Location: Somewhere in a near magical forest in northern Alabama.

My review of The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Title: The Book of IvyBoI
Author: Amy Engel
Genre: Young Adult (YA) Dystopian
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: November 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1-62266-465-8
Digital ISBN: 978-1-62266-466-5
Imprint: Teen

Reviewed By: Brynna

Rating:  5 Stars/ Gotta Read (Recommended Read)

Buy Link:  http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-book-of-ivy/

Blurb:  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…

Review:  After the destruction of most of mankind and civilization as we know it, the last survivors of our race must band together to recreate society. There are no cars, none that run anyway, no gas, no phones, and only scant electricity to power the most basic appliances. People walk, bike or ride horses, which are even more scarce. To prevent war between the surviving groups, arranged marriages take place twice a year between the opposing sides. This year, Ivy Westfall is sixteen and she’s about to wed the son of her enemy. He’s gorgeous, older, and…kind to her? Maybe everything she has been taught to believe about Bishop Lattimer isn’t as it seems.

The Book of Ivy is possibly the best debut I’ve read this year in any genre. As a rule, I seriously dislike (okay, hate) dystopian novels even if they have a romance weaved in. But Ivy hooked me with just the snippet of her thoughts in the description and then she blew me away. She is both strong and weak, terrified and brave. I felt her fear of a future she never wanted with Bishop, and then her fear of wanting that same future so badly it might destroy them both. Bishop is everything a young hero should be, but still wonderfully flawed.

Amy Engel’s written voice is flawless as she pulls you into Ivy’s world. Be prepared to spend a few hours reading because you won’t be able to put this book down until the last page has been turned. And then…you’ll want more.