Author: Hilary Duff (with Elise Allen)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: October 12, 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal
Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she 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 after Clea’s father disappears 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 they 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 they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives—and their futures.
Before you scoff at the fact that Hilary Duff wrote a novel, hear me out. Yes, I did pick this up because she wrote it and I was curious. And I’m glad I did. The story just drew me in from the get-go and I wanted to keep on reading to see what would happen next.
It’s been a year since Clea’s father disappeared in Rio, so when she gets contracted for a job in Rio, she jumps on the opportunity, dragging her friend and international guide, Ben, along with her. I loved the relationship between these two. To Clea they are just great friends, even though it’s blatantly obvious Ben wants to be more. Either way, he was a great friend to her and very protective. It was cute.
And then there’s Sage, the mysterious, random guy that’s been showing up in her pictures when it’s impossible he was really there when she took them. I liked Sage because I was never sure if he could really be trusted. As soon as we found out he knew something about Clea's father’s disappearance, I was on and off about him and his intentions. He was very hot and cold, but it really worked for the story.
In the majority of the book, Clea, Sage, and Ben are following clues left by Clea’s father, that are supposed to lead them to the Elixir of Life. They jet around the world, from Rio, to Clea’s home in Connecticut, to New York, then Japan. It’s a wild adventure and it’s fun to take with Clea and the two boys. The one thing that felt really unresolved for me, was Clea’s father’s disappearance. It was the reason she went to Rio in the first place. Sage said her father was still alive and could help find him, but once they found clues about the Elixir of Life, that whole objective kind of went on the back burner. Looking for the Elixir was exciting, and the ending was great, but I still would have liked there to be more about her father’s disappearance in the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was skeptical about Hilary Duff’s writing, and I have to say it’s not the best writing ever, but it’s not bad either. The story is exciting and new (I don’t know who else has written about the Elixir of Life), and I’m glad I picked it up. I can’t wait for the next book, because I definitely has some unresolved feelings.