March 12, 2014

[Blog Tour] Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington @soho_teen @amytalkington

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Welcome to my stop of the Liv, Forever Blog Tour. Today I have my review of the book and a guest post especially for all you wonderful readers out there.

Title: Liv, Forever
Author: Amy Talkington
Publisher: Soho Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Horror
Release Date: March 11th 2014
Source: From publisher for review
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.

Liv, Forever is a great book from start to finish. I immediately dived right into this and didn’t want to put it down. The characters and the story make this such an awesomely intense read that anyone is sure to love this one.

Talkingon has a way of bringing this story to life. A lot of books I can read and picture in my head everything that is going on from the characters to what is happening, but with Liv, Forever, I felt like I was sitting on my couch in the dark watching a really intense movie filled with horror and romance.

Olivia (Liv) Bloom is your typical foster child. She doesn’t feel loved where ever she goes and has something to fall back on, her art. She attends an upper class school in the Boston area only to be left out and unwelcome by most of the students. All she cares about is her art, however. She didn’t realize that she would fall in love and make a friend. She also didn’t realize that her life would change forever.

Liv is a very determined individual. When she sets out to accomplish something, she is determined to follow it through to the end, even if it kills her. She is not the selfish type as most heroines are in stories. She wants what is best for everyone, even if it means leaving the ones she loves.

Malcolm and Gabe are two very different people. Malcolm is popular and rich, a school prefect, and part of a secret society brought down through the generations. When he takes a notice with the new girl, he gets the attention of all his peers. But that doesn’t bother him.

Gabe is everything that Malcolm is not. He keeps to himself, has long hair and is considered a "freak". He has a very special gift. He can see and hear ghosts. Although he doesn’t want his gift, he considers it a burden. Yet it proves to be handy later in the book.

The story is a truly amazing read. It has a little suspense mixed with horror. You get to see ghosts from different eras and hear their stories of their last day before they died. You also get to see them all come together for the purpose of revealing who killed them and bringing those people to justice. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves horror, romance, paranormal, and justice. This book is simply amazing!!


Guest Post

Liv, Forever is set in a boarding school and I went to boarding school so people keep asking me if my boarding school experience was anything like Liv’s. No! It wasn’t. My boarding school (Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut) is a diverse and inspiring place. Choate is where I first started to love learning (and painting! and writing!) and where I made many lifelong friends (including my editor Daniel Ehrenhaft!). So, no, Choate was nothing like Wickham. However, there are little moments from my time at boarding school that inspired certain moments in the book and, just for fun, I thought I’d share a few.

Scene From the Book (page 69-70)

After spending a romantic day together, Liv and Macolm go to the Art Center. At one point, they lie down next to each other on the floor and look up at the ceiling. The ceiling is glass (and it’s nighttime) so it reflects the two of them, but in a ghosty, transparent way so they can actually see the stars through their reflections.

Scene From My Life:

I had a crush on a guy and we were working together in the Art Center at night (that is the one similarity between Wickham and Choate, btw, an amazing, modern Art Center). I looked up and saw us reflected in the glass ceiling and took a picture. Here it is:
One of the reasons I wanted to work that scene into the book is because I liked Liv seeing herself as transparent (foreshadowing!) and the imagery plays well into the “Bright Star” theme later. But also I just remember how romantic that moment felt to me, being alone with a crush in the Art Center late at night. I let those emotional memories fuel the scene and it emerged as one of the most romantic scenes in the book.

Scene From The Book (page 51):

Lydia secretly holds hands with a guy under a blanket on a chilly night.

Scene From My Life:

I was hanging out with a bunch of friends (including a crush, a different one!), outside at night. It was chilly so we had a blanket draped over ourselves. And while we all chatted away, my crush’s hand silently found mine. It was electric because it was our secret. We were proclaiming our attraction to each other right there in front of all our friends without them even knowing it.

Why did I use this moment? I needed a powerful reason to get Lydia—an angry, self-proclaimed “freak”—to sneak out of the dorm to meet this preppy guy later. I thought this was a compelling (and clandestine) motivation. I mean if my crush had asked me to sneak out on that night. I definitely would have (and I was on Final Warning!).

Scene From The Book (page 129-130):

Brit recounts a dark and horrible tale of harassment. While she’s taking a shower, her “friends” take her towel away, lock her room, and turn off the power so she’s forced to go outside, naked and wet, where they’re all waiting for her, laughing at her.

Scene From My Life:

I’m sad to say that scene is loosely inspired by a prank I was part of while at boarding school. Some friends and I thought it’d be funny to take our friend’s towel while she was in the dorm shower so she’d have to run to her room naked. We all thought it was funny and harmless… until we saw her face. She was so humiliated and sad and disappointed. She actually even looked scared. It was one of the crappiest feelings I’ve ever had in my life. Thank god she forgave us (she was maid of honor at my wedding!) but that awful moment stuck with me all these years and I used it as a starting point for the cruel prank the “Wickies” play on Brit that leads to her suicide.

So, what’s the lesson here? No lesson. I just thought it might be interesting to share these stories and show how tiny moments from my high school days worked their way into the fiction of Liv, Forever.


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.

Find Amy: Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Goodreads
Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.


amytalkington said...

erin, thank you for this incredible and thoughtful review. and thank you for indulging my post about some "real life" moments that inspired scenes in the book. it was a blast to write!

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