Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Summary:

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…


NOTE: I received the eARC directly by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

When I picked up The Book Of Ivy, I hoped that it would be good. However, I was in no way prepared for the actual blast of it. The Book Of Ivy is an incredible read that talks about the values of society and family; the importance of love and trust; of the sick ambitions of the few who disregard everyone and everything who dares get in their way to power.

Writing style:
Clean and engaging, this story is told from Ivy's 1st person POV. it captures the attention and doesn't let go days after turning the last page.

Story line:
In a not so distant future, after a war takes care of the world as we know it, a community of people form a city with strict rules. People have no real choice in what they do, who they marry or even when they marry. Everyone is expected to follow the law, no questions asked, for the greater good. Just like sheep with no brains. Most of the citizens do exactly that, but some plan a rebellion, while others just want to do the right thing.

Themes:
- Humanity - or what's left of it
- Thinking about the community or following the leader blindly
- Selfish thirst for power
- Survival
- Building love and trust
- Sacrifice

Characters:

Ivy is in no way an ordinary girl. Being the daughter of a powerless (and power hungry) leader, she's been brainwashed for years in the righteousness of a cause she knows very little about. What I really liked about Ivy was that once she was out of the poisonous clutches of her father and sister, she became open-minded and decided to use her own brains and become her own person. Not without a price, of course. Her decision in the end, both stunned me and had me cheering. It showed I was right about her all along and that Ivy was a strong, spirited character who knew well what was black and what white.

Bishop, Ivy's target, and husband, was such a nice guy from the very beginning. Put in a situation he had no way out of, he tried to make the best he could do and win the heart of the girl who ruled his own. Bishop, despite initial appearance of being a part of the flock, had his own opinions, dreams and view of the world. He didn't openly criticize the authorities (a.k.a. his father), but he did whatever he could to help those wrongly accused and 'put out'. He was patient with Ivy, eager to learn from her and help her adjust in their new life. An adorable and loveable character.

Victoria, the woman who took Ivy as assistant in the court, was a strong, spirited woman with her heart in the right place.

Ivy's father and sister I don't even want to talk about. They were so incredibly selfish, I just wanted to strangle them. It is awful though, what a person is ready to do in order to get up the ladder.

In conclusion:
Do not miss out on this fabulous novel. For fans of Matched, Divergent, The Maze Runner, and other dystopian YA novels.  


My rating is: