Review: Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

never ending

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

Shiv is unable to live with her brother Declan’s death, particularly her own role in it.  So she is sent to the Korsakoff Clinic where she hopes to be cured and be able to continue her life.  Unable to see past her own guilt and loss, Shiv finds herself in an unusual clinic where she is first forced to focus on her brother and then forced to look directly at his death without turning away.  She is joined in the clinic by several other teens who all lost people in different ways but all feel as responsible and guilty as Shiv does.  As they are forced to see the truth of their loss, all of them react in different ways.  When hope is highest though, the ground falls out below Shiv and she must figure out that saving someone else may be the answer to saving herself.

Bedford has created a very compelling read.  He slowly reveals Shiv’s life before Declan’s death.  Along the way, readers get to know Shiv and Declan and their warm and loving parents.  They see directly what grief and loss do to people and the way their relationships are torn asunder.  They also see how hard it is to return to life after such a loss.  Bedford maintains a large level of complexity throughout the novel, moving into flashbacks and also showing Declan as a human rather than a lost angel.  The relationship between the siblings is good until a gorgeous young man enters their lives and creates waves for both of them.

As the flashbacks to Declan’s final days continue, the tension in the book mounts.  The pressure is also building in Shiv’s recovery as she starts to recover and then suffers setbacks.  There are no easy answers here.  Declan’s life as well as Shiv’s are complex.  The therapy she undergoes is unusual but it is up to Shiv to really do the work of recovery. 

Beautifully written and structured, this novel of recovery, pain and guilt weaves a mesmerizing web for the reader who is never quite sure how things are going to end.  Appropriate for ages 15-17.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


Battle Over Purim Children’s Book With Two Dads – Forward Thinking #glbtq #kidlit

Children’s author reaps rewards for two books #kidlit

David Walliams first book, The Boy in the Dress, to be made into BBC film for Christmas! #kidlit #glbtq

Fighting Gender Stereotypes in Kids’ Publishing #kidlit

Five questions for Lois Ehlert – The Horn Book #kidlit

An Interview with Neal Porter – The Horn Book #kidlit

Lives lived large – The Horn Book #kidlit

New Judith Kerr picture book to HCCB | The Bookseller #kidlit

Piet Grobler’s top 10 multicultural books | Children’s books #kidlit

Read E.B. White’s poignant explanation for writing Charlotte’s Web #kidlit

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Wendell Minor #kidlit

Things that stop and go – The Horn Book #kidlit

What Makes a Good Book Cover? – The Horn Book #kidlit


The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix | Wired Business #ebooks


Library’s ‘shelfies’ put witty twist on social media photos – News – Ohio #libraries

Malorie Blackman: Why are libraries mandatory in prisons but not schools? – Telegraph #libraries

Movers & Shakers 2014 #libraries

Nutter apologizes for ‘worst decision’: Cutting library funds #libraries

S.F. library proposes new code of conduct with penalties – SFGate #libraries

Think We No Longer Need Libraries? Think Again. | LinkedIn #libraries

What Matters to Academic-Library Directors? Information Literacy – Chronicle of Higher Education #libraries


35 Things You Should Never Say to a Book Lover

Levels of key brain chemicals predict children’s reading ability #reading


The 25 Best Tumblr Accounts for Book Nerds

Inventor of the Web Is Right: We Need an Internet Bill of Rights | Wired Enterprise #internet

Web firms face a strict new set of privacy rules in Europe — here’s what to expect — Tech News and Analysis #privacy

The end of Mockingjay.


Dystopian Thrillers: The Rare Hollywood Genre Where Women Rule | Underwire #yalit

Quickfire interview: Sally Green | Children’s books #yalit

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers to Release Two Transgender Teen Memoirs – GalleyCat #glbtq #yalit

Using the wisdom of crowds to pick the next teen romance bestseller #yalit

Young-adult author Kirstin Cronn-Mills homes in on transgender experience #glbtq #trans #yalit