Thursday, October 23, 2014

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 ... (From Goodreads)


The Book of Ivy is written by Amy Engel and is published by Entangled Teen. It will be published on November 11, 2014 and is 315 pages.

THE FAERYS VIEW


The Book of Ivy is a thought provoking dystopian novel set in a future world that has been decimated by nuclear war, EMP’s, and disease. The story is told by 16 year old Ivy Westfall, a second generation survivor whose grandfather was the founder of the nation, named Westfall, that they now live in. 

Ivy Westfall’s grandfather was overthrown by Bishop Lattimer’s grandfather. Since that time, those that followed the losing side live in Westside and those that followed the winning side live in Eastglen. Yep, this is a sore subject for those that must live in Westside. Oh, the differences aren’t that noticeable but they are there. Just enough to let the people of Westside know their place but in a very subtle way. There is no intermingling of the two sides or of the same side, for that matter, to deter any false hopes of a relationship or friendship that could never be.

There is a yearly tradition in Westfall, it is called Marriage Day. This when the 16 year old boys of Eastglen marry the 16 year old girls of Westside. It’s done for a number of reasons but the biggest is to keep the peace. It’s a way of intermingling the groups to make it harder to have an uprising. If your daughter or grandchildren are on the other side, it’s harder to bring war on them. Some are opposed to the practice and Ivy is one of these people. On her marriage day, Ivy’s forced to marry Bishop Lattimer but what the Lattimers don’t know is that Ivy’s father and sister have a plan. They want Ivy to kill Bishop so they can over-throw his father, the president.

What follows is poignant, heartbreaking and intensely compelling. What I thought would be an action packed read actually pulled me into self-debate over some of the practices that went on in Westfall. I was initially ready to take a certain side but the side I actually took was a bit surprising to me. There are some deep issues at hand in this novel, issues that made me question my own sense of justice, morality, and loyalty. Ms. Engel created a world that drew me in for many reasons but it also challenged many of my beliefs. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this and was pleasantly surprised!

I love the realness of the characters, their insecurities made them all the more attractive and allowed a tangible relationship to grow, one that was achingly real and heartfelt. The world that Ivy and Bishop live in appears controlled and safe on the outside but it is soon apparent that this is just barely so. Ms. Engel creates an underlying tension that keeps the pages turning and left me wanting more.

The ending cliff hanger is intense and I cannot wait for the next in the series! Ms. Engel is an author to watch for, as is Ivy and Bishops story.
I so highly recommend this novel! 4.5 Faery wings! Minus .5 for leaving me with a serious cliff hanger nail-biting habit!
This ARC was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

10 comments:

  1. This sounds really promising. I love it when books change your mind. I'll have to check it out!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. For sure, Kate. I really wasn't expecting it. I was expecting more of a 'light' read. Not something that would challenge my belief system or any pre-conceived notions that I already had based upon the synopsis.
      I hope you get a chance to read it!

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  2. This was my WoW a few weeks ago, I'm so excited that you enjoyed this one!

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    1. I did, Amber! I hope you get a chance to read it. I think you'll enjoy this one!

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  3. This book has had so much hype that I've been a little hesitant to read it but I love your review and it seems like the hype is deserved. I love books that make you question and think.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. It really did, Karen. I sort of had my mind made up going in based on the synopsis but the plot is incredibly thought provoking, in a way that I wasn't expecting. It certainly did make me think, and like you, I love books that make me think and question!

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  4. Hmm. Glad you enjoyed it. I've only read one Entangled Teen book and really enjoyed it. But a few of them that I've seen sound really good. :)

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    1. It was really good, I'm looking forward to the next one!

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  5. It's the first time I see this one but I confess that I'm curious. I want to know what will happen to Ivy and how the boy really is. Plus it's been a while since I've read a dystopia book. I need a good one! great review!

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    1. Such a surprising book! I'm a fan of dystopia but I got away from it for awhile!

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