"Engel makes good use of her setting; the fight for survival on the cusp of winter stokes the sense of danger in a way that matches Ivy's roiling feelings, and the love story moves with the slow-growing heat that Ivy needs." Kirkus Reviews
Beyond the fence. I am still alive. Barely.
My name is Ivy Westfall. I am sixteen years old and a traitor. Three months ago, I was forced to marry the president's son, Bishop Lattimeras all daughters of the losing side of the war are sold off in marriage to the sons of the winners. But I was different. I had a mission-to kill Bishop.
Instead, I fell in love with him.
Now I am an outcast, left to survive the brutal savagery of the lands outside of civilization. Yet even out here, there is hope. There is life beyond the fence. But I can't outrun my past. For my actions have set off a treasonous chain of events in Westfall that will change all of our fatesespecially Bishop's.
And this time, it is not enough to just survive...
About the Author
Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing among countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two children. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she worked as a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on television. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.
Read an Excerpt
The Revolution of Ivy
By Amy Engel, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Amy Engel
All rights reserved.
No one survives beyond the fence. At least that's what my father always told me when I was a child. But I'm not a little girl anymore, and I no longer believe in the words of my father. He told me the Lattimers were cruel and deserved to die. He told me my only choice was to kill the boy I loved. He has been wrong about so many things. And I'm determined that he's going to be wrong about my survival as well.
If I want to live, I have to move away from the fence and head toward the river. But even after I start that direction, my fingers still clench and release, clench and release, as if they are searching the air for the comforting familiarity of chain link. I know that last night I was lucky, considering what could have happened while I was passed out and injured on the wrong side of the fence. An animal could have found me. Or a person. I can't count on that type of luck again. I need to reach the river, quench my thirst before the sun sets, and find some shelter from the coming night.
The river can't be far, but it still takes what feels like hours for me to get there. I lose count of how many times I have to stop and rest, my breathing ragged and my body aching. My thoughts move sluggishly inside my head, and dizziness is an ever-present companion, hovering over me, waiting for a moment of weakness. I probably have a concussion from the blow to my head, but I'm not sure I remember what you're supposed to do for one. And it's not like I can put my feet up anyway, grab a cold compress, ask someone else's opinion. A laugh bubbles in my throat, but when it breaks free all it sounds is wild, just this side of insane, and I press my lips together tight.
Keeping my thoughts from returning to Westfall takes almost as much effort as walking. But I push the memories aside. Out here, longing for things that are no longer mine will only lead to weakness that will be my downfall. Instead, I concentrate on the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and continue moving forward even as part of me is left behind, beyond a fence I cannot breach.
When I finally reach the river, it's not a placid pool like Bishop showed me inside Westfall's borders. Here it's wide, and although not raging, the current is running strong. The water looks brownish in the afternoon sun, silt stirred up by the rush of water. But when I kneel on the riverbank and cup it in my hands, it is mostly clear, and I gulp it down. I reach with both hands and shovel it toward my open mouth as fast as I can. I hadn't realized how thirsty I was until the first drops hit my tongue.
Once I've slackened my immediate thirst, I splash water onto my face. I take off my sweater and set it on the bank beside me, then cup handfuls of water and scrub gingerly at my face and neck, cataloging injuries as I go. The guards who threw me out were definitely not careful with me. My lower lip feels puffy and raw, and the back of my head is so tender I can't even run my fingers over it without sucking air in through gritted teeth. My arms are crisscrossed with dozens of deep scratches. I plunge my hands into the cold water and rub the blood away, try to work the dirt out from underneath my nails.
The sun is beginning to sink lower in the sky, and a thin strip of light cuts through the trees and glances off my wedding ring. I straighten my left hand out underneath the water, watch the gold glimmer and shift. I remember the day Bishop put it on my finger, the way my hand shook. The way I wanted to rip the ring off, how foreign and confining it felt against my skin. Now it takes me a long minute to work the ring off my finger. It leaves behind a dent in my flesh, a smooth band of skin that feels naked without it. But I can't bear to wear it anymore, this reminder of all the things I have lost. I hold the ring loosely in my palm, and then open my hand, let the river carry it away.
