Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)

Goodreads Summary

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…

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Jennifer's Review
A World where you have no choice. If you love dystopian books (like I do) & have read alot of them (like I have) then some things in this book will be predictable (destroyed world ----no choice --- the oppressed plan to fight back) but The Book of Ivy has enough other things that will keep you very intrigued & had me quickly turning the pages of this book (and losing lots of sleep). Amy Engel gives us two very strong and likeable characters - Ivy & Bishop. Their path to each other is realistic (doesn't happen too quickly -- but more of a slow, realistic & gradual build). I really liked them as a couple and you will end up rooting for them to succeed together. Amy Engels's world set up is great -- the world itself instead of being black & white like we normally see, has various shades of gray that will have you questioning things right along side Ivy. And those are the things that make a good story -- strong, likeable characters that you want to succeed in a plot that the reader is so immersed they are questioning the same things right alongside the main character. 

The Plot:
Ivy Westfall lives in a world with no choice (the story is told from her POV). Ivy is destined to marry Bishop Lattimer at her "marriage ceremony". At the age of 16 the girls from the "wrong or losing" side are matched up to marry boys from the "right/winning" side (and the same is true for girls on the right side marrying boys on the wrong side). Why? Well its in a crazy attempt to keep peace in this new world.  Who wants to goto war against their own family right? How did it all start? Mass destruction and then Ivy Westfall’s grandfather was overthrown by Bishop Lattimer’s grandfather in the War. Since that time, those that followed the losing side live in Westside and those that followed the winning side live in Eastglen. Ivy's whole life she has been taught to hate the Lattimer's and their oppressive reign. She has basically been turned into a weapon by her own family. Her mission -- to kill her future husband which will start a revolution & put her family back in power. 

Ivy finds out soon enough that Bishop isn't a bad guy, that he's genuine and caring. At every turn Bishop is surprising Ivy and shaking up her entire belief system. Bishop encourages her to speak her mind, even if it goes against everything his father stands for.  We even see her get to a understanding of why President Lattimer does what he does.

As the story unfolds, we see Ivy starting to question who is the bad guy here? Who can she trust? And how does she remain loyal to her family? Is a different way necessarily the right way?
Ivy's family: I didn't like them at all. I am thinking into book 2 we may get to see more of their side of the story but as for now -- I am not a fan :-)

When Ivy & Bishop realize they can only trust each other its too late. This books ends with a serious cliffhanger and some serious betrayal! I am anxiously awaiting the next book to see what happens with them.

About this author
: Amy Engel

I was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), I settled in Kansas City, Missouri where I live with my husband and two kids. Before devoting myself full time to motherhood and writing, I was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on television. When I have a free moment, I can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

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