Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

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Title: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
Author: Amy Engel 
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★
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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: 

The Book of Ivy is one of the more interesting concepts for a story I've seen in a while and with great reviews praising the novel, I was really excited to read it. 

I'm happy to say that The Book of Ivy is an amazing feat of storytelling, and I found the themes presented to be incredibly intriguing and thought provoking. 

What's good about it:

The Characters: I loved Ivy and Bishop's relationship to one another, now realistic their friendship is, and how it takes time for them to grow comfortable and to trust one another. 

Ivy's complicated relationship with her family is not immediately told at the beginning of the story, but is understood after seeing how Ivy's sister and father interact with her.

Plot: The Book of Ivy is not a plot heavy book, it's characters shape and mold the story and the aspect of focusing on this small town after a nuclear apocalypse raised themes of what having power means, and if the sacrifices for power and control on any level is worth it.

World Building: The world building is really thought out, and I liked that humanity is still trying to get its bearing as a species and human beings haven't rebuilt itself as a new futuristic society yet. 

What's bad about it:

NothingLiterally, nothing. Nothing at all. 

Final Thoughts:

I loved The Book of Ivy. It's an interesting dystopia that's refreshing and I found the themes of political power and loyalty really interesting. One of my favorite reads this year.

Thematically, it reminded me a lot of Lauren Oliver's Delirium, which share the same themes of family, love, loyalty, and questioning the society built up around you. 

To read more on Delirium, I talk about it in depth here.

The Book of Ivy is available here

Check out my review for the other installments in the series: 
The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) 

Check out my interview with the author, Amy Engel here

I listened to the audiobook version and I found the narrator, Taylor Meskimen, to be an absolute delight. Link to the audiobook here.

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