Title: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
Author: Amy Engel
Published by: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Summary: A Nuclear War and disease have decimated the Earth. Not long after, survivors have found their way to a town in Missouri, and have named it after the man who discovered it, Westfall. Then the Lattimers show up and the fight for Westfall begins. The founder of Westfall, a man named Westfall, believes in democracy and freedom. Lattimer believes that people should be ruled and not trusted to make decisions for themselves. Two sides form, but Lattimer's side comes out on top. Westfall and his supporters grumble, but don't leave the town and the safety it represents.
Two generations later, the Lattimers still rule the town and make decisions for the residents and how it is run. Every month of May the daughters of Westfall's supporters are offered in marriage to the sons of Lattimer and his supporters. Boy nor Girl have any decision in the matter of who they will marry.
Today is Ivy Westfall's wedding day, granddaughter of the original Westfall. She is to be wed to Bishop Lattimer, a boy she has been told from birth to hate. Her mission is simple, first she marries Bishop, then she must kill him. Every revolution has to start somewhere. But Ivy's mission gets harder when she realizes Bishop and his family might not be the bad people she was always told about. Ivy now has to decide what to do to save everyone she cares about.
My Thoughts: I was really interested in the book after hearing all the hype surrounding it. It seemed to be a book that came out of nowhere and was a surprise hit. It had a premise that sounded interesting to me and I couldn't wait to read it. I'm happy to report that I really, really enjoyed it. It had all the feels that I wanted and the situation settings that I always love. Anything that's post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and romance is the book for me.
One of my favorite things about this story was the relationship aspect. It wasn't an insta-love, which I was so grateful for. It was actually a relationship that grew as the story progressed and felt really believable. Bishop is just such an awesome, swoon-worthy guy. I'm also always interested in arranged marriage stories. It's such an intriguing concept. There's the fear and nervousness that comes in marrying someone not of your choice or someone you don't even know. Then there is also the curiosity to see how it will work out.
All the gray areas in this book were really interesting too. No character, with the exception of Callie, was all good or all bad. You could see how some of the ideas presented at the time started off good, but how they morphed into unpleasant things and consequences. Ivy is put in a real pickle with what to do. She loves her family and has kind of been brainwashed as to their cause, but then she meets Bishop and sees he is not the enemy her family has led her to believe. In a way, I thought the choice she made was really the only option she had. But something still needs to be done about Callie. Bishop needs to be warned or something.
I would have liked more of a post-apocalyptic feel to it though. The town was so safe that you really didn't get an idea of what was beyond the fence. Hopefully the sequel will be full of that fun stuff.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It just had that kind of feel and writing to it that sucked me in from the first page. I can't wait to see how it continues and how everything gets resolved. This book definitely deserves the hype surround it. It's just fun and romantic.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Enjoyable, but that cliffhanger is a little mean.