Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, ForeverTitle:  Liv, Forever 
Author: Amy Talkington
Publisher: Soho Teen 
Publishing Date:  March 11th 2014
Pages: 280
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Audio


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 was so super excited about this book. The cover, the title, the synopsis, screams creepy. I was uber super excited to get it on audio. The Book started off creepy, remained creepy, and ended creepy. The creep factor was definitely there. The book was well paced, thrilling, and at times very romantic. I was completely invested in the mystery of the dead girls. I really enjoyed this book. There was a lot to like and just a tad not so much on the like.

Liv gets invited to attend a prestigious boarding school which is creepy and lovely. Liv is a teen who loves art, poetry, and really not people. She was raised in many foster homes and adopted as a teenager. For once she feels her life is going in a great direction. The new school will have an art studio that will be just hers, this is what she wants to concentrate on. Things change after the first supper. She is picked by a very good looking , popular boy to dance and from that moment her life changes. She falls in love, gets killed, and spends the rest of her time as a ghost trying to solve her own murder. There is one boy, Gabe, who can sometimes see her and always hear her, and a boy, Malcolm, that can do neither but who sticks around because he loves her. Things get kind of hairy when the wrong boy is accused of the murder and time is not Liv’s friend. All three work together to uncover the horrible secrets of Wickham Hall.

I am going to start with my thoughts on the audio and my love for the narrator. She was perfect. The book has short chapters from the different ghosts that roam Wickham Hall and they narrate their own story of their death. Each ghost has a very distinguished voice, background, and story. The narrator does an outstanding job making these characters their own. She does a great job on Liv too. I had no issue connecting with Liv or any other ghost. She did an amazing job on Malcolm and Gabe too. Loved this narrator. She gets 5 hearts just for the narration.

Now on to the story. The story was good. I liked the secrets, the ghosts, the mystery. It was all very alluring and made for the perfect gloomy, creepy, gothic, ghost story. I was in deep from the very first chapter, which is from a dead girl’s POV. The author did a tremendous job in capturing my full attention and keeping through the entire story. It was one of those books I couldn’t stop thinking about when I wasn’t reading or listening.

The story was also filled with some pretty cool characters. I really liked Liv. She was pretty awesome from the beginning. She was distant from many but when she cared she really cared. She was intense and extreme with everything she did. I feel this comes from most artists. She was full of emotion but rarely showed it. She was afraid of getting close to someone and didn’t quite know how. Of course this leads to me point what I didn’t like about her. She was pretty cool for the most part but once Malcolm enters the picture, she seemed to change pretty quick on the distant front. She kind of went way deep too fast with Malcolm. It didn’t bother me enough to put me off, but it was a bit annoying at times. I chalked it up to her extreme and intense tendencies. When it came to finding the murdered and solving the mysteries of Wickham Hall, she rocked. When it came to being friends with Gabe, she rocked. When it came to her relationship with Malcolm, didn’t rock so much but was still tolerable.

Gabe was a cool character. He was the cliché loner outcast type, but I grew attached to him pretty quick. He had issues because he could see ghosts. I could imagine this driving anyone a bit loony and detaching himself from the rest of population. He was pretty cool with Liv and eventually Malcolm. Malcolm was a bit of sap. He wasn’t who he pretended to be in front of his crew but he was with Liv. He loved her from the very beginning because he could be himself around her. An artist, sappy, and poetic. He was alright in the end, but not my favorite character.

The one thing that did bother me was the romance. It was so insta love, and very obvious.. three encounters and they were madly in love…..I think this would have turned me off complete except… once I could ignore the instant love part… there were some pretty darn romantic scenes. Not hot and on fire but poetic romantic scenes. The two love birds were poetry lovers and artist so you can imagine the romance. It was a very nice change of scenery from the physical passion I see in most books. I do feel the love story would have been perfect if it wasn’t rushed.

So the characters, the creepy ghosts, the mystery, the romantic scenes win over the insta love issue for me. I just couldn’t put the book down and that made this read travel to the 4 hearts category. There was some negative for me but very very little.

A very intense and creepy book.

Amy Talkington
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.


  1. Love your review! I am so glad you liked it! I've been waiting to read it since I seen it on amazon! I love the cover and the title and synopsis :D

  2. I got to meet the author lats week and she was really lovely! I can't wait to read this because I'm hearing good things.

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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