I scoot back on the riverbank, content for the moment to listen to the play of water over rocks, feel the warmth of the fading sun on my back. I try not to think about the coming night. I try not to think about anything beyond my basic needs, afraid that if I do I will simply collapse under the weight of my fear and grief. There's no room for second-guessing the decisions I made back in Westfall. No room for wondering what might have been. I don't consider myself a victim — it was my choice to sacrifice myself, after all — but out here, turning into one will be easy if I don't stay focused.
Behind me there is a small stand of trees, as good a place as any to take refuge once darkness falls. My more immediate worry, now that thirst isn't at the top of the list, is finding something to eat. My father, in all his endless lessons, never spared a single second talking to me about how to survive beyond the fence. He never taught me how to start a fire or catch a small animal. I suppose he never considered the possibility that all his planning might come to nothing, that we might be caught, that he might need to give me some kind of alternative training. It is just one more time he has failed me.
A slight movement to my right catches my attention and I watch as a small lizard scampers across the rocks, stopping to sun himself. I hold my breath, willing him closer, although I'm not entirely sure what I'll do with him if I'm able to catch him. But the gnawing hunger in my stomach forces me to try. I lean my weight onto my left arm and inch my right hand closer. At the last second the lizard must sense my intent because he tries to scuttle away, but I'm faster, or more desperate, and my fingers close around his scaly back.
I hold him in my fist, and he stares at me with dull black eyes. I pick up a small rock and use it to crush him, ignoring the bile that fights its way into my throat. I eat methodically, not allowing myself to think, trying not to taste the bitter tang that coats my mouth. It takes all my concentration to swallow, my eyes focused on a spot across the river. My stomach wants to heave the lizard back up, but when I'm done I set my jaw, take deep breaths through my nose. My days of eating Bishop's hamburgers and turkey sandwiches are over. Now I will eat whatever it takes to stay alive.
When I'm sure the lizard is going to stay down, I crawl forward and rinse my mouth with water. I swish and spit until all I taste is river. The sun has almost set now, bands of orange and pink threading like gauze through the trees. The air is still warm, but there's the promise of fall's chill underneath. The weather will not cooperate with me for long.
I pull my sweater back on and drag myself over to the stand of trees. I curl myself into a ball, trying to make myself invisible. I haven't seen another person since the children at the fence, and I don't have the sense that anyone's watching me. But I still feel exposed, with no way to defend myself if someone were to come along. I anticipate it taking hours for me to find sleep, but my battered body has other plans, and almost as soon as I close my eyes, I'm sucked down into darkness.
When I wake, it's difficult to tell what time of day it is, whether it's morning or afternoon, whether I've slept twelve hours or twenty. The sky is overcast, dark clouds rolling in from the west, the rumble of thunder promising storms. I have a feeling that my sleep was closer to unconsciousness. I don't feel rested. My body is sore and stiff, my vision fuzzy, like I'm looking at the world through a pane of dirty glass. I push myself to sitting, hissing in air at the sharp spike in my head.
I need to find better shelter from the coming storm. The day is warm, but I worry what will happen if my clothes get soaked and the temperature drops. I hate to leave the river, but promise myself I won't go far, just to the nearest available shelter. My stomach is cramping with hunger, so before I head out I kneel by the river and gulp down handfuls of water to ease the ache a little.
I walk due east from the river, looking for anything that would offer good protection from the rain. At first there is nothing, only the empty expanse of land. I know that before the war overpopulation was a real concern, the idea that the earth might simply run out of space and resources for all its inhabitants. Such fears are hard to imagine now, when I am the only human as far as the eye can see, the sole evidence of life.
The sharp crack of thunder moves closer, a stiff wind blowing my hair into my face. I top a small rise, and in the near distance I see the rusted hulk of a car. I approach it cautiously, but there's no indication anyone's touched it in decades. The tires are shredded to nothing, both doors on the driver's side ripped away. The front windshield is smashed in and there's a faint rotten smell from the interior, but the car is still the best option I've seen in terms of shelter. I climb into the backseat, easing myself over the cracked and torn leather.
