review: the book of ivy & the revolution of ivy

The Book of Ivy

The first half of this book for me is 2-3 stars, but the second half was 5 stars OMG! Overall im rating this 4.2 stars! This book felt like a cross between a dystopian The Wrath and The Dawn and Divergent but at the same time, not really.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 didn't think the world-building was that good. Apparently its a few decades into the future and all these wars has happened and now we live in the aftermath where theres super limited electricity and very few luxuries. I just didn't think the whole image the author was trying to paint was very convincing.
The premise of the story, although in itself wasn't too convincing either, was actually quite interesting. Teenagers forced into arranged marriages to maintain peace within a society? Pretty haunting but cool. Though the logic to it was hard to buy. The so-called leaders just seemed really immature for coming up with such systems as solutions for the conflict in their society. Like who in their right mind would really do this??

Okay but those things aside, i learnt to just accept things as they are and just continue on with the story. A lot of things in the first half felt very awkward, especially the characters. They were just so awkward around each other i wanted to cringe but at the same time, i realised that this probably was pretty realistic if you try to think about what people from arranged marriages(especially if they hardly know their spouse) would go through. That was a really interesting experience for me as a reader, to experience that kind of situation thru Ivy and Bishop's arranged marriage.

Nothing much really happened in the first half. Things started getting really good after that. The romance developed really nicely and I actually quite loved it. It was so slow but the effect of it was quite strong. I felt quite attached to the romance in the end. The plot got more interesting too. I like that it was hard to tell what was gonna happen, and when i thought i could guess, i was surprised with something else.

That ending. Oh my god. I am just so grateful that i decided to buy the second book as well. I wanted to start it immediately after finishing this. Mostly right now im attached to Ivy and Bishop's character and i NEED to know how this ends in the second book.

This book was very short, it had less than 300 pages. I'd recommend it to anyone who's not sick of YA dystopians yet. It does have the typical dystopian plot and vibe to it, but it's still quite enjoyable. I also like the morality discussions and dilemmas. Mostly, im in love with Bishop.

The Revolution of Ivy

I don't think I enjoyed this one as much as i enjoyed the first one, but i still really enjoyed it. 4.0 stars!!

The book starts immediately after the first one ends. Both books were less than 300 pages long; it totally could have just been merged into a single book. That's what it felt like anyway, seeing as i read them back to back.

This one has a lot about survival. I was shocked at how brutal some parts of it was, but i thought the author described the dangers and struggles well enough.

I really like some of the new characters introduced, but i wish the author had shown more bonding time between them. Chunks of time passes in the book, i wanted the time to feel significant and meaningful but it didn't always feel that way sometimes. I was only half convinced with the family/friendship bonds developed. That could have been better.

The romance wasn't as gripping as it was in the first book, but im glad it did develop. The title of the book was very fitting. Ivy definitely has come a long way and her character did develop well. Ah, but Bishop is hands down my favourite character in this duology. How could he not be? He is absolutely perfect! I want chapters with his POV!!

The real action happens in the last few chapters. Mann, that was definitely intense and kind of unexpected. I love the epilogue though. It gave a decent closure to the ending.

Some of the themes in this book are brutally realistic. It's set in a world where you need to be harsh, and you may need to question the borders of reality and justice. It was shocking to me at first, how easy it seemed for some of the characters to just kill someone, especially for long-term survival. But it made sense for this post-war world. I definitely do not wish to ever live in that setting, but its haunting how possible it seems.

If i did read this duology again, it would be because of the romance, especially in the first book. It was more unique for me, because of the whole arranged marriage concept. I definitely wouldn't mind a movie adaptation too.


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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.