Book Reviews

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

*Originally posted on Southern Bred, Southern Read Blog on 12/01/14*

After just finishing an incredibly romantic and heart wrenching book, I wanted to read something with a little more action. I picked Book of Ivy out of my stack because the back synopsis sounded intriguing and like it would be a good book hangover remedy. Who doesn’t love a good book about a girl trying to assassinate the President’s son an try to take over the government, right?

Ivy lives in a dystopian world where the country that we knew was destroyed by nuclear war in 2025. Ivy’s grandfather along with another guy tried to make a new civilization with a small ground of survivors. With their community of less than ten thousand, the two guys went to battle with each other over how to govern their new “country.” In the end, the other guy, Mr. Lattimore won out. Now two decades later, his son is the ruling President Lattimore and Ivy’s dad holds the title of “Founder” that was given to his dad after they lost the battle and finally made piece. Ivy’s dad and President Lattimore hate each other because Pres had Ivy’s mom killed when she was very young, and Ivy’s dad also hates the way the government is being ran. Because of the struggling mortality rates, having kids is a big thing. The government implements arranged marriages starting at 16 in hopes of having babies early. Now it is Ivy’s turn to get married, and as tradition would have it, she is destined to marry the President’s son, Bishop. She has known this all along and has been trained by her family to kill Bishop so they can get the ball rolling on taking the government over.

There is no insta-love or love triangles in this book. Ivy doesn’t want to even like Bishop from the get go because she knows that eventually she is going to have to kill him. Bishop respects her space and generally seems to be a nice guy, despite who his father is. Eventually Ivy warms up to him, but it takes the better part of the book. Maybe I’m just used to insta-love in YA books, but the NOmance for most of this book was sort of a snooze fest for me. I get them not having love at first sight, but I really wanted her to open her eyes to what was really going on sooner and let Bishop in sooner.

As any good plot twist would have it, things aren’t what they seem in the world of YA dystopia. Ivy uncovers that everyone has secrets and she has been lied to or mislead for a long time. Now she has to make up her own mind and decide for herself who is the lesser evil. She also has to decide if she will betray her family or will she betray Bishop?

Overall, I really liked the book. Like I said above, the NOmance made it drag a little bit and had me wanting more, but despite that I still finished the whole book in an afternoon. It has a lot of action and good twists. Some predictable, some not so predictable. The book reminded me a lot of Delirium by Lauren Oliver (but By the Angel, if this book series ends like that one, I will blow up the world), but it also reminded me some of The Maze Runner and The Forrest of Hands and Teeth because of the fence that is surrounding the town to keep everyone away from whatever lies beyond the fence. It reminds me a little (and very, very little considering how awful The Forrest of Hands and Teeth was) of TFoHaT because of Bishop’s longing to see the ocean. It’s bittersweet.

The book left in a good place, and I am really excited to read the next one. It sucks that the sequel won’t be out until November of next year, but I am definitely adding it to my calendar so I don’t forget. This is definitely a book you’ll want to check out.

4/5 stars



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s