The storm hits only a few minutes later, rain lashing down against the car, driving in sideways so that I'm forced to curl against the far side in order to stay dry. I'm grateful for the protection from the rain, but staying still, without the benefit of any sort of distraction, allows my brain to circle back around to Westfall. To my family. To Bishop. The longing I feel for him is a physical ache, pinched and throbbing inside my chest. I bite down on the inside of my cheek to keep myself from crying, press my hands against my closed eyes. It shouldn't be so hard to forget someone I barely knew. Bishop was in my life for only a few months, but somehow he left an imprint that has absolutely no relationship to the length of time we were together.
I lower my hands and open my eyes, watch the rain beating down against the long grass outside the car. I work to clear my head of thought. Perhaps this is how I will survive now, by keeping myself an empty white blank, pretending my life began only yesterday and nothing came before. My eyelids grow heavy, my breathing deepening with the sound of the rain. I let myself sink down, my head resting against the dirt-streaked window. I have a fleeting thought that maybe it's not a good thing to be sleeping so much, but I give in to the oblivion. If nothing else, it's a welcome respite from the pain.
At first I think I'm dreaming about the dog that bit me. The one my sister Callie strangled with his own chain. I hear the snarling, smell the scent of wet fur and rancid breath. I shift, batting against nothing, and my hand slams against something hard and slick. My eyes fly open, take in the interior of the car, my hand resting against the leather seat. My body is already scrambling backward, registering the threat before my mind can process it. There's a coyote in the open doorway of the car. Saliva drips from its mouth, its light brown fur matted and mud-clogged. It bares yellowed fangs at me, growls ripping from its throat. I've never seen a coyote in real life, but my father talked about packs of them roaming outside the fence. So far, there is only evidence of one, but his pack might not be far.
"Go away!" I yell, kicking out with my foot. Panic is flooding my veins and part of me knows I need to calm down, think, but the rest of me is simply frantic to get away. My foot catches the coyote in the head and it retreats. But only for a second before it returns, this time putting its front paws up on the backseat, watching me with predatory eyes. I don't know if it is strong enough to kill me, but it can definitely inflict serious damage.
I draw my foot back to kick again and the coyote lunges forward, its jaws snapping the air only millimeters from my canvas-covered toes. I scream and flail backward, eyes searching the car for some kind of weapon. For a split second, I consider trying to launch myself over the coyote and out of the car, but I know on the open ground it will outpace me easily. My frantic eyes land on the broken front windshield. A portion of the metal frame yawns inward, the end sharp where it's broken in two. I keep one eye on the coyote as I shift forward. I'm scared to try kicking it again. If it gets a hold of my foot, it will mangle me in seconds. I take a deep breath and vault over the front seat, screaming as the coyote shoots into the car, its hot breath brushing against my neck.
I can hear the coyote growling frantically, scrambling on the backseat behind me, but I don't look back. I reach out and wrench the loose piece of metal from the frame, only distantly aware that I've sliced through my own fingers as I pull it free. I turn, heaving out air, lunging at the coyote just as it springs toward me. I bury the jagged metal in the coyote's eye and we scream at the same time, both of us spouting blood.
The coyote falls onto the floor of the backseat, shaking its head wildly, trying to dislodge the metal. Warm drops of blood spatter onto my arms as it writhes. I shove myself out of the car and run, not looking back. I can feel my own blood gushing out of my fingers and I clutch my hand against my chest. After only a minute of hard running, I have to stop. My head is spinning and my stomach heaves. I lean over, vomiting up water and bile, acid stinging my throat. Even before I've finished wiping my mouth with my good hand, I'm looking behind me, eyes searching the long grass. But nothing moves. If the coyote is still alive, it is not following me. At least not yet.
By the time I make it back to the river, blood is running down my forearm, dripping off the bend of my elbow. I sink to my knees on the bank and look at my hand closely for the first time. All four of my fingers on my right hand are cut across the bottom joint, the deepest gash on my ring finger where a thick flap of skin hangs loose, revealing a flash of white bone. I tip my head up, take deep breaths until my stomach settles.
