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Elixir Hardcover – October 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–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. The fast-paced story will keep readers turning the pages until the very end, which hints of a sequel. Even those not impressed by the author's star power will enjoy this tale of love across the ages.–Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Seventeen-year-old Clea, the daughter of a senator and a famed surgeon, is a paparazzi magnet, photojournalist, and world traveler. Things change when she notices a handsome, timeless young man in her vacation pictures. Even more unsettling, in some photos he seems to float, and the specter soon haunts her dreams as well. Vivid visions of past lives with this man make Clea curious and lead her to the jungles of Brazil, where her father has gone missing while on a search for the “elixir of life.” Whether readers are drawn to this because of Duff’s Lizzie McGuire fame or are taken in by the surprisingly solid premise, they may be disappointed by the authors’ execution. The love between Clea and her mystery man, Sage, never quite reaches believability, and overall, the story reads like a friend’s hasty rehashing of a movie plot. The abridged nature of the narration also suffers from more telling than showing. However, with its paranormal-romance angle and celebrity coauthor, this title will still be in demand. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones

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Product Details

  • Series: Elixir (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442408537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442408531
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My spoiler free review leaves me wishing I could reveal more about Hilary debut novel Elixir. Hilary introduces a great character into the YA genre with Clea. While I couldn't relate to being able to jet off around the world, I could relate to Clea's inner strength, her independence and the drive she has to find answers. Clea finds herself in the middle of a mystery full of twists and dark secrets, as she looks for clues into her father's disappearance. She starts to notice a shadowy figure of a man in her pictures. She learns her father noticed the same thing before he disappeared. It's the same man who haunts her dreams. In each of Clea's nightmares, she sees herself with this man, only they're in a different time periods, and her name is different in each one. Every dream ends the same, in tragedy.

I liked the mystery that surrounds Sage, the mysterious, shadowy figure who's in Clea's pictures and who haunts her dreams. I absolutely loved that when Clea and Ben (Clea's best friends and her dad's confidant), set off on a quest to find answers into her father's disappearance, fate brings Sage and Clea together. As much as I wanted the two of them to acknowledge they both knew each other and had an immediate chemistry, I really liked that Clea at first refuses to acknowledge the undeniable pull towards him.

Hilary Duff has given paranormal a whole new spin. Elixir has a fresh voice, great plot twists and an ending that left me wanting the next book in the series. Though I couldn't get into the beginning of the book like I wanted to, when the plot twists and the love triangle intensify with Clea, Sage and Ben, I was hooked and couldn't stop reading it. A powerful centuries old secret reveals some character twists, uncovers a great mythology and makes for a fascinating plot.
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85 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Alexa Maris on November 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover

When I first saw Elixir on the shelf in a book store, my eyes flitted to Hilary Duff's name. That made me think - could Duff really write well? I considered buying it, but thank GOD I found it at my library. If I had spent even a penny on this book I would have mourned over the loss of money that could have gone towards something better. This book isn't anything special, really. It had many problems, but first, I'll tell you the whole synopsis:

There's this girl named Clea who goes to Europe with her friend Rayna. Later, after reviewing her pictures she took of the trip, she finds that this (hot)weirdo has been stalking her. He's in every photo. (sometimes he's flying and floating. I have no idea why, but he is)She finds him with her BFFs Ben and Rayna and his name is Sage (Oohh, mysterious) and then they go and find Clea's father and the Elixir of life - or, well, they TRY to.

Now, onto the problems!
Clea is the main character. She's the heroine and perfect in every way. She's rich, smart, the senator's daughter (evidently, in this book, if you're the senator's daughter, then everyone across the whole wide world knows your name - really? I don't even know my senators' NAMES, and if I don't know my own senators, then I don't even know other states' senators, and if I don't know the senators of my state, or other states, then I don't know their daughters, and people in Japan or Rio shouldn't even know who the hell Clea is) and she likes to take pictures - but she's horribly dull. I don't even know what she looks like, really.
Ben is Clea's best 'guy' friend (he's in love with her, of course) and he's supposed to be smart and all but he's just...average.
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61 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Nagrom on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm warning you now. This is more of a rant than a cohesive, intelligent review. It will be filled with spoilers and un-ladylike language, so people of delicate sensibilities take heed.

I like Hilary Duff. I grew up with her in Lizzie Maguire, and even rocked the Lizzie hairstyle for a while. I think she has grown into a nice young starlet as opposed to, well, Lindsey Lohan.

I was curious about this book after seeing her name on it. I was interested. How much of it did Hilary actually write? Did she just tell Elise Allen "write about soulmates" and then go and get a manicure? Or did she come up with plot herself, with Elise Allen only writing it down on paper? I think, after reading it, that I know the answer. I believe this is how the conception of this book transpired:

Hilary's manager walks into Borders mistakenly, absolutely absorbed into keying things into his Blackberry. It is only when he walks into a table, toppling over a pile of books, that he looks up and acknowledges his surroundings. "Hey! This isn't Saks!" But then his eye is drawn to a picture of Lauren Conrad on the back of Sweet Little Lies. He smirks, because he has his suspicions how much of the book Lauren actually wrote. Surprisingly, he sees multiple teenagers in the check-out line with the book in hand. "Hmmpp", he thinks, "Hilary is ten times prettier and smarter and nicer than LC". Then a brilliant idea forms in his head. Hilary's name + YA book = new sports car. Excitedly, he gathers a copy of every YA book in the store and rushes back to the office to make some phone calls. "Hey, Hilary, babe....how would you like to write the ultimate YA book? "

Next time, Hilary, just say no.

This book infuriated me. How stupid do publishers think teens are?
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