Book Review: THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Pages: 304

Released on: November 11th, 2014


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Goodreads 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…

My Review:

For starters, the cover is downright gorgeous. Applause for that beautiful cover.

Okay now back to the book review….

Holy caramel apples. This book was so deliciously good, and sweet, and nail-biting. I loved it.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good book that has made me invest so much that I actually start sobbing at the end. Sure there have been series books, such as In The Afterlight, or City of Heavenly Fire. But with those, I was already invested and those books were just a means to an end. But with The Book of Ivy, it was the biggest breath of fresh air and I wound up loving this book a lot more than I thought.

The plot was something I hadn’t read about in a dystopian novel and I was curious to see how this dystopian world dealt with arranged marriages, and then add in the twist that Ivy is supposed to kill her husband and – holy balls – I was hooked. I still had the question of what exactly caused the nuclear war in the US that apparently left it in ruins, but something tells me that will be explored more in book two. At least I hope!

I quickly fell for the main character of Ivy. She’s fiercely loyal to her family, but also conflicted about where her new alliances lie what with her marrying the enemy. But the way Engel writes Ivy, I don’t get frustrated with her indecisiveness over who she should trust, instead I’m just as conflicted as Ivy. As far as Bishop goes, my god he is too perf. He is gentlemanly and honest, and he just makes so much sense. That seems weird to say but that’s the best way I can put it! His character makes so much sense. He understands what’s wrong with the way his dad runs things, he knows the dangers of straddling lines between what’s right and what his duty is. Bishop just makes so much sense to me. And god, he is so sweet. Like sweet tooth, now I’ve got cavities kind of sweet. He’s an excellent compliment to Ivy’s character. Now back to Ivy for a hot second. So, there’s the extremely thin line between doing what is expected of her and what she feels is the right thing, and then add an extra line of what Ivy feels she must do in order to save both sides and Oi. She’s got a lot on her plate, that Ivy. But she handles it with such grace and just breAKS MY HEART WHEN SHE FINALLY MAKES A DECISION.

*Segway to ending*

That ending crushed me. As I said before, its been a while since I’ve been this invested in a new book, let alone crying over a book’s ending, yet there I was sobbing my eyes out because of the ending. It was so right and beautifully written and soul-crushing, and just the right thing for Ivy to do. Also, sidenote, Ivy’s sister is batshit crazy. But damn we gotta love her cause she’s family and she’s her sister. But gosh, Ivy’s reaction at the end was exactly what I was rooting for. Way to go, Ivy. As for her dad, *shakes head*. It hurt but at the same time, I was so proud of Ivy. Great ending.

That being said, I NEED BOOK TWO. OMG I NEED BOOK TWO. I’m not sure if this will be a series of more than two, but as of now, Goodreads has book two listed as the conclusion to Ivy’s story. If that’s the case…… I’m even more panicked for book two. November 2015 cannot come fast enough. Amy Engel, my hats off to you, dear. You’ve ensnared me and I am not even going to try and fight my way out.

Loved this book, loved the characters. A+



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