Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: Livvy

Title Livvy

Series Choisie, book 4

Author Lori L. Otto

Release Date December 9, 2014

In her first year of college at Yale, challenging courses and new friends provide a much-needed distraction for Livvy Holland. Beyond the tears–for the most part– she won’t allow the lingering anger she harbors toward her ex-boyfriend to consume her.

Even after taking steps to conceal her identity, Livvy is still very recognizable and popular among her new classmates. She takes advantage of her situation and accepts dates with multiple guys, trying to piece together an image of ‘her type of guy’ that differs from all the good qualities Jon Scott once possessed.

An unexpected letter arrives on Livvy’s 18th birthday, shifting her focus and forcing her to reevaluate all the relationships in her life. She now knows the identity of her biological father, and struggles to make sense of the news alone. Fortunately, she won’t have to.

Just as Livvy’s life begins to normalize, one of her professors provides her with the creative opportunity of a lifetime. Trusting in the bonds she’s made with everyone she loves, she believes she can have everything she wants and makes the decision that allows her to be true to herself.

She was chosen for a reason. Chosen to be a gifted artist that–with a few strokes of a paintbrush–could touch people emotionally; profoundly. Chosen by her parents so they had a place to share their boundless love and devotion. Chosen by her friend so he could return the encouragement, inspiration and affection she’d shown him for so many years.

Livvy Holland will never again take her position in life for granted. She wears the name with humility and respect. She is Choisie.

This review may contain unmarked spoilers for previous books in the series.

Livvy was the perfect conclusion to the Choisie series. From first love to heartbreak and breakup to everlasting love and happiness, it's been the ride of a lifetime for Livvy and Jon.

As evident in my other reviews, I haven't always been fans of Livvy or Jon. And I certainly wasn't a fan of Livvy *and* Jon together. It wasn't so much that I just didn't want them to work out and live happily ever after. It was always that I didn't think they were good for one another. In many ways, I felt like instead of Jon helping Livvy to grow and mature, he was overbearing and smothering her. And I believe that Livvy relied too heavily on Jon and wasn't the independent girl her parents raised her to be. So instead of lifting each other up, they were keeping each other down. I never thought any of it was intentional, but it was merely a product of young teenage love. However, the big turning point in all of it, was the summer they spent away from one another in Dear Jon. While one of his reasons for staying away from Livvy was to hurt her (and it did), I also believe Jon was acutely aware of the situation in a way that Livvy wasn't yet. I believe he was able to see the ways he was preventing her from maturing and growing as well as the ways she relied on him that might not have been very healthy. The summer provided, in my opinion, what they truly needed in order for their relationship to grow and flourish as adults. Livvy gained her independence and learned that while she had this relationship and love for Jon, she didn't need it to survive. Jon gained an understanding that space and separation were essential for a healthy and happy relationship.

In Livvy, we see these realizations come light. We see, fully, how Livvy and Jon have grown separately as well as together. In this book, I truly believe that we're seeing the happy and healthy relationship that these two really deserve and have been working towards throughout the entire series. And while I may not have always been a fan of Livvy and Jon, at the end of this series, I can absolutely say I love them and wish them nothing but the best! It's been wonderful to see them grow and mature. (And good lord, I sound so old right now!) Oh, and I don't want to forget, I absolutely love that the last chapter was told from a different point of view than the rest of the book (no spoilers!). It was the cherry on top of a perfect book.

The Choisie series is the spin-off of the Emi Lost and Found series. Starting with the young adult book Contessa, it moves to mature young adult with Olivia and Dear Jon, and ends with new adult Livvy. While you can start with this series, I find (as do others and is recommended) that it's best to start with the Emi Lost and Found series. You'll get the full enjoyment out of the Choisie series that way and, besides, Emi Lost and Found is a fantastic series all on its own.


5 out of 5 stars

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