And then I threw my Kindle across the room.
Title: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington
Release Date: March 11th 2014
Published by: Soho Teen
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
I have never been in despair ever while reading a book as much as I was when I was reading Amy Talkington's Liv, Forever. I will not even provide a summary, just take a look at what's pasted before this review started.
I will coherently try to explain why I love this book, because I REALLY loved it. From the bottom of my heart kind of love.
From the moment I've read the first chapter, a flashback, a tale of someone's gruesome death, swift and over in an instant, I know that I'm in for a treat in this book.
As it turns out, Liv is quite the likable character. She's quirky and creative and an art junkie, quiet, artistic and passionate at what she does. She's also a little bit pessimistic when it comes to love, holding herself back because of her past. She spouts names and lines from poems and mentioned artsy people but she didn't sound pretentious at all, just someone with a deep love and appreciation of art. I detested the way she was treated in Wickham Hall though. And as for Malcolm, unlike all the other YA book male leads I've read of, I've been suspicious of him right at the start. This is a YA mystery thriller after all, and I have to admit he was my prime suspect! He's Wickham's golden boy, but as the story unfolds, I discover how him being popular and well-liked was because he had good qualities after all. He's smart and loves art like Liv. He's a bit mischievous and rash and spontaneous but he means well. That belief that sometimes border on crazy that Liv is still there, the way he was hanging on. Those moments made my heart lurch countless of times. Gabe is weird, but in a good way. I liked how he's sarcastic at times, but a really good friend to Liv. He provides the link between Liv and Malcolm, and what he does isn't easy. Despite everyone telling him he's crazy, he just really wants to make sense of what he hears and sees. He's also quite imaginative with his conspiracy theories which helped Liv and Malcolm solve the mystery in Wickham.
Liv, Forever was the kind of story that's so easy to read. I was swept in by the secrets and the truth hiding behind Wickham's halls the moment I've read the first flashback. It helped that Amy Talkington wrote this in such a way that the story flows easily, injecting the right amount of questions and answers at the right time and with great pacing! Reading Liv, Forever is like watching a movie inside my head. The way Amy Talkington writes makes me feel that way. Every single element that makes this a good mystery thriller was well placed and explained in good detail. The secret society inside Wickham, what started it and its purpose. The murders, the reason why they happen, when they happen and why those girls. Amy Talkington created a rich history that provided a great backdrop for Wickham, dark, mysterious, inviting and evil. Thinking of it now makes the hair at the back of my neck stand up.
You know what it feels like to read a book while knowing all the while that it has that spontaneous, wonderful kind of love and that it can never ever be? No? Read this book if you want to know. How do you think a love between a ghost and a boy ends? That kind of love that started in an unbelievably sweet way, full of potential, of what-ifs and maybes and endless possibilities. Liv and Malcolm had so much going on between them, and I'll always be terribly sad whenever I remember what could've been between them, cut short and separated by death. I couldn't get enough of those bittersweet moments between them, even though I feel like I'm being kicked in the gut over and over. Liv and Malcolm's love story gave meaning to the words "bitter" and "sweet". They make it sound like a once in a lifetime, enduring kind of love that was so wonderful.
Liv, Forever has this quiet, unexpected kind of charm that surprised me. It's not so much as being scared of the ghosts that was in it, but that perfect combination of murder mystery romance that captivated me. Amy Talkington is a vivid storyteller, and you can tell how her being a screenwriter helped to make Liv, Forever a really enjoyable read. All the references about art, the poems, even that playlist constructed for Liv clearly shows that Amy knows what she's talking about in this book. The romance gets to you, the mystery intrigues you, and the machinations behind all these secrets and mysteries will fascinate you until you find yourself neck deep within the story. Absolutely a memorable debut for Amy! What a novel!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
The way it ended! I really wasn't expecting that! I felt like I was cut off as swiftly as the murders did and I was taken a back. I realized I had been craving for more of the story and that is such a good thing! My heart calls out to Malcolm and Liv, and I am genuinely happy for Gabe. That unlikely friendship of his with Malcolm, and Malcolm's eventual "freedom" from being an Astor. I'd like to think that Liv's death brought some good as well.
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
One of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen!
One of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen!