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.
Why I read this book: I read it for Ruby Reads' Vacation Challenge. The majority of the novel takes place in Paris,London, and other various cities around Europe. Currently, going to Europe is nothing other than the deepest desire in my heart. I had the good fortune to live with two girls from France and Spain when I was a sophomore in college, and the experience was life changing. I immersed myself in all the other cultures and found better friends that I could have possibly imagined. Now, an entire ocean separates me from (almost) all of the people who I hold dear. I am really trying to save up enough money to go visit at the end of the summer, however, my book buying habit tends to deplete my savings account...badly...perhaps I should implement a book-buying ban...anyways. I REALLY want to visit Europe, namely Paris where my best friend Laureline (Lolo) lives so that I can hit up the night life, meet a French boy named Pierre (or Armand, Jean-Claude, or Francois...I'm not picky), fall in love under the Eiffel Tower...you know, that whole Chestnut...
I wasn't expecting much from this book. It had a beautiful cover...nothing really original, but I adore flowers and the color purple so I thought it was a gorgeous cover...then I noticed that it was written by Hilary Duff...I grew up in the Lizzie McGuire generation...reading a book written by Dizzie Lizzie did not really seem like something I wanted to do...however, since I love the genre and the cover...I decided to give it a try. I am VERY glad that I did...Surprisingly, I think Ms. Duff is at least as good of a writer as she is an actor, if not better. She really got the depth of characterization and story down in a way that was enjoyable, lyrical, and just fun. I loved all of the names that she came up with...well for the most part...Clea and Rayna are both amazing names. I love that they are just slightly different from more popular names, but because of one or two letter switches they become something cool and original. In fact, and this isn't because of this book, but I have had my first daughter's name picked out for years and it is REALLY close to one of the two names above...I'm not going to tell you what it is though...if I'm still blogging when she pops out of me then you can know...till then you can keep guessing :D
The one name that was kind of off for me was the male lead Sage...Sage seems to well...pretty for an awesome hunky guy...especially one who was supposedly born in the 15th century Italy...please someone tell me who would be named sage then? other than gypsys and such...I feel like his name should be like...Cesare, or Giovanni...something like that....but the BIGGEST problem I have with his name, is that Sage is the name of a Fairy that is WAYYY too into BDSM for me to be comfy with the hero of this book having the same monicre...Not to mention...Sage is a green fairy that has wings...and changes size...so I kept picturing THAT sage and it wasn't really working well in the story....
Imagine trying to get into the passenger-seat-sex scene and seeing THAT...only with antenna, and I believe he was green...lol
Comparisons: This book was very similar to The Eternal Ones...That being said, I enjoyed Elixir one SO much more. The characterization is the biggest thing that determines how much I like a book and it affects my judgement of everything else. In The Eternal Ones, the main character is stupid, waffles back and forth between the main love interest and being true to herself, and then the author basically spells out what the "real" plot in the story is so that you can't try to figure it out for yourself. In Elixir, Hilary Duff creates an amazing cast of characters that are smart and make normal descisions...not stupid ridiculous one...sorry...in case you can't tell...The Eternal Ones REALLY bugged me for some reason...But I did like the concept of past selves in both books. The thought that you really might have a soul mate out there that tries to find you in every generation. It is really romantic, and of course that is what I am at heart... :D
Rating: I read this book quickly and enjoyed almost of all of it. It is slightly, very slightly, childish but the writing is captivating and flows well over the pages. The story was interesting and had some plot twists and interesting insights. Like many YA novels today there is the "instant" connection of average American girl to random hot guy, but I still enjoyed it. The ending was a cliffhanger and it ended way to abruptly for my liking. I feel like it could have kept going for a good long while more without being too much...I am giving this book a nice 8 irises out of 10