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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Title: Liv, Forever
Author: Amy Talkington
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+

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Artist Liv Bloom never imagined she'd find a place at the exclusive Wickham Hall, but her promising talent earns her one of the few scholarship openings, complete with room and board, her very own stocked studio, a possibly crazy new friend, and the interest of charming legacy student, Malcolm Astor. Sure, Wickham Hall is a bit odd, with its secret societies, rumored hauntings, and snobby cliques, but its all worth it. Things couldn't possibly get better for Liv... but they could get a lot worse. When her new friend, Gabe, tells Liv that he can see the gruesome ghosts that haunt the school, she assumes he's crazy - until she ends up dead too. Liv doesn't know why Wickham Hall students are being murdered, but she's determined to find out. From beyond the grave, Liv enlists Gabe and Malcolm to help her solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again. A dark paranormal murder mystery and a tale of love that transcends death, LIV, FOREVER will bewitch readers.

THIS BOOK. Oh my goodness. LIV, FOREVER is such a beautifully written, compulsively readable novel. Talkington wastes no time, immediately plunging the reader into the drama and sinister mystery of Wickham Hall. I was briefly worried that Liv and Malcolm would undergo the dreaded insta-love treatment, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Talkington handled their whirlwind romance with skill. I found myself falling for Malcolm early in the novel, which made Liv falling for him almost inevitable. Their romance is almost sweet, but it has an edge and intensity that's really satisfying.

Despite the fact that I have no artistic talent, I really love art, so was delighted to discover that, throughout the book, Liv often references specific works of art. Each piece of art fits like a puzzle piece into the story, adding unique depth and an unexpected, almost emotional weight. I was familiar with much of the art mentioned, but readers can find images of all the art referenced in the book on the author's website!


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