Young Adult Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel Book Cover


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…

Book Details

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Release Date: November 11th 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 282
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 Stars



“My mission is not to make him happy and bear his children and be his wife. My mission is to kill him.”

With her debut, The Book of Ivy, Amy Engel gives her readers an exciting, romantic and poignant new dystopian thriller that is nearly impossible to put down. I must have a thing for covers featuring daring young women in gorgeous dresses holding knives behind their backs. I can't resist, and this story ended up being so much more, surprising me with how strong of a debut The Book of Ivy ended up being for me.

The plot opens up with the introduction of Ivy Westfall getting ready to be married, but not to just any boy, she is to be married to President Lattimer's son Bishop. Her enemy.

The slow-building connection between Bishop and Ivy, two strangers from opposite sides of the feud forced together, felt real. Moments of awkwardness, defiance, anger, and distrust slowly changed. Heated glances, accidental touches, and breathless longing make these two serious book-couple competition.

Both Bishop and Ivy are smart, mature, and slow to trust each other, and my heart did little flip-flops as their relationship slowly built. Real conversations, real dreams, and fears. And Bishop will make you swoon. Not at all like the enemy, she was led to believe, he encourages her at every turn. He listens to Ivy. He becomes the one constant she can count on.

He blows out a breath, takes a step toward me. The hallway is so narrow that I’m pinned between the wall and his body, heat rolling off him in waves.
“Yeah,” he says, voice low. “I feel things.”

His green eyes burn. It’s the most emotion I’ve seen from him so far, and I have trouble taking a full breath, my lungs compressed with tension.

“That’s the whole point, Ivy. I want you to feel them, too.

With a dystopian setting, the author Amy Engel does a great job of including some real issues beyond the revenge aspect. There are shades of gray as she turns things upside down. Questions about who is really the enemy, moral and ethical questions as well that surprised me. I loved how she kept me on edge.

As betrayals and motivations are slowly revealed, I could not put this book down. When I reached the end (and I did not realize it) I frantically swiped my fingers across the screen hoping that there was more. The ending was built-up so well, with such a great climax, and yes, it left open some major changes in the book that had me gasping and needing the sequel NOW! I need to know what is behind the fence.

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