{Review} LIV, FOREVER by Amy Talkington

Soho Teen Presents...
When the tour ends, a full schedule recap will be posted on Soho's Blog!

Happy Book Week to 

To celebrate, Soho Teen has put together a great blog tour, and today's stop features my review of this brand-new paranormal mystery!

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

YouTube Link

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   CHANCES OF A GIRL LIKE ME ending up at Wickham Hall were next to nothing. I was a farmer's daughter, and neither of my parents even finished grade school. But I loved to read. I read every single book I could get my hands on. And, fittingly, it was in a novel that I first heard of Wickham Hall.

(Page 1, US ARC edition)

LIV, FOREVER was one of the books I was really excited to read this past January when I attended ALA Midwinter. This is a book I may have never looked twice at if an amazing Soho publicist hadn't pitched it when Kat and I stopped by the booth. We'd been walking by during a signing for a book that neither of us took, even though the publicist was so enthusiastic about it! I asked her about YA titles and she mentioned that they'd have LIV, FOREVER the next day along with author Amy Talkington for a signing (And Amy was super sweet when we met her, which made me even more excited to read this!)!  It was pitched as the story of a foster girl who's really artistic, but can never afford the supplies to nurture her talent. She gets a special art scholarship and finally has everything she needs...and then she's murdered. And comes back as a ghost that no one can see, which reminded the publicist of the movie Ghost...

Liv is a scholarship student at the prestigious Wickham Hall. She's frowned upon by most of the student body. Liv is excited, because she's never had her own art supplies before, or the freedom to do all that she wants. When a popular student named Malcolm Astor expresses interest in her, she's reluctantly swept off her feet. She falls for him hard and fast, and one night when she sneaks out to meet him, she's mysteriously murdered. Never seeing her attacker, Liv determines to figure out the cause of her death, especially when the police begin investigating her classmate Gabe, the one person who can see her. The trio never envisioned the danger their quest for truth would reveal...

There aren't enough mystery novels in YA these days, so it's refreshing to see books such as LIV, FOREVER. The novel is also genuinely paranormal. I'm not talking vampires and werewolves, but ghosts unable to rest after their soul leave their bodies. Eternal torment. The occult. The macabre. There aren't enough "creepy ghost stories" in YA, either. There's a huge market for both of these genres, and LIV, FOREVER will do well with them. It's also written in such a way that pre-teens still reading authors such as Mary Downing Hahn can transition over without parents worrying about any inappropriate content.

I'm not personally a huge fan of paranormal novels or mysteries, so it's harder for me to fall in love with such books. Even so, the concept intrigued me and made me want to know more. I was a little disappointed that the summary was a little off from the reality of the book. For example, Liv isn't a foster child when she enters Wickham Hall; she has adoptive parents. And she does have art supplies before arriving, albeit not top-of-the-line ones. I was also anticipating a bit of a love triangle. But all of those things are just expectations. Ignore the summary. Go into this with no expectations. Let the story sweep you away! I found myself rooting for the impossible, thinking that maybe there was a way Liv could preserve her energy and come back, or that something could happen to keep her and Malcolm together. That kind of thing. It has some great surprising twists I didn't see coming, which is always a refreshing change of pace for me. It's definitely a book needed in YA, and I'm glad that there's a publisher like Soho Teen on the block to help fill the void in this genre.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The scenery on the cover is kind of important, because it reminds me of an outdoor scene in the book. It's blurred in a way that's almost artsy, the way Liv would see it. The sleeves of her outfit remind me of wings, which are, again, important in the book.

I also like the way the bright pop of the title font's color makes the model's shoes stand out, too! It draws the eye down, as does the use of white in the author's name, the outfit, the socks, and the blurb. It's a very pleasing shape!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Amy Talkington
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Received: For Review (ALA Copy)

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.
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.

Visit Amy's website and follow her on Goodreads, Twitter, and Tumblr



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