The Book of Ivy written by Amy Engel
Narrated by Taylor Meskimen
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Published by Entangled: Teen
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Source: Los Angeles Public Library
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
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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…
The Revolution of Ivy written by Amy Engel
Narrated by Taylor Meskimen
Series: The Book of Ivy #2
Published by Entangled: Teen
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
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Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.
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This review is going to be a twofer because the second book doesn’t warrant its own review, and I will tell you why.
Last year, I read this little book called The Book of Ivy and I loved it! It was a sleeper dystopian that got under my skin before I even knew what was what! It was surprising, to say the least, because this book would not have made it to my reading list if 1) I didn’t like the title, and 2) it wasn’t available in audiobook format and 3) the cover wasn’t flipping gorgeous!
So, what is it about?
Westfall is a small city established after the United States was destroyed after a nuclear war. We meet Ivy Westfall, the youngest daughter of the family who founded the city, on her wedding day. See, in this future, children are forced to marry each other. To defy this law means being banished from the city, resulting in certain death. Ivy, being a granddaughter of the city’s founder is already betrothed to marry the current president’s son, Bishop Lattimer.
Yes it is, isn’t it? This reminded me of a time where marriages were arranged regardless of what both parties think. In this case, Ivy didn’t want any of it. Mainly because she was chosen by Bishop and bypassed her older sister. Ivy’s older sister wasn’t matched, by the way, because she was supposed to be the one that would have married Bishop. But Bishop chose Ivy.
So the drama!
It is a little bit. BUT the plot thickens because now, Ivy is tasked to KILL Bishop so her family can wrest control over Westfall. So the question remains, can Ivy do it? Will she succeed?
Ivy was also out of her element. She was surprised at how kind Bishop was. Naturally, she was told the opposite by her family and believed the worst.
This is precisely why I was hooked! I loved the slow buildup of Ivy and Bishop’s romance. I felt that it really creeped up on me and before I knew it, I was highly invested and was rooting for them to finally admit that they fell in love with each other.
And the plot thickens even more because a secret is revealed between the Westfalls and the Lattimers that will change everything Ivy believed.
Yes! Give me more!
I’m not going to spill the beans, okay. But just so you know, there is not much action and fighting going on. There are certain sensitive issues mentioned that added to the overall oppressed feeling of this dystopia world.
Add in a creepy guy then!
There is, in fact, a creepy guy which we will see more of in the second book, The Revolution of Ivy.
So, tell me about The Revolution of Ivy
Alas, I am about to tell you some pretty sad news. The Revolution of Ivy was one of the most disappointing books I read this year. Do you want to know why? I guess this is just because I had really high hopes for this book. I mean, I absolutely enjoyed The Book of Ivy so much that I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out!
Hold up! You mean it was horrible?
Well, it wasn’t THAT horrible per se, only that the title was SUPER misleading! I mean, there was NO REVOLUTION AT ALL!
What do you mean, NO revolution?
That’s just what I said. It wasn’t the revolution that I was expecting at all. Again emphasis on NO ACTION! My mind just can’t comprehend that there was not enough revolution going on. So yes, it was a little bit meh for me. I did like the first quarter of the book, though.
Oh, tell me about it!
View Spoiler »After Ivy gets thrown out of Westfall, she tried to come to grips with her current situation. She is now OUTSIDE the walls of Westfall and she had been told that no one would survive outside the walls. « Hide Spoiler The neat thing about this part was that Ivy showed her backbone. The end of The Book of Ivy was the best part of the book, I think and the start of The Revolution of Ivy sets the tone for the first few chapters really well.
Ivy needs to find ways to survive on her own, knowing that the evil person (he was sentenced to live outside the walls for raping a child) is out to get her.
I know. It is at this point that Ivy shows her strength and eventually “defeats” him. Again, the best part of the book!
How does Ivy survive?
She actually gets picked up by two teens who have lived outside Westfall all their life. Apparently, there were a few people who escaped Westfall’s oppression and have basically been nomads.
This was where the plot starts to be meh for me
At this point, I was irritated with Ivy. *sigh
The only good thing about this part is when View Spoiler »Bishop comes after Ivy! « Hide Spoiler But that’s just about it. When they decide that it’s time to go and start a REVOLUTION, nothing revolutionary actually happens!
I managed to finish the Revolution of Ivy, but it was very, very hard.
Masterfully narrated by Taylor Meskimen. The audio adds a different feeling to the story. Told in Ivy’s POV, Meskimen’s voice sounds very age appropriate and perfect for the overall tone of the book.
Because I loved The Book of Ivy and hated The Revolution of Ivy, I am in a bind. Should I recommend the first book to you or should I not? Once you are done reading the first book, I know you would want to read the next. But honestly, I was just so disappointed and I don’t know if I can subject you into reading the second book.
I guess it’s a “read at your own risk” type of thing.
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