Ivy Westfall has known that she must marry Bishop Lattimer for
years. Their marriage is supposed to heal the rift in their
nation caused fifty years ago when the Westfalls and Lattimers
both fought for control after a nuclear war destroyed the
She also knows that she must kill him.
But Bishop is not the heartless and greedy boy she was told he
was and the rift between her family and his is more complicated
than her father led her to believe. Is the disagreement really
about how to run the nation or is it more personal? With very
little time left, Ivy must choose a side and become the person
her family wants her to be or the person a nation expects her
THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel combines a rigid dystopian state
where boys and girls are married off young to increase the
population with a rebellion that hinges on the assassination of
a young man by his new bride. The slow, sweet romance that
develops between Ivy and Bishop is the main plot with the
rebellion being tightly wound around it. The two can't be
separated but it is the romance that provides the heart and
action in this story.
What I really like about THE BOOK OF IVY are the social issues
that are addressed through the dystopian state. Equality,
freedom, capital punishment, segregation, and personal choice
supply conflict and a complex setting, but those issues are
naturally woven into the plot. Girls must marry young to
increase their chances of having a healthy child. It's
understandable for this society to implement this rigid system,
but like Ivy a part of me rejects this narrow view of female
identity. Boys have slightly more choices when it comes to jobs
but again they have no say in marrying or who is assigned to
them. Group survival outweighs the individual happiness or
desires. It's an intriguing and complex issue that swirls
beneath the more active plot of rebellion and romance.
THE BOOK OF IVY does end on a surprising note. I hope Amy Engel
has plans to continue Ivy and Bishop's story in the future
because this is an interesting world and these two characters,
plus Ivy's sister Callie, are fascinating. THE BOOK OF IVY is
intriguing and fast-paced.
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…