The Book of Ivy

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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…

I was a bit apprehensive when it started, it was very “the selection”ish (which I read and enjoyed, but I didn’t want to read it again) and you just know she’s going to fall for Bishop based on the synopsis, but it grew on me and before I caught myself I was loving it and unable to put it down. Ivy’s journey was amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens for her next, and for/with Bishop.

Loved the growth of Ivy and Bishop’s relationship. It wasn’t forced and felt very natural, no insta-love! They truly understand each other in a way that no one else around them does, and I think they could do such great things together. I also appreciated how it was never too sappy or over the top, it felt very appropriate and set in the right foundation.

It was really interesting to watch Ivy grow, and become her own person. I guess it was a coming of age story, and it was a good one. Her family was so manipulative, and she knew it, but she couldn’t leave them behind, and at first I resented her for it, but it was realistic, one does not let go of the notions that were drilled into them throughout life overnight.

I really liked Bishop too. He’s kind, independent, fierce in his beliefs, protective, and eager for change. He doesn’t know how to bring about that change, but I think that will change in the second book. He encouraged Ivy to see herself beyond the lens of her family and to be her own person, a great message about relationships.

The natural and believable ways that Ivy grows and her relationships develop was what made me love this story. I’m excited to see more of the social and political issues come to front in the next book, there were a lot of intellectual discussion and mulling over of ideas, but I want to see Ivy and Bishop act on their ideas (together).

Also, it looks like this is going to be a duo of books, it’s nice to see a break away from the trilogy mold!

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