Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy
(The Book of Ivy #1)
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Paperback, 282 pages, Entangled Teen
Genres: YA, Dystopian

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

Ivy Westfall is 16 and ready to get hitched. Or not. Ivy is actually very, very far from being ready to tie the knot, especially since her father wants her to kill the boy she marries, just so he can rise up in power. Oh, did I forget to mention that Ivy is supposed to marry the President of Westfall’s son? But what will Ivy do when she grows to like Bishop? Will she kill him, or will she succumb to her feelings?

Ivy Westfall is an okay character. She didn’t wow me and she didn’t enamor me. She didn’t have much of a personality at all in fact. She kind of seemed like the stock girl put into YA dystopian/sci-fi/paranormal books. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The main protagonist who falls in love with someone they shouldn’t, does all the right things without really trying, has a bad background. You know, that girl.

The other characters were just as un-special. Bishop was the stock boy character who said all the right things and looked good, but we never really got to know him. And the President and his wife, as well as Ivy’s dad and sister, were just as cliché in their make-up. I just wanted to feel like these characters were people, and it was too hard to do that when they said and did predictable things. Heck, they even felt predictable emotions.

The plot of the story was a’ight. I was originally excited about the prospect of a YA character marrying another character. Normally these things don’t happen—at least not immediately—in a YA novel. However, the story started to feel just like a predictable romance-type book would. Girl marries boy. Girl has to kill boy. Girl and boy start to like each other. You see where I’m going with this? If you do, then you know how the story will end. Although, the ending of the book did leave off on a very tantalizing cliffhanger. So while I’m not chomping at the bit to get book two, I won’t object to maybe checking it out from the library sometime.

All in all, a good story with okay characters. I’d recommend it to anyone who just wants a quick (really quick—it’s only 282 pages), non-contemporary read.

**Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.

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