I pull off my sweater, the front of it soaked with blood, and toss it beside me. Using my teeth and hands, I manage to tear off a strip of cotton from the bottom of my tank top. I press the cloth hard against my fingers, willing the flow of blood to stop.
Only one day outside the fence and already I'm losing the battle. Part of me is surprised I'm not crying, not shaking with fear. But the rest of me knows this is probably only the first of many injuries, many tests, I'll face. I can't afford to fall apart every time.
The cloth is soaked through with blood by the time the flow begins to slow down. Using my teeth again, I manage to knot the sodden piece of tank top around my fingers. I don't know how much good it will do, but maybe it will keep some pressure on the wounds. I'm so tired I can barely move, my whole body screaming for sleep although I haven't been awake for all that long.
I lean over the water, splash some on my face with my good hand, bring a handful to my mouth. Now that the rain has stopped, the sun has come out from behind the clouds, just in time to set. I can barely see my own reflection in the water, which is probably a blessing. Only the outline of my head and neck. The lines of the trees behind me.
And a man's shadow over my shoulder.
I whirl around, my legs skidding out from under me where I was crouched on the grassy bank. I throw out an arm to stop myself from tumbling into the river. My injured fingers dig into the ground and instantly begin to bleed again, but it hardly matters. My breath is a harsh rasp in the early evening gloom.
At first I can't tell who it is, just a man, his face masked in twilight. But he steps forward and I see his blue eyes, eyes I would know anywhere.
"Hey there, pretty girl," Mark Laird says. And then he smiles.CHAPTER 2
For an endless moment there is only silence as we stare at each other. Instinct tells me not to let him know how scared I am, how even now my stomach has twisted itself into a hard knot of fear, the hair on the back of my neck quivering in anticipation. I haven't seen him since the day I followed Bishop to the fence after Mark was put out, but I realize now that some part of me has been anticipating this moment all along.
"Hi, Mark," I hear myself say, my voice surprisingly normal.
Excerpted from The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2015 Amy Engel. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
She is an amazing author. Love the story hope there's a third book.
The Revolution of Ivy is the final book in the Book of Ivy Duology. It was a process getting Ivy to talk it out with Bishop. I get it in some ways, but in others? I don't understand why she took so long. The life Ivy started making for herself outside the fence made me proud of her. I wish she didn't hold on to her lies for quite as long as she did, but it sure made for some good drama. There were some new characters introduced who I really enjoyed. I would love to see a Caleb and/or Ash spin off.
While I’m a fan of the new trend of some series that don’t require three books moving to duologies, I feel like trying to fit the conclusion of Ivy’s story into “The Revolution of Ivy” took away from the book. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book and thought it flowed well with Ivy and Deacon’s story from “The Book of Ivy.” Characterization was consistent and the romantic tension was wonderful. I really enjoyed meeting some of the new characters and would have liked to know more about them. Which is my beef with the book. I feel like there was much more to be told about what happened in the first two-thirds of the book, and it would have been nice to have that part extended to create the middle book of a trilogy. The ending felt rushed and deserved a lot more detail. It could have easily been its own book. Overall, I was satisfied with how “The Revolution of Ivy” ended, but I am stuck on what could have been. I do think those who liked the first book of the series will find it enjoyable and a worthwhile read.
