Book: Livvy (Choisie Series #4)
Author: Lori L. Otto
Released: 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.
When I reach the lobby, it’s not Finn that’s waiting for me. “James,” I say, recognizing Granna’s husband. I hadn’t seen him in months, and it wasn’t often that I spent any time with him socially. He traveled a lot, and wasn’t around very much. Granna’s independence helped make that marriage a success. I was starting to think that’s how Jon and I would have been, now that I’ve gotten some perspective. “Are you here to see me?”
“I am,” he says kindly. “First of all, happy birthday.”
“Thanks. Um, did you want to come up?”
It would be awkward to have him in the loft, but it was Donna’s before she left it to me. Maybe he heard about the renovations.
“No, I just needed to bring you this.”
He hands me an envelope. The stationery is soft, and feels more like fabric than paper. I recognize Donna’s handwriting immediately. Olivia Sophia Holland. Personal and confidential.
“This was part of her will, Livvy. She asked that I hand-deliver it to you on your eighteenth birthday.” It still surprises me how meticulously she had made her will, as if she knew she wouldn’t be around. My mother had reminded me that Granna had learned early on that life was brief, and could be over any day with no warning.
“Do you know what it is?”
“A card, I guess,” he says. “But she requested that you be alone when you read it.”
I look at him curiously. “That’s an odd request, isn’t it?”
“I thought the same thing. But I don’t question her.”
“Of course not,” I say with a wistful smile. “I still miss her every day.”
“I do, too. She loved you so much.”
“She loved you, too,” I tell him. He nods, looking sad. “Thank you for bringing this by. I can’t wait to read it.”
“Have a good birthday, Livvy. It’s good to see you.”
We hug one another before he turns to leave the building.
“That was a surprise,” Francisco says.
“Yeah. Hey, I was actually expecting someone else, so–”
“You don’t have to come down every time, you know? We have a master key that takes us to your floor. I can accompany someone up, if you’d like.”
“That would be great. Thank you. I guess I’ve got some reading to do.” I untuck the flap as I get back on
the elevator. When it doesn’t respond to the press of the H button, I remember to insert my key.
The note is handwritten, and dated a month before Granna died.
“My dearest Livvy,
“I’ve struggled with how to best deliver this news to you. I’d thought about telling you in person, but
ultimately I decided this is a private matter that you and you alone should face.”
When she wrote this, she had no way of knowing she’d be gone a month later.
“I have not told your parents, and I don’t want to play a part in your decision unless you specifically ask me to.”
Livvy is the emotional and heartwarming conclusion to the Choisie Series.
Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you were left unable to articulate? That is how I feel about these characters and this story. My words won’t do justice to describe the amount of love I carry in my heart for this series. It would be like trying to count the stars in the sky – simply immeasurable.
Reflecting upon the journey brings a smile to my face.
Livvy has become a confident and mature young woman, a far cry from the sometimes petulant and bratty teenager we saw early on in this series. While there is still a gaping hole in her heart left in Jon’s absence, she makes a concerted effort to move forward with her life and seek happiness once again. Her time at Yale provides her a much needed distraction from missing Jon and an opportunity to spread her wings. Livvy has endured, accomplished and overcome so much in the years that have spanned between Contessa and Livvy. I watched a young girl become a woman and I feel a sense of pride in a motherly sort of way. But I also watched a friend grow up, become an accomplished artist, fall in love and pave her own way.
Jon is the same confident young man and wise beyond his years. He is still madly in love with Livvy, but recognizes that she needs to find herself. So Jon keeps his distance to give Livvy her space, using school and work to distract him from the longing to be with the one person who both inspires and challenges him. While I was frustrated with Jon at times throughout the journey, I know his heart was always in the right place. He has matured into a charming man that is driven to be successful in both life and love.
As I sit here days after finishing Livvy, my heart is full and yet I am sad for the journey to end. This book is the perfect conclusion to Livvy and Jon’s love story and the chance to experience first love again has been full of memorable moments and extraordinary characters. I will cherish my time with Livvy and Jon and am looking forward to where Lori takes us next.
Patricia’s Review of Contessa & Olivia HERE
Patricia’s Review of Dear Jon HERE
The Choisie series is a Young Adult/New Adult story following a teenage girl as she struggles to find her footing under the scrutiny of local media and the cautious eye of her overprotective father.
Livvy Holland was adopted by a generous and wealthy couple as a child. Now sixteen, she is a burgeoning artist, encouraged by her mother and inspired by a man she was never able to meet. Feeling estranged from a loving father whose mind works much differently than her own, she questions whether or not she was paired with the right guardians. In her plight for independence, she reconnects with a fellow art student who grew up alongside Livvy.
Jon Scott has led anything but a privileged life. After his father passes away, he is left to care for his two half-brothers while his mother’s alcoholism threatens to tear his family apart. All he wants for himself and his brothers is a better life. His dreams for an Ivy League education are coming to fruition, thanks to a lifetime of hard work and ambition. This is not only important to Jon himself; he also knows that the man who will win Livvy’s heart has to be someone exceptional. Her father would accept nothing less–and Jon believes that Livvy deserves the best of everything, too.
That may be the only thing Jon and Livvy’s father agree upon.
Over the course of their courtship, these two teens will experience the bliss of true love, but their immaturity and differing lifestyles will also threaten to tear them apart. They both begin to question the other’s devotion and commitment; only time will tell if their first love is meant to last a lifetime.
This series, comprised in totality of four books, allows the reader to experience first love for a second time. The first three books–Contessa, Olivia, and Dear Jon–are available now, with the fourth book–Livvy–slated to be released December 9!
After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Lori Otto worked in the billboard industry for ten years. Frustrated with trying to communicate entire messages in “seven seconds or less,” she decided to leave outdoor advertising and return to her love of creative writing.