What would you kill for?
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...
©2014 Amy Engel (P)2014 Listening Library
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"A BOOK LONG PROLOGUE"
I love this book and can't wait for the sequel!
It's all told from Ivy's point of view. So just a word of warning. You might get frustrated with the main character. But at the same time, feel a lot of compassion for her. I do think that Ivy's father did a disservice to her and her sister by pretty much indoctrinating them with his own ideals and beliefs. Not even allowing them to make friends and make their own choices and opinions.
Pretty ironic given how Ivy's father is supposed to want democracy.
Halfway through the book, I already had a feeling that Ivy's father and sister are more in it for the power rather than democracy. And, I was right.
Poor Ivy had no one to trust outside her family until Bishop came along. And her eagerness to belong and be given her family's approval in contrast to truly starting a life with Bishop is (to my opinion) the main conflict of the book. Yes, the main premise is about government enforced arranged marriages and lack of democracy. But it feels to me that it's secondary. Unlike books like the hunger games where you really see the widespread devastation and poverty, inequality and suffering of the people, this book doesn't show that. Or at least, it is not as hungry for a widescale revolt as the Hunger Games. The supposed enemies (the Lattimers) are not even the President Snow type characters.
Ivy pretty easily found the access code to the guns. And the Presidential family (the supposed enemies) never even expected Ivy's family of wanting to revolt. Again, it seems that only Ivy's dad and sister are the only ones who want a revolt.
In fact, the book even shows that people are even ok with the arranged marriages (most of them anyway). While of course, the book is realistic enough to show the perfectly arranged marriage,the very dysfunctional and the in-between. But the point is, (the presidential family aside), the matching process isn't as rigged as one might expect from a dystopia. I mean, sons from the winning side marry girls from the losing side. While girls from the winning side marry sons from the losing side..It seems like a good idea to create unity at a time when you also want to grow the population
Of course, it's always better to have choices. But I think majority of the population in the book is of the "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" type of mindset.
But just because it doesn't seem as bad as the Hunger Games scenarios, this book does make us forget that it is still about a dystopia. I must warn that there are parts that are dark. It doesn't give any graphic depictions. But if there are any readers who are even the tiniest bit triggered by the mention or implication of rape, this might not be for you.
As for the ending...some readers might prefer waiting for the second book to come out before starting on the first book.
All I will say is that I'm comforting myself with the saying: "Throw me to the wolves and I'll come back leading the pack"
"This is easily one of my favorite books."
right away, very interesting. it took me less than two days to finish, I could not stop listening! I can't even say what I really loved without giving away spoilers, so I wont say anything. I'm on pins and needles waiting for the next one!
Ivy, Duh. love a strong female.
no, never, but it was very good.
I would curse the characters out loud, I literally laughed out loud. I got so lost in this story.
I will be starting this book again shortly.
I did enjoy most of this book. But I do not relate to thinking one thing and doing another. Could not get past that in the main character!! Got tired of her thinking things in her head and making a problem bigger. She could have stood up for what was right. Thinking her family would stop. stupid.
"Great 2-book YA series!"
I was intrigued to read because Ivy was being forced to marry the president's son. Her intent to eventually kill him. I was hooked from chapter one. Worth the credit!
"Wow! Loved and hated this book!!"
I love this book, but to me it seemed like the author tried to sum up all the events way too fast! I guess I don't know how else she could have written it. It just didn't seem fulfilling enough... I just listened to "The Partials" so maybe that is clouding my view. I like detailed books but this just seemed all about what Ivy had to do and how she can't do it, like a one track mind??? There didn't seem like a bigger purpose... Idk... I do like this book, amazing ending! Not crazy about the reader, but not the worst I've ever heard.
The back of the book sure sounded great. A young woman forced into a bad situation who is going to make sure she is not another victim and liberate the world at the same time.
The problem is that a world that can't figure out how to make white cloth seems to have unlimited amounts of food and free time. The characters who are trying to survive 50 years after a war wiped out most of the planet mostly seem to relax, eat and preach about endless social issues as they, most importantly, fall in love.
All is not what it seems, however for anyone who has read YA dystopian stories before it's EXACTLY what you expect. There are no surprises, no shocks and not much going on. Add that to the poor world building and what you have left is the romance you knew was going to be part of the story.
If romance and lots of philosophical speeches is your thing then your going to enjoy The Book of Ivy. If you want any substance then you should look somewhere else.
"Not just for teens or young adults"
I loved this book and have already ordered book 2. Clearly, some books classified as being for teens or young adults are just that. Some, like this one, is interesting to all ages. I love when I discover interesting books in this category, because they aren't full of explicit sex scenes. I don't consider myself a prude, but I just prefer to have something left to the imagination. I also like authors who don't rely on inserting foul language into every paragraph. This is a winner.
"Amazing Captivating Love story"
The best book I've listened to. Second only to the sequel, the revolution of ivy.
The tension and suspense yet maturity the author has woven into this young couples love story is absolutely fascinating and excellent
The entire book, but also anything with bishop
Captivating love written on a supreme level
Stupendous. Since finishing this story, I haven't been able to find any that even compare, and it is so frustrating! I absolutely can't wait to find more books from this author, I will hang on every word!!
"Loved this, looking forward to more from Engel!"
Wonderful and entertaining story, not just for young adults!
The narrator was spot on, her delivery was smooth and believable, and easy to listen to (I'm INCREDIBLY picky about narrators and will avoid books I have been lusting after if the sample narration is unbearable). Looking forward to more from both Engel and Meskimen, and going to start the second book in the series now..and already wishing this were a trilogy.
"Decent love story"
This was a good book over all. The characters were a little week, but still good. If you are thinking of this because of the post apocalyptic plot you may be disappointed. Great story idea, but lack of detail leaves it feeling dull and unsatisfying. The love story was really good, and kept me listening. I will say the narrator does not help this book, she sounds so board. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book and will get the next one.
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