Book Review: True by Hilary Duff

Posted May 17, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: True by Hilary DuffTrue by Hilary Duff
Series: Elixir #3
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 16th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

The epic love story of Clea and Sage comes to its thrilling conclusion in the final book in the Elixir series by multitalented star Hilary Duff.Following the harrowing events of Elixir and Devoted—and the ceremony that almost killed Sage—Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances?

Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different—angry—and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?

1.5 Stars

Dear Elixir series,

Once upon a time, I was young and naive. Your first installment, Elixir was so gleefully different and had such a mysterious and creepy vibe that I honestly couldn’t put it down until I finished. I was excited. Especially because I completely adore Hilary Duff.

But maybe that made me see this in a more flattering light than warranted. But I was inexperienced! I honestly had not read much before that point, and now, the tables have surely turned. First of all, I think to an extent I would still enjoy Elixir today. But the series lost its momentum, and, to be honest, it should have been a stand alone. This is another case of a series that was poorly planned out and just jumping on the bandwagon.

Because, Elixir series, why do you have to engage in YA stereotypes, like the totally absent parents, the unlimited resources (due to the main character’s senator mother), teenage fights that end in noncommunication, and love triangles? The love triangle was still the best developed of the overused tropes, but its appeal surely waned after the first book ended.

Also, why are you ‘telling’ me everything, and ‘showing’ me nothing? Honestly, while I may not remember if there is a clear difference between True and its prequels Elixir and Devoted, this whole book was telling. Every single paragraph read as, “I did this. I saw that. She said this. I said that. He looked away.” It reads like an elementary level novel, and I’ve matured way beyond that. Hell, there are elementary level novels that are way better than this.

And, why is your plot so disjointed? Plot elements come out of nowhere. It doesn’t work this way, Elixir series. Well-read readers will surely notice the fact that the plot is clearly made up as it goes along. Explanations for the world building and mythology are completely absent. When some new element is necessary, it appears. Very convenient, but not a good method of storytelling.

Why are your characters so bland? The romance was slightly appealing (in the previous books, not this one, Elixir once again being the highest point), but the characters themselves were cookie cutter creations. Stupid to boot. Like, Clea, in this brilliant (read: boring) installment, goes to investigate why Sage’s soul seems to be rejected by Nico’s body and ends up at a commune specializing in soul transitions. While she’s there, the whole time she’s laughing at the idiots for believing the bullshit that is preached there, but still lets herself get locked up there because she believes she can find answers. Sections like this (yes, there were more) make the entire book contradict and laugh at itself. But then another convenient plot element appears to explain and drive the plot.

Summing Up:

I stuck with this series since there was only one more book to go, but man do I wish I hadn’t. This was such a waste of my money. I’m kind of eying the other books now, wondering if even Elixir, which I truly enjoyed way back when, would still be enjoyable. But will I reread? No. I’ve grown up. I know better. This just sucked. 1 orange for the plot that, while ridiculous, kept me turning the pages because at least the concept was mildly intriguing, and half an orange for the twist at the end that I honestly didn’t expect.

In Three Words:

Recommended To:

Nope, I wouldn’t.

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6 responses to “Book Review: True by Hilary Duff

  1. Oh I don't blame you. A lot of people were hesitant to try out this series, and they are definitely NOT wrong. Just disappointment all around.

  2. I seriously considered giving Elixir a shot because I wanted to see what Hilary Duff was like as a writer. Can it be read as a standalone? Or will I have way too many unanswered questions? I wouldn't mind giving that one a shot, but after this, I can't see myself willing to continue with the series! Haha

  3. I suppose you could try it out, yeah, but Elixir ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger, so it can't really be read like a stand alone. I did like it, though, and Devoted is where it really started going downhill…

  4. Nice review. I have elixir so I will read it some time, but i highly doubt I'll pick up the other ones. there are just too many better books out there! plus, she didn't even write elixir on her own – she had help. maybe she wrote the subsequent two novels more independently and that's why they sucked?
    hmm. oh well.
    My recent post Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

  5. Definitely, there are much better books out there. And true, she did have a co-writer, but as far as I can tell they worked together in the same capacity throughout the whole series. So I'm not too confident about the co-writer's writing ability either, tbh.