The Book of Ivy

The Book of Ivy - Amy Engel This book is worth all the fuss that I made over it. It is as good as I imagined and better in a few ways. The Book of Ivy is YA dystopia, with a heroine that I think a lot of girls would relate to. Ivy is no superhero with secret powers. She is just a regular girl in a situation where she has to be the hero in order to save a life.

Ivy is a in a bad place. A product of her environment and a victim all the same. A nuclear war has left the survivors to fight for control. The Westfalls founded the city but then lost control to the Lattimers. Ivy Westfall is forced into an arranged marriage at 16. Born of the founding father’s family, she is to marry the president’s son. All the girls from the Westfall side (the losing side) marry the boys on the Lattimer side (the winning side). This and other policies have upset enough people that the founders decide to try to get the power back. They are willing to make Ivy their puppet to get the ball rolling for a revolution. Her family is scheming for control. Just kill Bishop, her new husband, and then they can start the takeover. But, what if the president is right and the founders are on the wrong side of the fence?

My mission is not to make him happy and bear his children and be his wife. My mission is to kill him.

This book had some themes I recognize and a few I didn’t expect. The things I recognize; the dystopian society where rules are passed down that don’t make much sense anymore, the fence around the society keeping bad people out and protecting the citizens inside, the mature issues the youths are made to face, the harsh punishments that society accepts as normal, the female heroine meant to save them all. The surprises in this book; the heroine being on the wrong side of right, the leaders being fairly decent and not monsters as in other tales, the male lead being so “good”, the sacrifice the heroine makes without the aide of those around her.

This book may sound like something familiar, but the delivery sets it apart. I didn’t even think about the similarities in this book to other YA dystopian books until after I had read it. From the first page, I was hooked into the story. I literally cannot wait to get the next book. Ivy made a choice in this book and she did it by herself. She sets herself apart from her family and her husband in a way that there is no going back. I just wanted to see Ivy and her husband end up together, but Amy had other ideas for these two.

If I had to get married, I wanted to marry someone who I was interested in knowing. You’re easy to read, Ivy, but the whole book of you is complicated. That’s why I wanted you instead of your sister.

The prelude to the first kiss was really sweet. Then just when they are starting to really open up to each other, Ivy just goes and… I don’t see how Ivy and Bishop are going to even see each other again since the author left Ivy… Ugh! I do not want to spoil this book for you.

Just know that this is a well written book. Ivy and Bishop are well written, honorable characters that are surrounded by bad circumstances. I enjoyed reading this book and I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.