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Elixir
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About the Author

Hilary Duff rose to fame when she stared in the Disney channel series Lizzie Maguire in 2001. Since then she has released several solo music albums, all of which have gone platinum and appeared in several films. The Hilary Duff "brand" now includes clothing and perfume, and she has recently returned to the small screen with a guest role in the hugely successful Gossip Girl series.

Reviews

Gr 9 Up-Clea Raymond, 17, lives a charmed life. She travels the world with her best friend, Rayna, partying in countries near and far. Her mother is kept busy by her work as a United States Senator, but she loves her daughter with all her heart. And Clea has a cute guy trailing her every move-her bodyguard/voice of reason, Ben. Everything would be just perfect, except for the fact that her beloved father, a world-renowned surgeon, has gone missing while on a humanitarian mission in Rio. She can't stop thinking about him and his disappearance, and one night she stumbles onto something that might help her find him. Looking through photos she took on vacation, Clea notices a strange man who lurks in the background of every picture. Then, she starts having dreams about him. She's always a different woman in a different time period with him-and she always dies a brutal death. With the help of Ben, Clea travels to Rio to try and figure out the mystery behind her father's disappearance and the identity of the stranger in her pictures and her dreams. This entertaining book has a good mix of romance and suspense with a little reincarnation thrown in for good measure. Clea is caught up between the love she feels for the mystery man and the feelings she starts to have for Ben. Yet she soon figures out that there's more to this love triangle than she realizes. The fast-paced story will keep readers turning the pages until the very end, which hints of a sequel. Even those not impressed by the author's star power will enjoy this tale of love across the ages.-Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Disney and pop star Duff's first novel is a largely predictable paranormal love story, breathlessly narrated by Clea, a homeschooled senior and photojournalist, who travels the world on photo shoots. Clea is recovering from her surgeon/humanitarian father's disappearance and presumed death a year ago, after he funded a dig for ancient vials of the elixir of life in Brazil. But when a sexy stranger starts appearing in her photos, Clea is suddenly barraged by dreams of past lives, loving this same man in each one. When she shows the photographs to her cute friend/bodyguard-of-sorts, Ben, he reveals that this stranger has been appearing in family photos since she was a baby. Clea and Ben meet the stranger, Sage, in Brazil, and all three head to Japan, following in the footsteps of Clea's father. Two groups desperate for the elixir are pursuing Sage, and tensions (and the love triangle) heat up as enemies close in. Clea is a likable though unmemorable heroine, and the writing is passable but never exceptional. The open ending leaves Sage's short-term fate (and Clea's eternal one) for later books. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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