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“Elixir” – Hilary Duff

I’ve been a pretty big fan of Hilary Duff ever since she starred in Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Cannel many moons ago. I don’t mind a couple of her songs either and when I stumbled across this book in Borders I thought “Why not?” (Unintentional pun by the way!).

The story follows a young girl called Clea, who is a photographer haunted by the disappearance of her father. After returning home after a three week European vacation with her friend Rayna, she discovers a mysterious man hidden in the background of all the photos she had taken. Her bodyguard and other best friend, Ben, informs her that the same man appeared in photographs her Dad took 18 years earlier. The man doesn’t age and Clea discovers that it all has to do with the Elixir of Life (hence the book title).

Getting started was difficult. I wasn’t really gripped with the language or the story but my main advice with this book is this: Be patient!
The first few chapters of the book are backstory, so it takes a while to really get into things. It’s an easy book to read though – it took me a little over a day to get through all 327 pages.

There are dream sequences all throughout the book which are a little hard to keep up with since they take place in four different time periods (Five, if you include the present day dreams). That being said, it’s all part of the story, so hang in there.

I admit that it wasn’t the most exciting book I’ve ever read. I really enjoy Young Adult Fiction books, but I’m curious to know how it was received by younger readers. I really just felt as though things took a long time to get going, and then all the action was packing into the last 100 pages. My initial reaction to the book was “Ok, this is a little weird” but I’ll probably give the next book in the series a go anyway to see how the rest of the story develops.

Overall Rating: 3/5