I’ve decided to ditch my previous template for writing reviews. It suddenly felt like homework, and crushing responsibility. In true dramatic fashion, I have thrown it out. Someday, I plan to go and fix my previous posts to match. That either means in 10 minutes, or before my death.
I picked up “The Book of Ivy” from the vast display of recommended books on my amazon account. It had been coming around for months, and I was just having a few weeks of non teen dystopian reading.
I liked the premise of this book.
“What would you kill for? (This link is for the description from Amazon, sweet beloved Amazon that is losing out not using me as a long distance consultant/writer.)
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.”
I like a good post-apocalyptic forced marriage or forced pregnancy system. What I also like is that by marrying off the teenage characters there was no weird sex avoidance.
Although, there was no need to avoid the sexual side of the protagonist and her mate, they certainly did.
Ivy is forced to marry the son of the president, but the twist is that she is an assassin and has orders to kill him from her rival family.
Shockingly (not shockingly), she starts to see the other side of the fight and begins to question her quest. I can say I absolutely loved where this book was going. She was married to the enemy and actually had a chance to change things from the inside, rather than the war lead by young girl we so often see.
While married she has a success saving a girl that was in an arranged marriage, and that is just the tip of the iceberg of what she could do while married into power.
The boy she is married to is good looking, gentle and loves her. He even has notions of agreeing with her politically. All was well…it had such promise of being different. Then it wasn’t.
Big Spoilers ahead…
She gets herself in a conundrum and screws it all up because she makes some dumb decisions, and doesn’t take obvious routes of avoidance. As usual in this type of book. it was so close to being different!
The end of the book just went haywire and ended up where most of these books do. Ivy ends up getting put behind a fence that protects the city and banished. She’s alone and will likely die.
That where the book ends. Behind a freaking fence, a fence that I bet has lots of new things we’ve never read. Maybe thirst, sexual predators, colonies of people ‘nobody knew existed’, even zombies. Who knows, I haven’t read the next book. I probably will because I am a glutton for punishment, but I just can’t keep those books separate in my mind anymore because I’ve read so many in the same situation.
Every female dystopian character I think of is covered in dust and running from the same dangers, and into the same war.
BEHIND A FREAKIN FENCE.
So close! Oh well. Overall, it was well written, and if it was the first book of it’s kind I read I would have thoroughly loved it. I wish it went a different way though.
I give it 3 stars because my only real gripes were personal.
I have a hypothesis…I bet that boy she married ends up on the other side of that fence.