying to me. At the beginning of the book I thought she was a normal YA protagonist, there was nothing special about her which is neither good or bad. However, when the meat of the plot came I found her to be dry and disappointing. I felt as if she already knew the answers to all her own questions, as if she already knew what the outcome of each predicament she found herself in would be. The best example is in a scene where she found paintings in Sage's    (her hunky soulmate) room and began questioning Sage and his motives. We could've easily been played to think that Sage was ANYTHING but it was so OBVIOUS.

The "chemistry" between Clea and Sage seemed forced. I didn't feel that Clea loved Sage or had any sexual tension although we are told that she does and in one scene she runs to the bathroom crying because Sage didn't meet her for breakfast. She seemed like a child crying for a toy rather than a young woman longing for her lover.

The best part of the entire book for me is one particular scene when Clea, Sage, and Ben (her longtime best friend/love interest) hold hands with a key character (Magda) and we are given a bit of insight as to Sage and Clea's background with one another. I find that the book leaves a lot of questions unanswered which is also annoying, but I find that it is left that way so that Hilary can continue with a sequel.

Overall I think the story is attractive, but I feel like I have read it somewhere else before so I don't think it's particularly unique, but its at least enough to keep you reading and wanting to know the end. Which, by the way, the end was very ambiguous and open ended.

Cover Art: 4/5  

Characterization: 2/5

Plot: 3/5

Writing/Style: 3/5

Overall I give it 3/5 book ge3ks

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