Monday, March 10, 2014

ARC Review & Giveaway: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

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.
Best Bits: As a reader, I appreciate a spooky mystery/ghost story. Liv, Forever didn't disappoint, and I was totally surprised by the ending. This is a feat in itself, because private school books have become popular over the past couple of years. I know part of the appeal is that many of us didn't go to schools like this, and there are so many things that could potentially happen that probably aren't going to occur at your average high school. In this particular book, I really enjoyed the way that Liv felt out of place because she was there with a scholarship, and not because she grew up with a wealthy family. She knows that she doesn't fit in, yet she doesn't throw in the towel. Yes, it's difficult for her to be an outcast, but she perseveres. Perhaps this is what drives her determination to figure out what's going on at Wickham Hall.

Hurrah for the lack of a love triangle. It's not that a great love triangle isn't appreciated, but lately it's felt like every YA book I pick up has one. I've felt this way since you-know-what series was released. So, it was nice to have Gabe as a male friend, and not have Liv struggling between two guys (even in the afterlife). In a way, it allowed me to appreciate Malcolm a bit  more, because he's supportive and not competing for anyone's affections. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical because he's the rich, popular guy...but I'll leave it up to you to decide if he's a good guy deserving of Liv's feelings, or he's her killer.

Nit Picks: I think I would have liked a little bit more exploration into the school itself. We're given bits and pieces of the history, but I'm all for creepy private schools to becomes characters themselves. They have the potential to be ominous, and I felt like I missed a little bit of that here. The ending was left open, so I'm hoping for a follow-up that might explore a bit more of that.

Liv, Forever
By Amy Talkington
280 Pages
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Published by Soho Teen
Received for Review

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Megan R said...

This one sounds cool. I love a good creepy read. Hopefully there's a follow-up so we can get to know the school a little better.

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