Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Number of pages: 282
Read between: 7th-16th July
Published: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Synopsis: 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…

 

Rating: 5521e-4stars

Review:

This book was very hyped up when it was released and now I’m reading it once the hype is over I can see why so many people loved it. It’s been a while since I read a dystopian but this is nothing like those I knew, The Hunger Games and Divergent, instead it looks at country that is segregated, and where lives are controlled without choice. When the founder’s daughter is married off to the President’s son in an arranged marriage, uniting the two sides, is everything as it seems? The marriage joins the Westfalls and the Lattimers together, and one side starts planning the downfall of the other.

Ivy is only 16 when she is forced to marry 18 year old Bishop Lattimer. However, she doesn’t really have a chance to enjoy married life when her family want her to murder him. Knowing she has a time limit to do the deed, it wasn’t surprising that she didn’t want too attached to him- so much so that he spends every night on the sofa.

Of course, Ivy falls in love with Bishop during the three months they are married, making her task even harder. (TBH, I want a Bishop. He’s definitely on my fictional boyfriend list. He’s just so caring! <3) I loved their relationship. Even though they were forced together, they made it work. In comparison, Ivy’s relationship with her family is worse than the one she has with Bishop. They don’t give her much choice and they keep secrets from her.

Easy to decide which one I prefer.

The way they kept pushing her, even after the revelation about her mother’s suicide, to complete her task was just unfair. It riled me. Her sister, Callie, was conniving from the start and I think it was good that Ivy got to break away from her when she married Bishop.

I didn’t think Ivy would accept and go through with it, even if she didn’t actually kill him, there was still a plan to. In framing herself, she’s signing her own death sentence. It was brave and I also respected her for it. However, the way that Bishop lost his trust in her, because he couldn’t see through her act, was genuinely heartbreaking.

Now she’s been exiled beyond the ‘fence’, the border of Westfall separating from the outside world. I want to know how she copes so I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel!
I would have given this five stars if it hadn’t been for Ivy’s family being how they were.

Still enjoyed it though!

4/5 stars!
Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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