Elixir, Devoted, and True by Hilary Duff

In honor of Hilary Duff’s new single, Chasing the Sun (out today, not that great), I figured I would finally get around to reading her Elixir trilogy. Yep, that’s right, Hilary Duff not only wrote a novel but she actually wrote a trilogy. I have to give her credit though, she’s the only celebrity writer that I’ve seen mention a ghostwriter. However, these books are so horribly written that I actually believe she did most of the work.

**These reviews contain spoilers**

indexFirst up is Elixir, her debut novel. Clea Raymond is a talented photojournalist and the daughter of famous parents. After her father mysteriously disappears, she discovers a shadowy figure in the background of her pictures. While searching for her father, Clea spots the man from her photos. She is immediately drawn to him, only to find out their love story spans centuries, and it never ends well. They must find a way to rewrite their ending before time runs out. Again.

First of all, this book has huge font. Also, it’s terribly written. The story wasn’t awful, and it was intriguing enough to keep me reading, but everything else was bad. Clea is a total Mary Sue character (Everyone loves her because she’s so cool! She takes pictures! And does Krav Maga! And is famous because her mom is a Senator! Really?). The characters are one-dimensional and only seem to get dumber as the book goes on. The love triangle isn’t much of a triangle- Clea and Sage are “soulmates” and Ben loves Clea but will always kill her in the end. Is there any question of who she will end up with? The ending was rushed and didn’t make any sense (Clea thought the best way to save Sage was to turn him over to his enemies? And then she blames Ben when that doesn’t go well?) and ended in a cliffhanger. Plus, the whole “finding dad” storyline just ends with no resolution, almost like Clea forgot all about her dad once her soulmate returned to her.

2 out of 5- It was readable, but not that great.

devotedThe second book in the series is Devoted. Clea is distraught after Sage is kidnapped, and is terrified that she will never see him again. When a mysterious family visits Clea and shows her what Sage is going through, she must do something. One of the mysterious figures gives Clea a way to save Sage, but she will have to forgive Ben and turn to Sage’s other enemies for help. Will she be able to save Sage in time or will his soul be destroyed?

Still terribly written. Almost nothing happens. At least the first book had a little mystery to it but this doesn’t have anything. The only character development is that they all get even dumber. Clea turns into a selfish brat and blames Ben for Sage being kidnapped, even though it was totally her fault. Amelia is the only interesting character and we don’t even find out what happened to her. The dad mystery is totally nonexistent- Clea has decided that he must be dead after all, despite proof in the first book that he was still alive after he went missing. Huge cliffhanger. I’ve read some bad YA before, but this is really bad.

1 out of 5- Not good.

trueTrue is the final book in the trilogy. Clea has managed to save Sage’s soul, but now it resides in Nico’s body. What will Rayna think? Clea tries to make the best of the situation, but when Sage begins to forget things and have violent episodes, she knows something is wrong. Will Clea be able to save Sage before he descends into madness?

I take back everything I said about the second book. It is a masterpiece compared to this one. We still don’t know what happened to Clea’s father, in fact, he’s not even mentioned in this book. Her mother seems to have disappeared as well. The main characters get even dumber, something that I did not think was possible. Even they can see the awful choices they are making and how things are going to end, but they do them anyway. “We should tell Rayna about Sage being in Nico’s body, or else when she finds out, it will be bad. Oh wait, we didn’t tell Rayna about Sage being in Nico’s body and when she found out, it was bad.” Seriously? At this point Sage and Clea’s relationship consists of them saying they love each other because they are soulmates. I guess when neither of you have personalities that’s the only thing you can fall back on. Also, it’s totally ok for a guy to throw you into a wall or try to kill you if you’re soulmates, because he doesn’t really mean it, it’s a result of the body swap! I’ll have to remember that one. Big surprise, all of their problems get solved and Clea and Sage live happily ever after. Hopefully these are their last lives.

1 out of 5- Even worse than Devoted.


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