Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel Review

A book that is highly anticipated, particularly in the Entangled Teen realm of YA publishing, is The Revolution of Ivy after the first installment, The Book of Ivy, took off gathered a rather large following, including the trending hashtag #BishopIsMine. This is easily one of the most popular books from the publisher. I, myself, fell into the mass following of Ivy. So when I got the opportunity to review the sequel, and supposed conclusion,  I could not pass this one up.


The first installment, for those who don't know, is about a city called Westfall that is one of the surviving communal towns after the War when everything went downhill. So it's a little dystopian, but it has a new and refreshing take on what the future looks like in literature. At sixteen, they force the daughters from the losing side of town to marry the sons of the winning sons of town. And in this installment, Ivy Westfall is being forced to marry her father's sworn enemy's son Bishop Lattimer - the son of the president of Westfall. Only there is one stipulation to that marriage contract that Bishop and the Lattimers don't know. Ivy's father has trained Ivy to kill Bishop; to put their family back in power. As all romance YA novels go, Ivy fell in love with Bishop and couldn't kill him. But she loved her family as well and couldn't let them go down for the planned assassination, either. So she took the blame and was put out of the "fence", which hardly anyone survives. And that's where The Revolution of Ivy picks up.

Ivy Westfall is lying beyond the fence, open to any threats out here. But she has this sort of hope that she can survive.

No one survives beyond the fence. At least that’s what my father always told me when I was a child. But I’m not a little girl anymore, and I no longer believe in the words of my father. 

Amy Engel has an enrapturing way of writing. She has easily created some of the most lovable characters in YA. The reason for the Bishop hashtag is simple: Engel wrote the perfect guy into Bishop with imagined skill and everyone loved him. With the first novel being such a success, and setting up this series for a whirlwind of events, I was expecting a lot out of this second novel. And she delivered.

All of our fears were realized as readers as we go through this installment. Mark Laird makes an appearance and it becomes pretty intense from there on out. 

I loved the new introductions of characters that were relatable and lovable. I would like to know more about the relationship side of Ash and Caleb, however. The idea of a civilization thriving outside of Westfall's walls is not far fetched. Rogue societies like that would definitely exist - and some even do know. Ivy stumbling across them was only good luck on her part.

Once Bishop shows up, the story-telling remains kind of lulled, hanging suspended, because as a reader, I knew something big was going to happen. And then something did. Bishop and Ivy finally have that long anticipated heart-to-heart after months of tension, but it's Callie's sister's head on the chopping block that sends this story back into motion.

I don't know why Ivy would want to go back and save her sister after all the hell she put Ivy through, but whatever Ivy needs to do. The fact that what happens actually happens makes me kind of annoyed that they even returned at all. They were doing just fine beyond the fence. But then everything works out and we get a happily ever after.

I was expecting a bit more of a morose ending with the world they live in being so dark. But everything worked itself out. Sure, there was that big explosion of an ending that had my head whirling, but Engel wrapped it all up nicely, leaving little to few loose ends. It's the perfect conclusion to The Book of Ivy. And if you haven't read either, now is the time. It's a wonderful series that will bring you in and hold you hostage for the duration. It's a definite recommend. I wonder if Amy Engel plans on writing more...I wouldn't object.

The Revolution of Ivy is the perfect ending to a perfect story. Many conclusions lack the emphasis the series needs, but this one did not. It's filled with relatable and lovable characters and a storyline that's a little refreshing, in some ways. And that's what I discovered when I read this book cover to cover.

The Revolution of Ivy will be on sale November 5th. 

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