Published by Soho Press on 2014-03-11
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.From the Hardcover edition.
~ The book opens with a farmer’s daughter away at a private school. She’s killed by an unseen person whilst waiting for an admirer under a willow tree. This is the way I like my books to start! It had the flavor of an urban legend to it.
~ The first chapter to feature Liv starts with her on her way to Wickham, which she’s attending on scholarship. I’m a little confused as to how she end up at Wickham- did she apply? Did they pick her out of oblivion? It doesn’t really matter though, because there is few things I love more than private school YA books- through in ghosts, murder and mystery and I am one happy midnight girl.
~ Liv is from Las Vegas, where she lives with her adoptive foster parents. I would have liked to see some of that relationship, but it’s not delved into too deeply. She’s not too big on emotions like love.
~ Wickham, like all good private boarding schools, is on the East Coast in New Hampshire. The students are called Wickies. Love it!
~ The school has catacombs. And did I mention the ghosts? Gabe’s like that kid from Sixth Sense all grown up.
~Wickham Hall is celebrating it’s sesquicentennial (which is it’s century and a half anniversary). Which is celebrates on the Fall Festival, so you’ve got a prep school, New England, ghosts, murder and it’s the Fall. Through in a cute, supernaturally smart dog and this could be my ultimate book fantasy- sadly, there is no dog, ghost or otherwise.
~ Liv makes these amazing collages that I can practically see because Talkington does a great job bringing them to life. I would love to own a copy of this book with illustrations- that would be an awesome idea. Hint, hint.
~ I love the cover, but it doesn’t quite fit the book. Liv likes to draw pictures of herself floating, so in that way the book cover perfectly matches- but her hair is not snow white. Still, love this cover and it does capture the spirit (hahaha) of the book.
~ Malcolm and Liv aren’t insta-love, but they are insta-swoon. Liv holds out longer than I would have, and at least she and Malcolm have some things in common. Also, Liv crushes on Malcolm, but doesn’t rearrange her whole life or schedule to stalk him. In fact, she skips lunch, the one place she’s most likely to see him, to work on her art. You go, girl!
~ The school has a cemetery! I am currently looking online for an application to Wickham Hall. Think anyone will buy that I’m under 18?
~ Seriously, Liv mentions so many works of art that I feel like this book should have pictures. If anything, it’ll give you a little Art History 101.
~ Abigail, who of course has her eyes on Malcolm, tries to scare/set up our girl Liv, but Liv is not some weepy ass girly girl type. Which I love.
~ Because they’re scholarship kids, Gabe and Liv have to do work study, and while I was afraid that this was going to become a typical YA love triangle (someone, okay-me, did not read the back of the book thoroughly), but it’s not. Again, love that.
~ One aspect of the book that I liked quite a lot was that Liv’s story was interspersed with stories of the girls who died before her at Wickham Hall. I really am a sucker for ghost stories.
~ The mystery behind the deaths, and the history of Wallace and Minerva Wickham, was definitely my favorite part of the story. Their love, their vision of what the school should be was wonderful.
~ I got a little frustrated at times because I feel like Liv wasted a lot of time, or took took long to figure certain things out. Especially because I felt that is was pretty obvious by half way through the book who the killer was.
~ It may have been brief, but I loved the romance between Malcolm and Liv. Especially when he recited the William Keats poem with the words “live forever”. You are so adorable, Malcolm, even though I am suspicious of you (it’s that kind of book where at one point you are suspicious of everyone).
~ Even though the book kind of skimmed over Liv and her parents, I was glad that she got to see how much they loved and wanted her.
~ And the book has a secret society!! You know that can’t mean good things!
~ Hmm, the ending could lead to a sequel, but this works as a standalone.
Liv Bloom- our wonderfully named heroine.
Malcom Astor- He’s the Andrew McCarthy to Liv’s Molly Ringwald. Only a little more tougher.
Gabe Nichols- another scholarship student. Gabe’s like that kid from Sixth Sense all grown up.
Abigail Steers- gorgeous mean girl, so evil she just has to be a red herring. So of course she’s the prefect for Liv’s dorm.
Kent Steers- Abigail’s twin, friend of Malcolm, he’s totally the James Spader.
Headmaster Thorton- in charge of Wickham Hall.
Mrs. Drawz- dour dorm mistress. Love her last name!
Ms. Benson- Liv’s art teacher- a character I would have liked to see more of!
A shiz ton of ghosts- I could list them all, but there might not be enough ink on the internet. I kid!
Without a doubt it was the playlist that Malcolm makes for Liv, and the walking tour set to music that he takes her on. Oh, yeah, and the drawing art on each other’s bodies. That was hot.
Stop the Clock:
This is not a perfect book, but I love ghost stories so this worked for me. It could have honestly been a little longer to flesh the characters out more, but I enjoyed it and for those of you who love ghost stories or private school books, this one is definitely worth a read!
Amy Talkington— Website |Amy Talkington
Liv, Forever gets a Midnight Book rating of: