Hi there! Today, I’m sharing my review for Amy Engel’s second novel in the Book of Ivy series, THE REVOLUTION OF IVY. This is a YA dystopian adventure/romance. Much higher on the adventure, and lower on the romance. I loved THE BOOK OF IVY, and was eagerly expecting the sequel. I wasn’t disappointed!
Check out my review, and get in on the prize pack giveaway below.
About the Book:
**Spoilers if you haven’t read book one**
Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.
This is a sequel and the books should be read in sequence. For readers who do not like cliffhangers, the series ends here. (Well, there could always be another adventure, but there are no unresolved plot questions.)
If you have NOT read BOOK OF IVY, some spoilers below.
When last we left off:
1. The world is in ruins due to war 50 years ago and collectives have endured these lean times.
2. Westfall is a town divided. One side is wealthy the other, not. At age 16 children from one side of the town are married to spouses from the other side, to prevent rebellion and foster amity.
3. Ivy Westfall’s family founded Westfall, but the Lattimer family stole the power and maintains the government. Ivy has grown up in the bad side of Westfall, and has been diligently trained to hate the Lattimers. Her elder sister, Callie, was supposed to be married to Bishop Lattimer, son of President Lattimer, two years ago, but he refused. Bishop wanted Ivy.
4. Ivy’s father and sister want Ivy to murder Bishop.
5. Ivy falls for Bishop.
6. Ivy refuses to kill Bishop.
7. Stuff happens and Ivy is put outside of the barrier fence that protects Westfall’s territory and water supply. This is, essentially, a death sentence.
In Ivy’s case, she has little to no chance of surviving, but she manages to fend off two specific dangers, acquires a canteen and walks until she collapses. She is rescued by Caleb and Ash (Ashley) who tend her wounds and bring her into their settlement. They do not trust her, but she’s identified as Ivy Westfall, and there are enough refugees of Westfall around to ensure Ivy a welcome. She is afraid they will learn that she married, and (gasp!) loved Bishop Lattimer, as these people are outside the fence due to Bishop’s father’s “justice”. BTW some of them were put out for just cause, but many others were set out because they refused to accept their arranged marriages; they think Ivy was set out for this very reason and are sympathetic.
During the weeks, Ivy, Ash and Caleb become friends. Caleb knows that Ivy is not telling the truth, but he cannot prove it. In the meantime, Ivy proves herself to be a quick learner and a hard worker. She gains other friendships, and feels a part of a community as she never did in Westfall–either side. Naturally, this all falls apart when Bishop arrives in the camp.
There is animosity, but a steady growth of respect as Bishop sets out to prove he is “not his father’s son” (figuratively, peeps). Ivy can’t bear to be parted from Bishop again, but she also can’t get close to him, fearing that she’ll lose him all over again in this even harsher world than Westfall. I applaud Bishop’s patience, because I wanted to hit Ivy in the face for all her tentativeness. Live in the NOW, Ivy! LOL.
Anywho, Caleb and Ash find that Bishop is awesome, and Bishop gets Ivy to do what she never has done: tell the truth, of herself and her feelings. It builds a strong bond that is tested when Ivy learns that Westfall’s in disarray and her family is at extreme risk.
Ivy feels the need to make as much right as she can, and is disgruntled with Bishop, Ash, and Caleb who decide to assist. This seemed like a truly madcap enterprise, and I cannot say that I would have done what Ivy did, but I believe that Ivy did what she needed to do. (Even if I think it was utter foolishness!) That girl does love with her whole heart, even if she is hesitant to reveal it…
The end is a naturally gruesome affair, though it was a better situation than I did predict. I was satisfied in the reading. I still like Ivy, and adore Bishop and hope that this future world nevah-evah comes to pass.
Funny thing, Ivy and Bishop’s marriage was annulled when she was put outside the fence. It struck me that Bishop never discarded the ring, nor did he ever plan to let Ivy go. His steadfast love was fairy tale in origin, and it made me (and Ivy) swoony. He never tries to dissuade her from her plans, and always seeks her counsel in decisions. He’s an excellent partner, a rock really, who only wants to love Ivy as she is, whoever she is. That was heart-warming. They do consummate their love, but it’s all off the page.
As with all dystopian stories, I’d love a little more world-building, and some deeper survivor hardship on the page, but that’s not the biggest issue for me.
The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
About the book:
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 really enjoyed this dystopian YA romance. Both Ivy and Bishop are excellent characters and I totally rooted for their HEA. (Didn’t happen, but I respected the heck out of Ivy. Check out my review for more details.
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a signed copy of THE REVOLUTION OF IVY, and a necklace! A second winner will win a signed copy of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author
Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.