Publish Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Series: Elixir, #1
Clea Raymond is a talented photojournalist and the daughter of high-profile parents. Usually she's in total control of her camera, but after Clea's father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and handsome young man begin to appear in Clea's photos--a man she has never seen in her life. When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned--and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father's disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future--and their lives.
I had a hard time taking Elixir serious. I kept waiting for that key point - 'Oh right, what was I thinking reading this? Hilary Duff wrote it!' - Maybe I was being completely judgmental but that's what I was thinking reading this. I kept remembering of the old Hilary Duff - you know, Lizzie McGuire, then pop star - and I thought there's no way she can now be a best-selling author of a YA Paranormal/Fantasy series.(actor-> singer -> author -> what next?) But that key point never happened, I finished the book, and enjoyed every part of it!
Clea keeps seeing this guy show up in her photos. At first, she writes it off as a security measure seeing as her mother is in politics, and is always trying to protect Clea and keep her safe. After multiple dreams featuring this mysterious guy and hours of studying these pictures, Clea finds one where the guy seems to be floating and Clea knows this is not possible. So she digs deeper and gets some help of her best friend, Ben. Together, they uncover that this is what Clea's dad had been studying (he's missing), and after traveling around the world together, Ben and Clea try to unlock the secrets of this mysterious Elixir of life and find out who keeps appearing in Clea's photos, also trying to piece together the disappearance of her father. When we finally meet the guy in the picture, a character named Sage, things start going in a different direction, Clea is drawn to him in a way no one can understand.
Clea, even though a daughter of a politician and world renowned surgeon, who can travel around the world whenever she wants, and vacations in the hot spots of Paris and so on, is a character that readers can relate to. She's still just a teenager who likes being with her friends and loves dancing and the scene with Ben and her in Rio on the beach is proof of that. Sage is mysterious, and yet endearing and I always felt the need to know more about him. Ben, a young and smart guy is a real sweet and amiable character who will put anything on the line to help and protect Clea. Duff's writing was alright. she put a lot of description is her work and was able to pull readers in. There's a lot of information just left hanging there so book #2 is a must-read!