Monday, November 8, 2010

Review of Elixir by Hilary Duff

by Brittany Geragotelis

photo credit: Simon & Schuster/Hilary Duff
So, I told you all a few weeks ago that I was checking out Hilary Duff's debut novel, Elixir. I had high hopes for the book, partly because I like Hilary Duff (I've liked her ever since she was on "Lizzie Maguire.") and partly because I figure that through her song writing, she couldn't be THAT bad a writer. And then there's the fact that as an actress, I'd imagine she's somewhat creative, so I was interested in seeing what type of book she'd write, given the opportunity.

The answer is Elixir.
Color me happy when I finished reading the book and realized that it was actually pretty good! I'm not usually a big fan of sci-fi or paranormal romance, but I felt like Elixir did a good job of toying with that line without going too far over it (Mostly I was just happy it wasn't another vampire book! People really need to find another monster story to tell.). Here's what you'll get with Elixir:

photo credit: Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers
Seventeen-year-old Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent politician, she has become a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a world that allows her to travel to many exotic places. But after Clea's father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea begins to notice eerie, shadowy images in her photos of a strange and beautiful young 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.

The pace of Hilary's book is really fast, and it turned out to be a pretty quick read (however, that might have had to do with the fact that the font size was a bit larger than normal and there were large top and bottom margins). But in terms of story, it definitely held my interest to the point where when I wasn't reading it, I was actually excited to pick it back up again. The characters were all interesting, although I sort of liked Clea's best friend, Rayna, best. It wasn't that Clea was annoying or anything (certainly not all whiney like some of the female heroines of current YA best sellers), it was simply that Rayna was the more dominant personality, seemed like a lot of fun and you just knew she loved to stir up a little trouble.

My only gripe was the ending. I was expecting at least one more chapter when I realized that the book had ended. It was so abrupt that I felt rather let-down by the way things were left. And although it didn't say the story was to be continued, I was left thinking, "There must be a sequel to this, right?" I still have questions like: What happens to Sage? What the heck happened to Clea's Dad, because they never really did answer that question, did they? And will Clea end up with Ben after all or will their friendship be forever ruined?

All in all, I thought the novel was a great attempt for Hilary's first foray into the publishing world. Elixir will have you time-traveling and dreaming of soulmates!