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Published by Soho Teen on 11 March 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
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Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, New Hampshire (2015)
First Line(s): Chances of a girl like me ending up at Wickham Hall were next to nothing.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I picked up Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington other than it was a murder mystery set at a boarding school. I do enjoy mysteries and boarding schools so I thought that I would give it a shot. Liv, Forever was a quick read and I read it in just a couple of sittings but it was also a little formulaic. Only in this case when the most popular boy in school is drawn to the outcast girl she isn’t just shunned and tormented further instead she is killed.
Liv, Forever is a bit cliched with its insta-love set up between Liv and Malcolm and I much preferred her interactions with her BFF Gabe over those very few with Malcolm. A part of me wishes that the romance was with her and Gabe as I often felt that there was a bit more chemistry between them.Even though Gabe was a little too eager to help Liv at all costs no matter the consequences to himself. There was a little bit too much world revolving around Liv in this book which made things a bit cliched. And there were lots of cliches in this book and while they are things that normally bug the bejeesus out of me in this case they didn’t bother me as much and I don’t know why.
There was just something about Liv, Forever that sucked me into it and made it so I couldn’t stop reading. Perhaps if I’d taken more time on it I may have obsessed over its imperfections more but as it was I was able to just get lost in the story. The mystery was a bit predictable but I liked the language of this story. I liked how it was written and how Talkington chose to unfold her mystery. I also liked the little side stories about the other ghosts on Wickham Hall’s campus who remained trapped within its boundaries as Liv was.
Liv, Forever is paranormal light, even though Liv is a ghost for a portion of the novel. Partly because she never really feels like a ghost as the whole story is told from her POV. She’s a bit of a surface character and yet you do cheer her on and hope that somehow things will all work out for the best. Which is hard because once you are dead, you are dead so there is no real happily ever after to be had in this story. Despite that though there is hope to Liv’s journey and things don’t end on a sad note. While I did have issues with Liv, Forever I do think that it was a solid debut novel and will be looking forward to reading Amy Talkington’s next book.