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TRUE by Hilary Duff


From the Elixir series, volume 3

by Hilary Duff ; Elise Allen

Age Range: 14 - 18

Pub Date: April 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0857-9
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

If someone’s your true love, just stay devoted while he slams you into the wall and crushes your best friend’s hands until she passes out.

Clea and Sage are soul mates forever’n’ever—literally: They reincarnate as lovers lifetime after lifetime. When Sage’s body recently died, his soul leaped into the newly dead body of friend Nico and reanimated it. However, bodies can reject a new soul just as in organ transplantation (!), and Sage-in-Nico’s-body descends into “[m]adness and violence.” Is part of Nico’s soul still there, restless? Clea, Ben and Rayna travel to a charlatan’s clinic that might nonetheless hold information about “soul rejection.” Sage is portrayed as a tragic hero; Clea and Duff define love as unquestioningly sitting bedside with one’s lover even if he might awaken and kill you. Differing from the series opener (Elixir, 2010), this prose is plainspoken, with contemporary references (“a body that makes Ryan Gosling look like pre-diet Jonah Hill”) and vernacular (“so gross I can’t even deal”), but the very metaphysics are purple. Obviously it’s Sage’s soul operating Nico’s body because “[t]he eyes really are the windows to the soul,” and this live boy has brown eyes (like Sage, unlike Nico). Can a New-Age crystal ceremony permanently break the pattern of Ben’s betrayal and Clea’s bloody murder?

Danger romance at its most digestible, ready to be gobbled and forgotten. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)