A fitting ending to the duology for Ivy, Bishop, and Westfall. Revolution picks up where The Book of Ivy left off--right after Ivy's banishment from Westfall. She soon runs into trouble beyond devastating thirst and hunger, testing her strength, adaptability, and convictions. Just how far will she go to survive? Though Ivy showed a tremendous amount of courage and growth throughout the book, I have to admit she tried my patience more than once. I can understand her reluctance to trust her new acquaintances, but her attitude when Bishop shows up? And the fact that the attitude continued for quite some time? Harder to swallow. Bishop deserves a medal for waiting through her crazy until she finally got her head on straight. But then, he IS Bishop Lattimer. ;) Despite my sometimes-frustration with its main character, I really did enjoy The Revolution of Ivy. Even when she was pushing Bishop away with both hands, I couldn't stop reading, needing to find out just how everything was going to end up. Spoiler alert: Ivy's sister Callie's still a mega-b*tch. Shocker, I know. And people are going to die. Some of them horribly. This book really works best if you've read book one first. Though Ivy does do some recapping of events for the reader, everything will have a much greater impact if you've read The Book of Ivy already. (Plus, book one is flipping awesome, so you really should read it anyway just because.) I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Engel will bring us next! Rating: 4 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
I highly recommend the series to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian reads like The Hunger Games or Divergent. No one survives beyond the fence. At least that's what my father always told me when I was a child. But I'm not a little girl anymore, and I no longer believe in the words of my father. He told me the Lattimers were cruel and deserved to die. He told me my only choice was to kill the boy I loved. He has been wrong about so many things. And I'm determined that he's going to be wrong about my survival as well. THE REVOLUTION OF IVY by Amy Engel is an engrossing ending to the Book of Ivy duology. The series is a dystopian young adult romance. I had read the first book in this series late last year. It had ended with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger and I've been dying to read the sequel. I started reading THE REVOLUTION OF IVY one evening and was so immersed with the story that I could not put it down until I finished it in the wee hours of the next morning. It encompassed a plethora of unexpected twists that left me stunned and unable to sleep until all was resolved. This is a story that I'll not forget for a long while. Do yourself a favor and read this series in order. There's so much integral character development and complex plot details from the first book that overlap to this one that a reader would be lost if they tried to read THE REVOLUTION OF IVY as a standalone. THE REVOLUTION OF IVY picks up exactly where THE BOOK OF IVY ended. I loved the hero, Bishop Lattimer, in the first book and he never ceases to merit those same feelings in this tale. He's strong, caring, responsible, smart and supportive of Ivy even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. Our heroine, Ivy, continues her struggle to overcome the mental abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and sister growing up in the cocoon they kept her enclosed in. Truthfully, I wanted to shake Ivy through much of the first half of this book. She was her own worst enemy! She knew what she wanted, but refused to accept that it was hers for the taking. I felt that there was no good excuse for her actions towards Bishop. Thankfully, seemingly overnight, she came to terms with what she needed to do and I almost forgot her earlier immaturity that had me so frustrated. I was amazed that Bishop allowed her to abuse him so. She's lucky he didn't give up on her. Ivy finds herself and becomes the strong character that she was meant to be. Be aware that there is some non-graphic sexual activity in this story making it suitable for the more mature teen. This series is well written with an engrossing storyline set in a post-apocalyptic world. I highly recommend the series to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian reads like The Hunger Games or Divergent. THE REVOLUTION OF IVY provides a satisfying, if not happy, wrap-up to the series. My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there. 4 Wine Glasses!
4.5/5 stars This duology has everything I could have ever wanted in a young adult dystopian- action, adventure, romance, and sorrow. It hasn't been easy journey for Ivy and Bishop, but seeing them fight for what they love, for one another, and themselves is just so powerful. I cannot recommend these books enough. After everything that happened at the end of the previous book, we knew things for Ivy would not be easy. She has to go into survival mode pretty quickly and my heart ached for her at how alone she was. She doesn't have time to be scared or break down. She knows she has to find water and that is priority number one. She has to compartmentalize her emotions which is easier said than done, as she knows she won't be able to move on otherwise. She was sent to kill her husband, but ended up falling in love with him and his gentle, kind heart. She has never really been shown love in her life, growing up with her father and older sister, who both believe in taking back what's rightfully theirs- control of Westfall. Bishop is the first person to come along and really see Ivy. He sees into her soul and Ivy can't help but appreciate that he never once tried to control her or force her into anything. Losing that was crushing to her, so it's hard for her to let go of him so easily. Thankfully, Ivy does end up befriending some others, Caleb and Ash, both of whom I really liked. They were such important characters in this novel and their friendship is not one to be taken for granted. They are the perfect example of how family is not just those related to you by blood. I obviously have to talk about Bishop more. Just when I thought I couldn't love him any more than I already did! His patience with Ivy knows no bounds and I just wanted to squeeze him for having so much love in his heart for her. Ivy was not the easiest person to deal with at times because of her walls that she's constructed, but he refuses to stop wearing them down and get her to communicate with him. Their scenes together are so wonderful and I loved how a simple spark could turn into an inferno when it came to their passion for one another. I love how Ivy puts it all out there with him. While I loved the romance and my heart swooned like crazy, this book was gritty and raw. Engel does an amazing job of describing the dangers these characters faced and how brutal survival could be. They are forced to do what is necessary to survive and while some may not like that- it's realistic. It felt like a true dystopian novel and while I am sad to say goodbye to these characters, I felt Engel did them and their story justice and that epilogue was everything I could want in an ending.
