(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Revolution of Ivy
Published by Macmillan on November 11th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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...
Is there an “I’m in love with Bishop Lattimer” club? Because I need to be in it.
The Book of Ivy is probably going to be on my list of favorite books come the end of the year… and even though It’s only January I feel pretty confident in saying that.
It’s the future, and a brutal nuclear war has left what we think of as the United States barely unrecognizable. A group of survivors banded together to create their own town, but the families couldn’t agree on how to govern the people and war broke out between the two leaders.
Years later, The Lattimer family has come out on the winning side and the Westfalls not so much. To maintain peace and control it’s determined that each year all the 16 year olds will be matched up to marry, so the losing sons and daughters are married off to the winning side hoping that will keep and kind of uprising from happening.
This year Ivy Westfall turns 16 and she’s been specifically chosen to marry Bishop Lattimer, the President’s son.
But Ivy has a task… she’s not just getting married, she’s finding a way in so that her family can end the Lattimers and take over control of the city. Ivy has been tasked with killing her husband.
You guys… I started this book and I couldn’t put it down.
I could sit here and tell you how amazing the writing is… because it is. I could tell you how wonderfully plotted the story is… because it is. I could tell you that Engel created this amazing post-apocalyptic world that is believable and a bit scary … because it is. Instead, I think I’d rather talk about Ivy and Bishop, our two main characters.
Ivy, our sixteen year old heroine who has been forced into marriage with basically her family’s sworn enemy, has been waiting for the day that she could start proving to her family that she is strong, that she can fulfill the tasks that are necessary to restore them as leaders of the city. But what she doesn’t count on is Bishop himself. Ivy is smart and tough and fierce, but I think the characteristic I loved most about her was her empathy and her loyalty… and eventually her questioning all the things she was raised to believe about the Lattimer family and even her own beliefs about her family.
And Bishop… good lord you guys. I heart him madly. He’s so not the boy that Ivy thought. He’s not just a sycophant of his father, he pushes Ivy to have her own thoughts and opinions and he listens to them even if he may not agree with them.
“I think,” Bishop says, “that we can love our families without trusting everything they tell us. Without championing everything they stand for.” He delivers the words matter-of-factly, but his eyes are locked on mine. “I think that sometimes things aren’t as simple as our fathers want us to believe.”
He’s kind to her and he’s sweet and patient and I’m pretty sure if you look up swoony in the dictionary you’ll find a picture of him there.
“Because I’m in love with you, Ivy,” he whispers. “Giving up on you isn’t an option.” He lifts my hair away from the back of my neck and kisses the delicate skin there.
My breath shudders out of me. The silence spirals into the dark room, and maybe it was foolish to ask the question, but I’m not sorry. I uncurl his hand and kiss his palm, his skin cool and dry. I place his hand over my heart, cover it with my own.
We fall asleep that way. His lips on my neck. My heart in his hand.
I love that Engel took the time to let the relationship between them build and she let them get to know each other fully before any kind of romance was on the table… it made the story just that much more believable for me.
The ending of this book will have you dying to get your hands on book 2 – I know I am. I can’t wait to see where Engel takes this story and what happens next!
If you haven’t picked up The Book of Ivy then I highly recommend it. I’ll just be over here waiting for The Revolution of Ivy as patiently as possible!