Monday, 13 December 2010
Review: Elixir by Hilary Duff
On the trail of her missing father, Clea finally comes face to face with the mysterious stranger - and finds he's not such a stranger after all. His name is Sage, and he's quite literally the man of her dreams...
I think it's fair to say that Elixir is paranormal romance given the Hollywood treatment. In actress Hilary Duff's first novel we're treated to filmic storytelling, some memorable set pieces and the kind of corny romantic scenes that'll either make your eyes roll or your heart melt. It's a fairly quick and easy read, so it shouldn't alienate anyone who picks it up simply as a fan of Hilary Duff rather than books in general, and it has a gentle humour that's genuinely likeable. It's fast-moving and just intriguing enough to read in one sitting.
Main character Clea certainly isn't the usual brand of everygirl you often find in teenage paranormal romance. We first meet her partying at an exclusive Paris nightclub, following a jaunt round Europe with her best friend Rayna in tow. Her life until this point has been tabloid fodder, thanks to the public profile of her politician mother, and at the age of seventeen she already has a budding career as a photojournalist. While there are still elements of the everygirl about her - she's a little too nice, not to mention talented, pretty and modest - her jetsetting status means that her story plays out against a backdrop quite different from the usual paranormal settings. So, as well as Paris we get to visit Rio at carnival time and hang out at a shopping mall in Japan. It's a change of scenery that definitely brings freshness and fun to the otherwise-familiar ground of soulmates, love triangles and immortality.
Elixir is the first book in a planned series, and this is evident in the cliffhanger ending of this instalment. Or to put it another way: at the end of this one, I had no idea what had just happened. Seriously. I found myself checking the back of the book in case an extra chapter appeared to clear up all my questions, but to absolutely zero avail. And you know what? I would like the answers to these questions. Yes, enough to read the second book.
I was pleasantly surprised by Elixir. I'd recommend it chiefly to fans of Hilary Duff, of course, but it's also a good choice for readers who like a little glamour with their YA paranormal romance.
Out: October 12th 2010, US / October 16th 2010, UK
Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for providing a review copy of this book.