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Thursday, June 15, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel @aengelwrites @LLAudiobooks

TITLE: The Book of Ivy
SERIES: The Book of Ivy, Book #1
AUTHOR: Amy Engel
NARRATOR: Taylor Meskimen
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: November 11, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 48 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
What would you kill for?

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 return 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…

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

Wow, just wow!! I absolutely loved this YA dystopia!

Following a war that nearly ended the world, the survivors were split amongst two groups with different schools of thought on how things should be run. The Westfalls, who fought for democracy and free choice for everyone, ended up on the losing side. The Lattimers wanted control, and they gained the upper hand. They agreed to grant absolution to the Westfalls and welcome them with open arms, as long as the Westfalls agreed to marry off their 16-year-old daughters to Lattimer’s 16-year-old sons in an annual arranged marriage ceremony taking place every May. A similar ritual occurred every November, with the Lattimer 16-year-old daughters “marrying down” to Westfall sons. Not only did such an arrangement encourage the birthrate to increase but, by mixing the two sides, it would keep them from attacking each other now that they were becoming blended. The peace and harmony lasted for two generations, but now the Westfalls have a plan to overthrow President Lattimer which will be set in motion once the next Westfall daughter, Callie, reaches the age of 16 and is expected to marry Lattimer’s son, Bishop. However, Bishop refuses to marry Callie and instead agrees to marry at the age of 18, when Westfall’s younger daughter, Ivy, turns 16.

All their lives, Callie and Ivy have been essentially brainwashed by their father, believing what he told them about the Lattimers and how President Lattimer was responsible for their mother’s death. Everything they were told by their father stoked their hatred for the Lattimers, and Ivy was completely on board with her father’s plan to murder Bishop and then the President so that their government could be overthrown and the Westfalls could claim it. However, after marrying and living with Bishop and getting to know him, Ivy realizes that things are not always what they seem and that she does not necessarily share the same views of her father.

I absolutely loved the relationship between Ivy and Bishop. I enjoyed how their relationship grew and developed as they got to know each other. They realized that they are not their fathers, and that’s okay. Neither of them is 100% behind their fathers’ views, and that changes the entire endgame that Ivy’s father planned. She is torn between betraying her father and betraying her husband, and how can she have loyalty to both when they are at odds with one another?

Engel completely sucked me into Ivy’s world. Ivy herself is brilliant, and I just loved her! She is not afraid to speak her mind or challenge authority, but she does so respectfully and not rudely. For too long, she’s been told how her life will be and her free choice has been taken away. I was surprised at the turn of events that transpired towards the end of the book, but It was just…so Ivy!! Engel wrote an ending that was true to Ivy’s character. Bishop was swoon-worthy, a respectable young man who treated Ivy with patience and care. He is not someone to be messed with, though! When it become clear that the young girl next door was married to an abusive husband, Bishop took matters into his own hands.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I already have my hands on the sequel, The Revolution of Ivy, and cannot wait to find out what happens next!

Memorable quotes:

“But I've learned the hard way, we can't choose who we love. Love chooses us. Love doesn't care about what's convenient or easy or planned. Love has its own agenda and all we can do is get out of its way.”

“I want to be someone strong and brave enough to make hard choices. But I want to be fair and loving enough to make the right ones.”

“A boy who doesn't want to lie, married to a girl who can't tell the truth. If there is a God, he has a sick sense of humor.”

Narrator Taylor Meskimen gave a great performance, and I was riveted to the story from start to finish. I know when I’m really enjoying a narration when I get annoyed when I have to take out my earbuds! Here is a sample of the narration:


MY RATING:

5 stars!! It was superb, and I will likely re-read it in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR if you enjoy YA dystopia! Thanks again to Listening Library for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

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