Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

When I first came across this book, I’ll admit: I had high expectations. The boarding-school-mystery has happened time and time again. Sadly, Liv, Forever fell flat for me. There were definitely parts of the book where it got really interesting, but otherwise, I didn’t feel that click or that spark that made this a special read. I really hate not-liking a book. I generally have a really high tolerance for books, but this one pushed me over it. It was the fact that I NEEDED to find out what happens at the end that pushed me through.

I feel like I’m about to go on a horrible rant, so I’ll *try* hard not to.

Liv was an infuriating character. I got really frustrated with her from a couple pages into the book. Not a good sign is it? It’s just that she’s really self-centered. Like, really self-centered. The whole book is about her (no duh) but on top of that, every thought either has to be about herself or Malcolm. Ah, the relationship between these two begin, what? 10-15 pages into the novel? I am not a fan of insta-love, and unfortunately, the romance in this one sped up so quickly. I mean, on the second date they were pretty much already saying “I love you” to each other. Oh wait. That actually happened. I could tolerate Malcolm’s character a teeny bit more than Liv’s, but holy moly, who the hell is that perfect, poised and polished? He seemed two-dimensional and I felt like clawing my eyes out when he started reciting poetry perfectly word-for-word. *barf*

The book actually took an exciting turn when Liv died, the book actually started moving forward. And while it was kind of easy to guess who was behind the murder, actually learning more about the other girls who were killed was interesting and really brought the story to life. That’s at least what I thought was the highlight of the book.
I’m not sure how I feel about the amount of art and artists mentioned in this book. On one hand, it was really exciting to picture what Talkington was trying to describe with the emotions evoked by certain works of art, as well as what they represented. On the other hand, it felt like we, as readers, were being choked with the amount of name-dropping and supposed art-knowledge that Liv has. I mean, yeah, we get it, YOU LOVE ART. But do you always have to see the world through an artistic lens? Do you? Do you really? Comparing everything that you see and feel to a piece of art isn’t necessary, and can get a little annoying.

Overall, while this might not have been the book for me, it has received several 5-star reviews, so I’m sure that several of you will find this an enticing read. Liv, Forever, while it has an intriguing plot and unique concept, fell short on narrative voice and various other elements of the story. I’ll be sure to look out for more of Amy Talkington’s books in the future, with hope that they’ll get better.

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