Friday, April 8, 2011

Elixir by Hilary Duff

I picked up a copy of Elixir through the Amazon Vine program. I was really curious to see how good of an author Hilary Duff turned out to be. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Clea Raymond, 17, lives a charmed life. She travels the world with her best friend, Rayna, partying in countries near and far. Her mother is kept busy by her work as a United States Senator, but she loves her daughter with all her heart. And Clea has a cute guy trailing her every move–her bodyguard/voice of reason, Ben. Everything would be just perfect, except for the fact that her beloved father, a world-renowned surgeon, has gone missing while on a humanitarian mission in Rio. She can't stop thinking about him and his disappearance, and one night she stumbles onto something that might help her find him. Looking through photos she took on vacation, Clea notices a strange man who lurks in the background of every picture. Then, she starts having dreams about him. She's always a different woman in a different time period with him–and she always dies a brutal death. With the help of Ben, Clea travels to Rio to try and figure out the mystery behind her father's disappearance and the identity of the stranger in her pictures and her dreams. This entertaining book has a good mix of romance and suspense with a little reincarnation thrown in for good measure. Clea is caught up between the love she feels for the mystery man and the feelings she starts to have for Ben. Yet she soon figures out that there's more to this love triangle than she realizes.

I was pleasantly surprised by Hilary Duff as an author. Her strongest point was the romance in this book. The romance is brilliant between Clea, Ben and the mysterious stranger. She demonstrates a true understanding of friendship and love. In all honesty the friendship and love of this book is what makes it great.

The paranormal concept is almost distracting at times from the love story. I could almost have done without some of the paranormal events that happened because I really liked the simplicity of the love story.

As far as the characters go they are beautifully crafted to complement each other perfectly. Clea is a strong protagonist and demonstrates a lot of inner strength and poise for a young girl. Rayna is her perfect complement. She is the carefree laissez faire one. They keep each other in balance throughout the story.

I personally rooted some for Ben. I liked the way he had always cared for her. I know the whole soul mates concept should win out but really I kindda liked the idea of Clea and Ben. Although I went back a forth in the book a bit. Hilary makes you want both of the guys to be with her. I did find this different from other love triangles since I usually am for one guy or another. 

The main problem I had with this book is that I HATE the ending. I feel like an attempt was made at a cliffhanger but it seemed to go awry. It wasn’t left open enough to understand that it was going to be a series so I was really disappointed until I did some internet research and found out there is a sequel on the schedule. The ending does not work well in a stand alone book but doesn’t seem to segway into a sequel very well either. It seemed really closed to me.

Overall, I give the book a 3/5. I really can’t get over the way it ended. However, I will still pick up the next installment to see how things wind up and hopefully it will have a better closing note than this book.

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