Burn Bright Book Club: Elixir by Hilary Duff
By Hilary Duff
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 7th 2011 (first published October 12th 2010)
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
ISBN 1442408545 (ISBN13: 9781442408548)
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.
The opening scene has Clea suffering a small panic attack on a dance floor in Paris. We are then introduced to our other three key characters within the next chapter or two. First impressions were accurate to a fault.
You’ll never pick it so I’m not gonna spoil it for you.
~In dreams and love there are no impossibilities.
~“Am I allowed to have a moment of ‘ew’ for my poor deflowered passenger seat?” Rayna
The cover of Elixir comes in a couple of variations. The first is a dark purple background and an overhead shot of an Iris bloom. The copy that Lisa and I own is designed by Lizzy Bromley. It’s a lighter blue background with a photo of Hilary (or at least I assume it is Hilary), and a male face superimposed over an image of a couple of film cells. I feel that the lighter blue cover portrays the story far better than the Iris cover.
However I do feel that the use of Hilary’s image detracts a smidgen from the character Clea, as it takes long enough to get a clear mental image of Clea, without the red herring of thinking she is Hilary.
Ben would have to be my favourite character by far. He’s a safe haven for Clea and though he would like something more from their friendship, he is smart enough to step aside to allow a relationship between Clea and the mystery man she first sees in her photos to blossom. He means well and his past coming back to haunt him didn’t stop me from liking him.
Victoria Weston. Clea’s Mum. UGH the woman drove me up the wall! Where do I start with all the things she did to bug the living hell out of me? Nope I won’t go into it, spoilers. Just sufficed to say her maternal instincts were probably left in the first draft, never to be seen again. Sure if she had actually acted like a mother it would have stalled the storyline but OMG she would not be on any parent of the year award lists in my opinion. I wanted to kick her ass.
Though Hilary’s is the only name of the front cover, her collaborator for Elixir is Elise Allen (Populazzi). The pair created a book that stands out on a shelf full of dark, and gothic novels. [Note from Marianne: why doesn’t she get more credit – that doesn’t see right??]
There aren’t too many YA books out there currently where a guy and a girl are ‘just friends’ so it was a little refreshing to see Clea and Ben not knocking boots or swapping spit.
I enjoyed Elixir for the glamorous settings and the heart stopping moments when things weren’t going Clea’s way. There were jovial moments and mysterious scenes that intertwine to make a memorable book. Probably the scene I most identify with is the opening chapter with Clea having a mild panic attack, but you’ll have to read it to find out why.
The second installment in the Elixir series is called Devoted and I’ve already seen it on the shelves in Dymocks, though it wasn’t due out ‘officially’ until October 11th 2011. When my TBR pile dwindles a little I’ll be adding it to my library.
When it comes to the cover, I really like the paperback versions Belinda and I have, better. Which is a little odd, because I usually don’t like having characters on book covers. The other version, as Belinda was explaining, has a kind of dark purple background, and a overview of a iris bloom.
It’s true, the iris bloom was included in the story, it wasn’t just random! BUT! I felt it wasn’t in the story line enough to base the whole cover off of it.
Clea’s best friend/sister, Rayna has to be my favorite character, even though I agree with Belinda, Ben is such a sweetheart.
Rayna, just seems like a fun girl to be around, and who would do anything for Clea, which includes getting her some alone time with the mystery man; Sage. But only if, Clea fills her in with what happened, and gives her every single detail.
We’re girls! It’s what we dooo!
Once again I’m totally on Belinda’s side! There were so many things that Clea’s mom did, or should I say didn’t do, that made me want to grab her by the shoulders and give a her a good shake!
Women! Open your eyes! Take care of your daughter! Don’t you have any kind of motherly instincts?
When you look at the cover, the girl almost looks like Hilary Duff and probably is (at least I think it’s her), which throw me completely off! I thought I was reading a story about Hilary Duff. But it starts talking about some girl named Clea, and her two best friends Rayna and Ben. The first thirty pages, I was in a stage of complete confusion.
After getting to page 50, I was finally on the right track. I finally understood the story had nothing at all to do with Hilary Duff herself.
Almost every single YA book, I’ve read this past summer has had a love triangle in it (and never one with two girls, and one boy either!). Elixir starts drifting off into that direction, when Ben and Clea catch Sage in Rio, and she starts having feelings for the mystery man.
But Elixir, doesn’t have the usual love triangle. Ben is actually sweet, and steps aside to let Clea have a relationship with Sage. But making sure he’s always there, in case Clea gets hurt by him.
Absolutely blow my mind! I would have never known, this book would be so good! Two weeks ago, I wasn’t even sure if I should waste my time on it. And now, I can’t wait to get my hands onto Devoted, the second book to Elixir.
Honestly, I don’t think I expected much. Not because of the story itself, but probably because it was written by Hilary Duff. Who knew she could write? I started reading Elixir, with no real feelings, thoughts or much care.
But Hilary Duff’s writing style is amazing! Her words, slapped me in the face, and proved me wrong! WHO knew she could write like this?
1. “My heart thudded against what I wanted to say. ‘In the dreams I’m them. All of them: Olivia, Catherine, Anneline, Delia…'”
2. “I closed the distance between us and kissed him. I felt dizzy and hot and floaty, like every cliche….but it was true.”