Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, Forever
by Amy Talkington
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Published by Soho Teen
Source: ARC from Publisher
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

from Goodreads

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

My Thoughts

Amy Talkington's debut novel Liv, Forever is a book that I could not put down. It kept my attention throughout. It is an unusual ghost story filled with mystery and romance.

Liv's death happens early on in the book. I thought there would be more self-pity and constant questioning as to why it had to happen to her or why did it have to happen just as she was beginning to fall in love. The fact that the story didn't go that route made me like it even more. There was so much more happening and an interesting back story to Wickham Hall and the ghosts of Wickham Hall that there wasn't time to focus on that. There was a larger mystery to be solved. 

Early on, readers will see that Liv isn't the only one who died an untimely death. We are given the back stories of other girls who now haunt Wickham Hall. Every few chapters there is a different girl's tale of how her life came to an end. This upped the creepiness factor of the book because it was told from the girl's perspective. And the girls begin to make appearances around Gabe and Liv, and more frequently once Liv becomes one of them.

I was always worried that Malcolm was going to be the sinister villain. He had all of the trappings - he was "the big man on campus", good-looking, admired by everyone, and a Wickham legacy. He was easily likeable, so of course I thought he was too good to be true. When was he going to betray Liv? When would we see his true colors? He always kept me guessing.

Liv, Forever was a book that I couldn't wait to finish, not that I wanted it to be over, but rather so I could share it with my friends. There is nothing more satisfying than when you are reading a book and while reading you know exactly who you want to share it with because they will absolutely love it. Liv, Forever is one such book. I'm definitely going to share it with my book club because it is a book that offers a lot to be discussed.

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from Soho Teen in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.

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