Rating:

18077961Reviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I don’t read too many ghost stories, mostly because my husband sometimes works nights. When I’m alone at home, no doubt my overactive imagination will start creating noises and shadows that aren’t really there. But the thing that made me want to read Liv, Forever, is that it is told from the point of view of the ghost. This makes the story inherently less scary.

As a matter of fact, Liv, Forever is more a love story than a ghost story. Our main character is Liv Bloom, who’s been sent to the prestigious Wickham Hall boarding school as one of its’ few scholarship students. Liv has been bounced from foster home to foster home during her sixteen years, and although the school and the students are rather intimidating, she’s happy to find a place she can call home.

Until one tragic night only a few weeks into the school year, Liv is violently murdered. To her surprise, though, she finds she is still walking around the Wickham campus. She’s a ghost–and it will be up to her friends to find out the truth about what happened to her. But who will listen to Gabe–another scholarship student who’s a loner that everyone thinks is crazy because he sees and hears things that no one else can, and Malcolm–the golden boy who fell quickly and inexplicably in love with Liv before her death?

Let me go ahead and get my main problem with this book out of the way. Liv and Malcolm only had about six weeks together before she was murdered. So was it insta-love? Yes and no. I did find it annoying that Malcolm and Liv had that cliche “locked eyes from across the room” moment, but I didn’t really find that they were boyfriend and girlfriend as much as two teenagers just hanging out, flirting and getting to know each other. Yes, they had strong feelings for one another, but they didn’t get to act on them before Liv died. They are very sweet together, and this is what made the novel so heartbreaking for me.

Though the story does contain a great deal of romance, you never forget that there is a mystery to solve. As it turns out, Wickham Hall has a grisly history and a disturbing body count. When Gabe and Malcolm get closer to the truth, they both find their lives in danger. So you can rest assured that even if you’re looking for ghosts, they are definitely the center of this book.

The climax took a dark turn, and I think that’s why Liv, Forever will appeal to readers of different genres. I, for one, found myself both shocked, angered, and in tears over what happens in the last couple of chapters. I absolutely recommend this book to both lovers of romantic tales and the paranormal.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Soho Teen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.