The Book of Ivy

The Book of Ivy

by Amy Engel


After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

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Book #1 in Series

A classical dystopian story with a spin-off, and simply as beautiful as the cover! ^_^

And not that the short-haired girl with the white dress and knife in hand is actually a truthful representation of Ivy, if I come to think about it, but the overall image still manages to fit the story perfectly.
I don’t know, maybe it is perfect by contradiction, or because it sets the right mood for the story, or simply because it shows just how many faces all characters seem to have in this story simply by being a bit deceitful.
Do I make any sense here or am I wasting my breath (as well as the tips of my fingers)?

Well, just take my word for it when I tell you that, as beautiful and intriguing the covers is, the story follows its lead.

Half of the book seemed to be predictable, I thought I’ve seen it all before, but that was not the case – and the ending actually came with a bang. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the predictable parts of it, because Ivy had a lovely voice and even though she was a bit naive, she had a great heart and I loved to find more about the world she lived in – as seen through her eyes.

wedding-shoesAlso, her relationship with Bishop, at the slow pace they managed to set, was lovely. He was patient and caring, and helped her when her fragile world came down crashing. They were slowly becoming friends, starting to trust each other and fall into each other’s arms. You are right, it is a bit of a cliché and I wished for more banter between the two of them, but they were still cute together. And I am left with wanting more.

Plot related, I am not sure if I buy the reasons for taking down the regime. I didn’t find anything wrong except for the forced marriages (which weren’t actually that forced in some cases). And it is not like I agree with them, people should make their own choices, but I also think there might be worse things in this world and I wanted the intrigue to be more solid. Then again, Ivy was naive so maybe I was taking it all down with a grain of salt, but she surely wasn’t.

On the other hand, I did like the whole drama behind these 2 families. I can’t wrap my head around all of it still, but I am all for drama that gets overshadowed by romance. Or at least in this case – and I am not even sure why that was, but it seemed to work.

I was sorry for Ivy, for everything she went through and the broken trust that left her feeling so alone. I felt for her decision, I know she was right to take that path, and I think that she is stronger than most characters in the same kind of books (and similar situations), because she took matters into her hands.. And I admire her for it.

A pretty great dystopian story that has a lot of potential for the sequel. Though the pacing was a slow, it was pretty short (or so it felt) and I was left with this feeling of longing, because I’ll have to wait more than a year for the next book to come out. And I need it now!

Happy midnight reading!

Early review: ARC received from the publisher for review. Thank you!
Expected publication: November 4th 2014 by Entangled: Teen

I have a question though maybe I’ll get my answer in the next book, why did Bishop get to choose?

Or maybe I missed the answer inside the story, if it was explained. I was just to eager to see how things would progress 😀

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6 responses to “The Book of Ivy”

  1. Monik says:

    This sounds great, I can’t wait for this book, as dystopia is my favorite genre since the Hunger Games 😀 and you are right about the cover . Thanks for sharing!

    • Ari says:

      Oh, that makes me scared. If you are a big fan of dystopian stories maybe you will see it in a different light, comparing it with all the others you’ve read so far ;)) I still hope that you will like it 😀

  2. Lis @ The reader lines says:

    Oh my God! this book sounds great! I had a review copy of this one but I couldn’t read it on time… and I didn’t know anything about it. *sigh* I’ll have to read it later!

    • Ari says:

      This is not really the typical dystopia, though it follows the classic formula. It reminded me a bit of “The Winner’s Curse” (which funny enough is up there, in the auto-recommendation) in terms of the overall feeling, though obviously I did enjoy it better. And I liked the last part very much, so I will be waiting for the next book 🙂 Hope that you will enjoy it too.

  3. Nadia Santos says:

    This is a great book, and I can’t wait for the next book. This is well developed, detailed, and very intriguing. Very unique. Ivy is a rare type of character: an open book and non-conceited. Amy Engel is great writer, she knows how to connect to her readers and has a very imaginative mind. Love the conspiracies, secrets, and the ending of this book. I will not say more in order to avoid spoilers. To those considering to buy this, you should.

    Top rated Alaskan Brown Bear Hunts brooks range

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