The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I saw a friends review on the second book the other day that peaked my interest. For some reason this series had slipped past me, I don't remember hearing about it before. When I read the synopsis for the first book I knew I had to give it a try. After getting sucked in with the sample I had to keep reading to see what would happen next.
This takes place in the not too distant future after war and disease have wiped out most of the population. Two groups come together and fight over what is now known as Westfall. Ivy's family was on the loosing side, and are not happy about it. To keep the peace and try and increase the population, they have arranged marriages. Ivy is destined to marry the presidents son, Bishop. Her family wants to regain power and their plan includes having Ivy going through with the marriage so that she can kill him.
I think I was expecting a little more action, but its really a story about Ivy and Bishop. There wasn't a ton of world building and I did have a lot of questions, but I also really enjoyed the relationship so I wasn't too upset that there wasn't more going on. There were even a few surprises, which is always nice.
Ivy is a likable character, easy to relate to and root for. I loved Bishop. The strong, silent type. He's great with Ivy, patient and kind. I loved that it wasn't an insta-love story, we actually get to see them build a friendship, learn to trust each other. Their relationship evolution was very believable.
The book kinda ends on a cliff-hanger, but I was kind of expecting it would end a certain way and knowing the second book is already out made it not so bad. I can just pick up right where I left off. The book does have some serious moments (view spoiler)[One criminal is charged with raping a little girl, another girl is found raped and murdered, talk of suicide, etc. Nothing overly detailed, but does make the book a little heavier in feel. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend to any Dystopian fan, more focus on the romance than a government overthrow, but that's just fine for me. ;)
Romance: Clean, somewhat steamy make-out scenes, no real details
Language: Mild-Moderate, a few mild ones sprinkled throughout
Violence: Mild, mentioned above - no real details
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