Forever, Again by Victoria Laurie

Lily Bennet’s life is changing.  Her boyfriend just broke up with her for her best friend.  Her father just left her mother for his much younger (and pregnant) secretary causing Lily and her mother have moved to a new town to live in the guest house of her domineering grandmother.  She is in a new school without her familiar home or friends.  Then Lily starts to remember things.  Lily remembers things she shouldn’t remember.  She has dreams of a boy dying and remembers places she has never visit.  Plus, there is Cole, a boy she had never before met but somehow she knows.  Is it possible that Lily is somehow connected to Amanda Greeley, a girl who committed suicide in the late eighties after killing her boyfriend? The more Lily investigates her connection to the long dead girl the more she begins to believe that there is more to  Amanda’s death than the town and the authorities believe.  Can Lily find the truth behind the death of girl who has been gone for decades?

This is one of those books that sound like something I should love but it just left me disappointed.  The story has great potential.  It is a paranormal mystery with just a little romance which usually gets hooked.  But “Forever, Again” just didn’t work for me.  Laurie is trying so hard to write a believable YA novel that her characters come off as flat.  Lily is bland and unremarkable.  Her romance with Cole feels forced.  They are supposed to destined with the possibility of being soul mates so you would expect their chemistry to jump off the page, right?  Wrong, the chemistry was nonexistent with all of their interactions lacking any kind of sparks.  But their lack of sparks weren’t limited to their lukewarm romance. The characters themselves just didn’t quite work.  Their dialog felt dated as if this was a teen novel from decades ago not just a teen novel about a murder from decades ago.

However, a lack of character development can be forgiven if the mystery is great but, in this case, the mystery was severely lacking as well.  The plot is filled with twists and turns which should make for a great mystery except these turns seemed obvious.  There was no surprise ending.  It just kind of happened.  The entire story just kind of sat there until resolving at the last minute making for a very disappointing resolution.  Again, there is a great foundation for a mystery with doomed loved and scandal with coverup but Laurie seems to miss the mark making this book just okay.

If you’re set on finding a YA paranormal mystery I suggest you try Laurie’s other YA book “When” which was a much more entertaining and engaging.

Final Rating: 2.5 our of 5

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  

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