Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 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…

Review: This is one of my top ten books even though I read it pretty recently. I was saving this book for when I went on holiday but I couldn’t wait and read it before I went. It was incredible. I love dystopian YA books that focus on romance as well as the actual book plot and this book balanced them perfectly.

In this world the book is set in, Boy and girls get an arranged marriage at the age of 16 to people from the opposite town they live in. The two towns (Eastglen run by the Latimers and the Westside run by the Wedtfalls) were rivals until the Latimer side won. Bishop Latimer is arranged to marry Ivy Westfall. Ivy has prepared for two years to find a way to kill her to be husband. But Bishop isn’t who she expected him to be…

The characters in this book were amazing and I loved the world-building in this book. This book is a merge between ‘The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh’ and ‘Delirium by Lauren Oliver’. I expected this book to be predictable as I’ve read books with similar storylines but Woah. The plot twist near the end… was intense and not expected. I loved the turn it took and how it leads us into the sequel.

I liked Ivy but I wish that she stood up for herself against her family more. She was impressionable and her family kind of manipulated her. She is strong in other aspects of her life but when it comes to her family she isn’t but I understand why. Bishop, I loved. Who wouldn’t? He is kind and appreciative in a world that isn’t. He also isn’t sexist like many of the men in this book. I was so glad Bishop wasn’t a misogynist otherwise we would have some problems. This book does talk about an abusive relationship between another couple though (Ivy and Bishop help the women escape the relationship).

I was glad there was kind of a struggle for Ivy whether she should trust Bishop rather than her just falling at his feet. The plot of this story is amazing and the turn it takes near the end, it’s drama-filled. I was just waiting for the ending and it was not what I expected. It was still incredible.

This book deserves more than 5 stars but alas 5 is the limit. It has an interesting plot and was so gripping, I had to read it in one sitting.

The sequel ‘The Revolution of Ivy’ is as amazing as this book, if not more. I’ll probably be doing a review on that next! Also the French cover of this book is much more impressive than the English one, wouldn’t you agree!

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