Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ARC Review: Elixir

Title: Elixir
Author: Ted Galdi
Kindle Publication Date: August 2, 2014
Paperback Publication: September 2014
Source: eARC from Author
Meet 14-year-old Sean Malone. He has an IQ above 200, a full-ride scholarship to one of the country’s top universities, and more than one million dollars from his winning streak on Jeopardy. However, Sean wishes he could just be normal.

But his life is anything but normal. The US government manipulates him, using him as a codebreaker in pursuit of a drug lord and killing innocent people along the way.

For reasons related to his personal security, Sean finds himself in Rome, building a new life under a new name, abandoning academics, and hiding his genius from everyone. When he’s 18 he falls in love. The thrills begin again when he learns that his girlfriend is critically ill and it’s up to him to use his intellect to find a cure, a battle pitting him against a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company and the demons of his past.

Elixir is a story about identity, secrets, and above all, love.

My Review

At just fourteen years old, Sean Malone is the known as the smartest person on the planet. He's competed on Jeopardy, he is enrolled as a student at one of America's best colleges, and he's able to figure out one of the toughest algorithms that even adults can't solve. As luck would have it, figuring out the algorithm can get him in a lot trouble, and thus, the tale of Sean Malone starts...

Like any smart kid, Sean just craves to be normal. He has a tough time dealing with his emotions, and that leads him to make some bad choices. I was not shocked that the author included parts of this in his story line, and I admire Ted Galdi for it. It's difficult to be the smart kid in a traditional school setting, and I can't even imagine how it would feel to be a fourteen year old in college. I think it's great to see an author take a risk like that to show kids that they are not alone. (It really gives you insight as to how the kids who competed on Child Genius feel.)
Honestly, I gave this book a try, but I could not finish it. It just wasn't the book for me as I could not find myself enjoying it. I usually never put a book down until I've read all of it, but this is just one that I need to put away and move on from. It's not a terrible book, but it's not the book for me.

As I was reading, I felt very disconnected from the text and the story. When you read a book, you want to feel like you are in the world in which it is set, but that is not the case for Elixir. I felt like a third-party observer - like I was floating way above the characters but still couldn't find a way to relate to them or understand their stories. If I were able to connect with Sean and his friends and family, I'm sure I would have had a much better experience with it.

I only finished about thirty percent of the novel, but there were just way too many different things going on for me to keep everything straight. Events and plot twists were just happening too quickly. The characters are hastily introduced; I couldn't even keep up with them to remember who they were. The whole thing just jumps around too much so it gets incredibly confusing. It's almost like Mr. Galdi took enough ideas to complete a three or four book series and put them all in one book.

Personally, I would not recommend this book to anyone as I did not enjoy or finish it.

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