Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Age group: YA
Description (from Goodreads):
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.
Clea is used to the life in the limelight. Her mother is politician known around the world, and her father has gained fame as a surgeon. Since she was a little girl, her life has been followed by the tabloids and the other media. Clea loves photography (which she knows is somewhat ironic because people take unwanted photos of her all the time), and she uses a pseudonym to work on several different photography assignments. When her father disappears suddenly and is later of declared dead, Clea tries to go on with her life. After a trip to Europe with her best friend, Clea starts to go through the several photos from the trip and notices a figure who somehow has ended up in all of her favorite pictures from the trip. And when she takes pictures from her home, she notices that the man is also in those photos. Soon, this gorgeous man she has never seen before also invades her dreams and Clea starts to feel like she might have known him before, during another lifetime.
When the mysterious man from the photos and the dreams suddenly shows up and says he has answers for the disappearance of Clea's father, they embark together on a mysterious journey to get answers. Clea does not know what she should feel towards this mysterious guy, especially since she might have feelings for her friend Ben too. As they spend more time together and gain answers, Clea realizes that the connection she has with the mystery man is much more developed that the one she has with Ben. But which one can she trust? And will she ever discover what really happened to her father?
I am still a huge Hilary Duff fan! I LOVED Lizzie McGuire and the Lizzie McGuire film, in all of its cheesiness, is still one of my most treasured film experiences (just because I was SO excited when it came out). Elixir has been on my TBR pile since I first heard about it, but I just never have got around reading it before now. I am not usually that into reading fictional novels written by celebrities - I have read the first book in Lauren Conrad's series and I think it was okay (generic, but not like completely horrible), whereas the novel written by Nicole Richie was just horrible. But because of my love for Hilary Duff, I tried to read this with open eyes.
Elixir was not horrible. The writing was okay (I don't know how much credit from that should be given to Duff and how much to the contributor Elise Allen). The pacing of the story could have been better - at some points the story was rushed too much and not all events etc. were explained properly, in my opinion. Also the development of the relationships was a bit abrupt, especially when it comes to Clea and Sage aka the mystery man. Even though Clea was clearly impressed by the way Sage looks and so on, I did not really feel any chemistry between them, and I ended up rooting for Clea and Ben. What I liked about Clea was the fact that she was not this tabloid princess party girl the main characters of for example Conrad's and Richie's novels were. I also really liked the dream sequences and wished those would have been more extended. And the link to Shakespeare that kind of popped up in the middle of the story could also have been interesting if it would have been explained with more detail.
The ending of the novel was definitely was abrupt and left a lot of questions for the sequel to answer. I am not going to run to the bookstore and get it, but if I come across it somewhere, I will probably buy it and read it. All and all, Elixir is quite predictable and written to the mold that many YA paranormal romances are written to with instalove and all, but if you are looking for a quick, quite fast paced and somewhat exciting read, you should consider giving Elixir a chance.