Lizzie McGuire –ahem- I mean Hilary Duff has decided to try her hand at writing a novel. With good sense, she chose to write a young adult novel. It’s a good demographic for her to go in and it is one of the most thriving parts of book industry today. As most young adult novels today, “Elixir” is a supernatural romance.
Now, I think it is important that I clear up any feelings I have about Hilary Duff. While I find that many of my peers (mostly girls) are not fans of her, I do like Hilary Duff. She was my generation’s “Hannah Montana.” When I was younger, I loved all her music and etc. However, when I found out that she was writing a book, I couldn’t help making a face and asking “why?” A weird sense of curiosity made me want to read this book. So I did.
“Elixir” centers around a girl named Clea. Clea is the daughter of a wealthy and famous politician. She’s known worldwide, and of course, she finds the attention undesirable. The story takes place a year after her beloved father goes missing. In an effort to understand her father’s disappearance, she goes to Brazil with her close friend, Ben. And of course, Ben is in love with the clueless Clea. In Brazil, Clea comes face to face with the mysterious man, Sage, from her dreams and photographs. From there, they embark on an adventure.
The love triangle. WHY does this have to be in almost every young adult novel I read?! I know it’s the easiest plot device to create drama, but can’t authors be more creative with it? In this case, Ben is the nice guy; he’s the one Clea loves but doesn’t “love” like that. Then she meets Sage and has this strong undeniable connection with him. (The word “soulmate” gets tossed around a lot in this story.) Sage is more of a mystery and bad boy. I don’t like Sage. Why? Because I’ve seen his character before in at least 2 other YA novels! I like Ben because he’s the underdog and you know from the beginning that Clea will end up ditching him for Sage. Since Duff decided to go with the “love triangle” device, she should have even up both sides.
One thing I do commend Duff on is how we jump into the story quickly. Many authors like to have pages and pages of set-up. It is easy to get impatient with that and give up with reading the novel all together. I was absorbed into the story right away. When the plot became supernatural, I was instantly intrigued. I thought she was coming up with something new, and I had all these theories running in my head. But I was disappointed with how the story turned out. It ended up taking a turn toward predictability and “haven’t I read that before?”
The ending is abrupt. It was an awkward place to end the novel. I instantly thought that maybe my copy was missing a few pages. Obviously, it was left open ended in place for a sequel, but it could’ve had a smoother ending. I finished thinking I was missing half the book, not half the story.
Hilary Duff is a decent writer. “Elixir” shows that she is capable, but that’s merely it.
“Elixir” is now available in stores.