Teen blogger Ella is back with her thoughts on Hilary Duff's latest book Devoted - newly released yesterday.
"The first thing I would say about this book is that you pretty much get what you expect. Hilary Duff is an attractive, successful singer, actress and designer, among other things I've probably forgotten; it ought to be a statistical improbability for her to also be an amazing author capable of writing fantasy fiction that absorbs the reader and takes them to a brand-new world of possibilities.
That being said, this is not a terrible book. It's got a pretty cool premise that hasn't been done to death (Clea Raymond has had a star-crossed love affair with her immortal soul-mate Sage for many past lives. He's been kidnapped by a group that's PO'd he drank the Elixir of Life all those centuries ago, and it's up to Clea to find him before they kill him for it). Devoted has some fancy twists and turns (and a rather foxy last bombshell). What it lacks is sophistication. The diction, for example, somehow falls flat. The dialogue, both internal and between characters, is missing depth, and the wording often seems more like something a classmate of mine would write, and not the wording of a twice-published author.
As well, her bad guys are kind of ridiculous. Some of them are pretty believable, but Devoted has more than it's fair share of old-school tattooed, scarred, missing-toothed thugs, which somewhat eroded the effect the less over-the-top bad guys were trying for (it's hard to let an author make you feel something when you're choking on kitsch). Another big complaint is that I was kind of confused for big chunks of time because I haven't read Elixir, the first book in the series, for months. I have a pretty good memory for plots, but I'm not always good with names and fiddly details. All sequels walk a fine line between too much and too little when it comes to giving back-story from the previous book(s), and Devoted fell on the too little side of things. I would not suggest reading this book if you haven't read Elixir first, and relatively recently.
Like I said, though, this isn't a terrible book. There's less running around in Devoted than in Elixir, which was kind of nice, and a crazy new element was added to the plot. In some parts, actually, I was more into the flashbacks of said Crazy New Element than I was in the "present" drama, and Crazy New Element has certainly not been done before, at least that I've read. If you liked Elixir, go for it, and read Devoted, it's a pretty good follow-up. If Elixir wasn't your thing, though, or you don't really have the time or inclination to read something that will in all likelihood fall shy of rocking your world, don't bother with Devoted."
Read an excerpt of Devoted. You can check out the book trailer here.
As always Ella, thanks for sharing your take on books!