Thursday, March 17, 2011

Exlixer by Hilary Duff

Elixer by Hilary Duff

Summary: 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.

First, I really enjoyed this book. Yes, I picked up because it was co-written by Hilary Duff and I was curious to see if she could write.  But I didn't let that influence me while reading the book. Unfortunately, it seems a number of reviewers who have read this book could not get past the mind set that "oh great another teen celebrity is looking for more attention and more money." Some of the reviews I've read seemed more intent on being downright hateful instead of trying to write a good review. Perhaps they are jealous.

Is this book a great work of literature? No. It's not going to be on the classic reading lists with To Kill A Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, or The Great Gatsby. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is is formulaic (a typical paranormal romance)? Yes. Will young adults enjoy reading it? I believe so, especially if they concentrate on it the story and not its famous author.

I found the story to be well plotted and the characters well developed, though there is still room for growth in each of them. And there are still many unanswered questions - mainly where is Clea's dad. I suspect that this is the first book in a series.  Often the first book in the series leaves the reader a little unsatisfied as the author does not want to reveal everything in the first book.

Some reviews have questioned the plausibility of Clea being so famous. Who cares about a senator's daughter? Why would the Japanese even know who she is?  How many times have the Kennedy children been tabloid fodder? As for how the Japanese knew who Clea was - the author stated that Clea's and Ben's picture was being flashed on the big screen in the square.  They might not have known who she was, but it is not out of the realm of probability for them to notice her in person when her likeness is being flashed all around them and respond accordingly.

Another review complained that Clea falls to quickly for Sage and that's she's too mushy about him.  Isn't falling quickly a staple in romances involving a soul mate? And isn't one or both of the soul mates generally mushy about it?

I'm not really sure why the bad reviews I read about this book have rankled me so. I guess if I thought they were actually critiquing the writing and not just expressing jealousy over a celebrity, then I might think their reviews had more validity. If you don't like a story, that's fine, but there's no need to get nasty and bash the author in the process.

Will I recommend this book to my teen readers that enjoy paranormal romances? Yes. If there's another book will I read it? Certainly.  

If you'd read this book, I'd love to know what you think.

My Goodreads/Shelfari/Librarything rating for this book: 4 of 5.

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