Elixir by Hilary Duff
What would you do for the Elixir of Life?
A unique serum meant to keep you youthful and immortal forever. You see everything in the past, and now you live in the present, 2008. You’ve seen the love of your life reincarnated four times, and soon you just met her again for the fifth. Is love worth another try? Fifth times the charm…..
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.
So let’s be clear for a second, this is a young adult fantasy novel; so the ages are supposed to be (12-17). The main character in this story is 16, getting ready to turn 17 if I’m correct, or already 17. Her best friend Rayna is the same age. Other characters in the story are Ben, who is hired by her parents to be her traveling chaperone. The last significant role is Sage; Clea’s love interest through time and the mystery man in Clea’s photos.
My three-star review for the book stemmed from what I think were hasty choices made by the main character, Clea. I also felt like the underage characters —Clea and Rayna— were making too many adult choices for my taste. Then again, that thought also stems from the fact that I definitely don’t live the same lifestyle as Clea and Rayna do. In my review, I also state how the story has potential, and it does! I thought there were very cool elements, and my interest was definitely peaked. However, I battled with my interest in the story and the choices being made a lot. Then I got to the point where I was interested in where the story was going after getting into the climax. The way the story ended, in my opinion, was an easy out, and it’s probably exactly how it would happen in the movies.
I also watched some reviews on thoughts of the book, and after finishing the first book, I definitely see where other readers got the inkling that Elixir is similar to Twilight, but not completely. I really found a correlation with Vampire Diaries. However, I say this because I don’t think it’s a bad thing that writers find ideas from other ideas. It would not be accurate to say that all ideas are original. For the sake of this story, I enjoyed the fantasy elements. I just wish the main character had a little bit more of a head on her shoulders as the story goes on.
My first real problem with this story was how boy crazy Rayna was in the very beginning, following how freely Clea and Rayna were able to move. Keep in mind, as I said, this was in the very beginning, and I was mostly judging the book from the first chapter at first.
Though, as the story went on, everything made sense how these two girls were able to travel the world and get caught in these adult situations. These girls were not chaperoned, and they just traveled together because Clea comes from a family with money; and Rayna is like a sister. It is not common and is not relatable.
My second con was the way the story introduced the dreams Clea was having when she relived the past lives she had lived as Sage’s love. It was not clear at first, and there is no format or symbol breakups to let me as the reader know that this would be in her head. I was very confused when I got to that point in the story, and I had to remind myself when they continued to show up.
The third con of the story is how easily persuaded Clea was when she got time alone with Sage. In my opinion, it was very….disappointing, I guess is the right word. I was not expecting Clea to take a page out of her best friend’s book and just freely love. (I’m trying hard to paint a direction of where I’m going with this.)
The biggest pro for this book is the creative detail surrounding the Elixir of Life. And how much backstory, though an info dump, but backstory for Sage and the guardians of the Elixir. I enjoyed it and found it the biggest driver of the continuation of the series, along with the mysterious disappearance of Clea’s father. I kept that last part out of my review on purpose. Because I think it is the most exciting part of the story and I am going to recommend this novel.
Cat is out of the bag, I recommend this novel for the fantasy elements in the story and the mystery that I am determined to find out how it ends. If you enjoy young adult novels with fantasy stories this is for you! I will do a review of the second and third novels and an overall review of the series to follow.
I hope you guys have a great Friday! Go forth, read, write, and watch movies!