Elixir by Hilary Duff

Amazon Synopsis: Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, Clea 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 following Clea's father's disappearance 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 begin to 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 the pair find themselves in a race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their futures...

When I first saw that the woman behind Lizzie McGuire had written a young adult trilogy, I had to get it. She was constantly on my TV when I was a kid, granted they were often repeats, so this book was a must read. With Christmas having just passed as well I had some vouchers to spend and then I got it for ridiculously cheap on Amazon. I wasn't expecting much from it to be honest which now makes me feel like a horrible human being for doubting her since it turned out to be a decent read.The book is a 300+ page book with size 7000 font so it is a quick read but it still took me a while to get through it since I am just back at school and am in a bit of a slump.

The book follows 17 year old Clea, a girl who is facing troubles since her father went missing and is presumed dead. She is in Paris when we first meet her and her best friend Rayna on a photography job, a career she has begun to do under an alias due to her mothers politician status and the family's subsequent fame.  Everything seems to be going well until she starts scanning through the pictures from her Europe trip and finds the same guy in each one, sometimes seemingly levitating. Then she begins to dream about him and wonder who he is whilst figure out how to move on from her fathers death. 

Clea as a character was wonderfully normal. No sudden powers or need for a man. Just a normal girl attempting to forge a career and avoid the spotlights whilst enjoying time with her friends Rayna and Ben.  She was just a generally nice character who had sarcastic moments and teenage moments without making me want to throw the book at the wall. Other characters were also really great and each one was interesting in their own right. The story did not fully revolve just around Clea which made everything so much better in my opinion. 

The story line made me really creeped out. I got that sudden gut feeling of fear when reading the scene where she sees him in the photographs as well as in a couple other places and that has not happened in a while for me. It was a well thought out plot line with a lot of room to expand but at the same time it was really easy to follow. The writing style got stronger as the book went on, at first it seemed a bit hesitant but as it developed the characters, settings, descriptions and detail got much more confident.

There is a love element in here but not til later on when she makes some realisations and becomes a victim to insta-love. Her two love interests are being all manly despite one having a girls name and I just did not care. It was not majorly important that it happened in this book and it hasn't really developed since it ends with a lot of unanswered questions.

I was surprised at how much I liked this book. It was a fun and easy YA novel with lots of twists and turns along the way. Cannot wait to read the other two books. I know Hilary Duff got some help when writing this but it doesn't have two names on the cover so I am guessing she wrote a lot of it.


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