The Book of Ivy #1
by Amy Engel
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Audiobook Publisher: Random House Audio
Publisher: Entangled: Teen (November 11, 2014)
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What would you kill for?At a Glance:
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…
The Book of Ivy was an intense story of family, friendship, love, and betrayal at the highest level. I enjoyed this book immensely from beginning to end.
I thought the narrator did a pretty good job with this book. She had a slight lisp to her speech and could sometimes read a little . . . sleepily, for lack of a better word, but overall her narration was very engaging. She was able to provide the characters with distinct voices that made it easy to recognize who was speaking. And she sounded young enough to be the main character, which I like. Her voice for Bishop wasn't my favorite, but I got used to it. And I really did end up enjoying this a lot. If you're looking for a new audiobook, I really think you will like this one.
I had no idea what this book was about when I received the audio from Random House (Listening Library). I just decided to take a chance on it, and I'm really glad that I did.
The world that Amy Engel created was a fascinating one. It was so interesting to wonder how things would be, if there was a huge nuclear war. And I really loved that it was set in the Ozarks. The story reminded me of so many other different books that I have loved over the last few years. It was like a mash up of The Selection, the Forest of Hands and Teeth, Red Queen, and many others. But even though it reminded me of these other books at different times, it was still very unique and engaging.
The relationship between Bishop and Ivy was a huge factor in this book, and a huge reason that I loved it so much. I was constantly torn between wanting Ivy to trust him, wanting her NOT to trust him, and wanting them to JUST KISS ALREADY. I mean, if you're going to be forced into a marriage with a hot guy, you should at least get the benefit of kissing!! There was so much tension built up that I thought I was going to explode from it. But that just made other parts even more satisfying.
The relationship between Ivy and her family also played a pretty big role. It was hard to see her struggle with staying loyal to her father and sister, wanting to please them, but also wanting to do what felt right. Bishop had to deal with similar struggles. This did a really good job of showing the lengths children will go to to make their parents happy and to please them.
The story did end on a pretty massive cliffhanger, which I am not a fan of. But I do think that I liked this book enough that I will end up wanting to continue the series (even though I am terrible at finishing series). Just as long as there's as much romantic tension in the next book as there was in this book, because it was pretty awesome. :)
Recommendation: Read/Listen to it!!
Book Doppelgängers: Wither by Lauren Destefano, The Selection by Keira Cass, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Sexual Content: Kissing & some dialog about sex (as the MCs are married)
- Violence: Moderate
- Profanity: Mild (about 3 words)
- Triggers: Rapes (moderately described after the fact)