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...
Hello, my fellow BOOK LOVERS! Today is my stop on The Book of Ivy blog tour, and I would like to thank all of you for dropping by. You can check out a video interview of ”speed round” questions I submitted for the author, Amy Engel here on the Entangled Teen blog. Keep scrolling for my review and TWO GIVEAWAYS below!
His eyes are cool, clear green, and they study me with an intensity that makes my stomach cramp. His gaze is neither hostile nor welcoming bu appraising, like I am a problem he is figuring out how to solve. He doesn’t come toward me, but when I get close enough to hold out a hand, as I’ve been coached to do, he takes it in his. He squeezes my hand briefly, which startles the breath in my throat.
Bishop had me at the hand squeeze.
Bishop. Is. THE BOMB.
It wasn’t Bishop’s good looks and altruistic personality that blew up the story world in The Book of Ivy, but it might as well have been. I can just imagine if the United States was plunged into a nuclear winter because of this handsome male character: “Bishop: The boy whose face launched a thousand missiles”. Amy Engel describes one sexy specimen of a man in Bishop Lattimer, but Bishop leveled me with his quiet, yet powerful demeanor. These qualities gave glorious depth to his attractive facade.
I am propelled to first address the attraction I felt for Bishop Lattimer in this review because of the nuclear-intensity in which this attraction hit me with. A young-man who is far from a product of his upbringing, Bishop embodies all the qualities necessary to lead a people outside of his father’s dictatorial shadow. At first a spoiled and privileged enemy in Ivy’s eyes, Bishop becomes an inviting enigma that keeps the pages turning at top speed in this book. Ivy quickly learns that there is more than meets the eye with Bishop Lattimer,and it’s enough to challenge everything she ever thought she knew about Bishop and his family…. Even her own family.
I shift away from her [Callie, Ivy’s sister], fix my gaze on the far side of the pond. I know what she’s saying is true, but it doesn’t exactly feel true, at least not completely, not when I remember the way Bishop asked me about myself, like he really cared about the answers.
“Remember what we talked about? How they’ll [The Lattimers] try to muddle your thinking? Turn black to white and up to down? Try to make you believe he [Bishop] cares more about you than we [your family] do?”
I nod. I know she’s right. I know what the truth is; I know my family wouldn’t lead me astray and everything they ask me to do is for the good of us all. I have to be strong enough to remember their lessons. More than anything, I want to make them proud.
Ivy embodies what I want in a female lead. She is strong, smart, and fearless. Ivy has her heart set on revenge in the name of family loyalty and justice; even if it means her own demise. The psychological struggles she faces during the execution of her plan for revenge create a flesh-and-blood character that breathes life into her by-the-book heroine archetype. Ivy is always on guard and constantly clever. Just when I thought I knew the arc of Ivy’s story-line, she makes a decision that cuts like a knife and left me in an emotional upheaval. I couldn’t have asked for more from this book or from Ivy’s character.
The Book of Ivy is entertaining on the level of inception. There’s a strong theme running beneath the surface that really makes this story spark your synapses and question the concepts of criminal and social justice. The world that Bishop and Ivy inhabit isn’t as black and white as the elders of their community want them to believe, and Amy Engel does a brilliant job of presenting the grey areas in ways that are relevant to present-day society. Despite a setting that seems futuristic in its circumstances, there’s a Medieval-vibe to the social structure in Ivy and Bishop’s world that serves its dystopian setting well. The pacing of the novel was patient and hypnotic, succumbing to a nail-biting and heart-pounding series of events by the end. Subtle strokes of character development revealed themselves in each chapter, yielding a story rich in emotions and striking in plot. Writing this review made me want to drop everything and go read The Book of Ivy all over again, so I’ll leave you with my very own GIVEAWAY and one hosted by Amy Engel.
About the Author Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran,Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites. Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter
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