ARC Review: The Book of Ivy
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Format: eARC from Entangled. Thanks again, Entangled!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Part of a series: Yes! This is the first in The Book of Ivy series.
"I don't think there's anything that can't be changed, if people want it badly enough."
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 return 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…
OMG. This book is awesome, and there were so few things I disliked about it, so let's get that out of the way. One thing that was kind of eh for me was the fact that I initially felt it was really similar to the Delirium series. The 'not getting to choose who you marry' thing was kind of like the 'being cured and matched and married off' thing in Delirium, and the beyond the fence world was like the Wilds of Delirium. But those are minor things, and they did not in any way keep me from loving The Book of Ivy. And when I say loving I mean loving.
The plot was intriguing, and it flowed really well. It also kept you guessing constantly. You don't know what Ivy's going to do or what she's going to choose. Does she want to stay loyal to her family, or will she do what she thinks is right? I DIDN'T KNOW. It was great. There was also a lovely absence of insta-love which I very much appreciated.
"Because everyone needs someone to put their faith in," Bishop says. "Life's too lonely otherwise. And I'm putting mine in you."
And then you have Ivy who is everything a good heroine should be. Kick-butt, fierce, and a follower of herself. No following of social norms for this girl. If she wasn't comfortable with it or if she didn't approve, she would speak out. She knew what was important to her and what she wanted to happen, and she made it happen. But she wasn't uppity about it, she lived her life and made her decisions in a way that made me like her. I feel like she'd be a friend I would be lucky to have. As much as I admire Ivy, I love Bishop more.
That really shouldn't come as a surprise, though. I like my book boys swoon-worthy, and Bishop definitely fits the bill. Like, no doubt about it, Bishop is amazing. He's outdoors a lot, so he's nice and tan and the perfect amount of muscley with clear, green eyes. And that's not all, guys. Nope, Bishop's attractiveness does not end with his physical features. He also happens to be sweet and kind with a little bit of fierce (he and Ivy have that in common) and respectful tossed in there, too. An odd mix, maybe, but it works so perfectly with him. He's afraid of not being what his parents want him to, but that doesn't stop him from trying to do right by other people or caring for Ivy. I feel like this quote perfectly sums up everything I love about him:
"And who do you want to turn into?" "Someone honest. Someone who tries to do the right thing. Someone who follows his own heart, even if it disappoints people. Someone brave enough to be all those things."
*sighs* Bishop is wonderful. The whole book is wonderful, actually. But be prepared for the cliffhanger because the next book doesn't come out until November of next year! I cry. You should still read it, though, and we'll start an Internet support group when you finish, how about that?
The Book of Ivy comes out Tuesday. Get yourself a copy now! :)