Posted on July 21, 2011
WARNING: This post may have a vague description of what happened in the novel so if you don’t want to be spoiled in even the least bit, then don’t proceed to reading until the last word.
So the other day I decided to download an eReader for my Samsung GT-I5503 so I could read some Java-related eBooks without being distracted by being on the Internet. I downloaded the Aldiko Book Reader from the Android market. I tried it out with the free eBook (White Fang by Jack London) that came with it and then hoarded some Java related eBooks from the Internet.
After a while, I decided to download a few eBooks I don’t usually see in any of the bookstores that I go to like Charlotte Bronte’s The Professor, other Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennan mystery novels and the ever so controversial Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Then I remembered Hilary Duff’s first novel, Elixir and checked to see if there was a free copy available on the eBook directory I was browsing. And it was there and downloaded it without hesitation.
I first found out about the novel when my family and I was at SM Mall of Asia’s National Bookstore. I was somewhere around the Young Adults section when I saw a stack of featured purple books at the middle with a huge purple poster and that’s when I first saw the cover of the book. I was dazed to see the author of the book–it was Hilary Duff and for a moment I doubted if it was the Hilary Duff who played Lizzie McGuire. I doubted if it was really her at first thinking it just might be someone else with the same name. But I checked it out on Wikipedia and sure enough, it was really her.
I haven’t thought about in a while but I’ve heard that it has become a New York Times best seller and has gained good ratings from critiques. I was intrigued but not really intrigued enough to actually buy myself a copy since I wouldn’t want to regret asking my parents to buy me a copy if I didn’t really liked in in the end.
But lately (especially now that the Harry Potter series has seemed to come into a close), I realized how much I haven’t really delved into the world of Young Adult novels. It was always Harry Potter, romantic novels by Nicholas Sparks, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen, and William Shakespeare with me. And the only other Young Adult novel or series I’ve loved other than Harry Potter was Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I felt drawn to pick up anything that was Young Adult.
Just last month I picked up the last boxed set of LJ Smith’s The Vampire Diaries at National Bookstore Glorietta 5. I didn’t really want to get into the whole vampire fandom but the TV Series is a guilty pleasure and I wanted to try out the books, which until now I have yet to read since I wanted to finish Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
So to get back to Elixir: I was having a hard time to sleep the other night that I decided to read Elixir a bit. I wasn’t that drawn to it at the beginning. The main character, Clea, to me felt superficial, not that that was her personality but because I felt I couldn’t relate to her in any way. I mean, it’s not exactly everyday you get to meet someone who partied in Paris with just her friend even before she turned eighteen. She was rich and popular, something that I did not see in the main characters of the novels I’ve read. But it wasn’t exactly boring and the writing style was not bad, even. (Note: I tried to read Twilight but I couldn’t stand reading past the first paragraph.) I guess, the hanging mystery of what exactly happened to Clea’s father was what kept me reading at first.
But then the mystery got better and my curiosity heightened when it came to the part where she sorted through the photos she took while she and her friend, Rayna, were in Europe. The questions that circled my mind were, “Who was this man? How was he connected to Clea in any way?” I wanted to read more but then I reached a part where it got a bit creepy that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I couldn’t continue to read it anymore. Not in the dark. I was actually freaked out. Still mystified, but freaked out. It actually took me a while to make myself fall asleep after that but I did.
I continued reading it last night and I fought my own fears of probably seeing a pair of eyeballs staring right at me through the dark crevice of the closet door or outside the window. And once the eerie feeling subsided, I read on through the night.
I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know more and to know more I had to read. It was really something that would leave such a mystery and intrigue that made me read the next chapter and the next chapter until the very last. And even when I finished it (at three o’clock in the morning), it still left me hanging. Not hanging with disappointed but hanging with suspense! I mean, wow! I never imagined Hilary could write something like that or perhaps I expected less from her especially since it was her first novel but until now I am just amazed by how she delivered the suspense until the very last word.
So now, I’m taking away all my doubts. For sure, I’d by myself a physical copy of the book this time and I would definitely grab a copy of its sequel, Devoted, when it hits the bookstores later this year! I suggest you go read this book if you’re up for a mysterious teen romance, and no, it’s not vampires. But it is something paranormal. 😉
Cheers to Hilary Duff and Elise Allen! 🙂