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Elixir Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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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.
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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Top customer reviews
I enjoyed this right from page 1. It usually takes me a while to get into a book, so it’s always awesome when I can get swept away so fast. The mystery of it starts pretty quickly and the intrigue never let up. There were times when I was honestly scared because of the weirdness happening. Only a few books have literally made me jump in my seat and this is one of them.
I loved every single one of the characters. Clea was down-to-earth and intelligent. She seemed like a real person to me, not just a caricature of ‘heroine.’ She was definitely someone I’d want to be friends with. Rayna was a perfect best friend for her. Also smart, but more of a dreamer, which I think Clea needed in her life. They complimented each other well and I really liked their banter.
Now the guys. Ben was interesting. At first I didn’t really understand his purpose. What did her parents say they hired him for? It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me until the real reason was revealed. He was still cool though and with his obsession with mythology, I could see myself having some fun conversations with him. Sage is the character I’m left with the most questions about. He seems awesome and I liked his relationship with Clea, but I don’t feel like I know much about him as an individual. What are his interests besides being with Clea and painting Clea? I hope we get to find out more about him in the next books.
Piri was a fun side character. She brought a lot of laughs with her unusual superstitions. I’m curious if any are going to be worked into the story and made real.
This book was fantastic and completely addicting. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already read it and can’t wait to start the next! 5/5
The storyline was good and I felt like it was fairly original. I did enjoy it as a light, quick read. I am writing this review a little less than 3 months after reading the book and I admit, I had to study a bit to remember much about the story. I think it would have been more memorable if I had been a bit more vested in the characters. The book could have benefited from stronger character development.
I do think it is worth reading if you are a fan of the genre, of Hilary Duff, or both. I hope she continues with her writing.
*I am also curious as to how much, and to what extent Kevin Twomey co-authored the book.