After the devastating end of The Book of Ivy I didn’t think I would survive The Revolution of Ivy. I mean, I obviously wanted to read it but my god- Angel knows how to make a girl lose all hope and leave you a mess with just a few sentences. In order to remain a little of my dignity I decided to be cautious, refusing to be pulled back in and left heartbroken; I was not going to get attached. I failed miserably. Following the unexpected ending of book one, Ivy is no longer in Westfall, now she’s outside of the wall; banished from safety, left to fend for herself in a cruel waste land with no food, water and no way to survive. The first part of the book follows Ivy in her attempt to survive the unforgiving strange land, it’s here where we meet new characters Caleb and Ash. Together they show Ivy the way of the land, how to hunt, how to defend herself and how to survive. What I loved most about this part of the book is that while I was desperate for the long overdue reunion of Ivy and Bishop, is that it wasn’t rushed. We get to see Ivy mature and grow as a person and ultimately learning to make decisions for herself and to be her own person. “I don’t want a girl who makes me happy,” he says. “I want you.” Then I finally got my reunion with Bishop, it was obvious that they were going to be reunited but the ‘way’ they were introduced was so shocking, I was not expecting it all! So let’s talk about Bishop he’s mine, he’s just as dreamy as ever, I mean he’s just perfect in every way. I didn’t think it was possible to fall in love with him all over again but he has this ability to say the right thing at the right time and whatever comes out of his mouth just slays me every damn time. Bishop was Ivy’s rock throughout the whole book, unmoving and patient through tough times and moments of heartbreak. What I loved most about Bishop in this book was his fierceness, when Ivy proceeded to close off and lie he pushed, which led to their long overdue conversation about really happened in Westfall allowing them to move on together. The ending was bittersweet, it involved a much-needed confrontation between the Lattimer’s and the Westfall’s that was heart-breaking but ultimately the ending I wanted for the characters is exactly what I got. I couldn’t have asked for more, Engel wrote a fabulous follow up which I will continue to read over and over again. This is one series you don’t want to miss!
This book was such a great end to the first one and I have to say that I am sad that it is over. Bishop and Ivy are such an amazing couple and I just want more and more of them. We start of with Ivy outside of the fence and struggling to cope with her new life. Ivy is having to fight for her life as well as try to make her way back to somewhere familiar. At the end of book 1, Bishop and Ivy are separated. With the help if Caleb and Ash, Ivy finds her way back to Bishop. When they are all back together, they hear of what is happening in their hometown and know that they have to get back there as soon as they can to try and save Ivy's sister. As things progress along the way, Bishop and Ivy's relationship will be tested again. Can they overcome all the obstacles that they are facing again and find themselves once again? You have to read this one to find out. I thought that this was a really well written story that followed up a huge cliffhanger very well. I am so glad that we now have a conclusion to Ivy and Bishop, but sad to see it all end. Thanks Any Engel for another great read and I look forward to more from you in the near future.
It's difficult to review this without being spoilery, BUT I can tell you, this definitely makes up for that cliff hanger at the end of the first book! (Seriously, was Amy Engel trying to kill me with that or what?) The Revolution of Ivy has action, suspense, romance, and swoon. Killing too. Justice is served, amends are made and kissing ensues. Fans of Bishop and Ivy WILL NOT be disappointed! Read it. #BishopIsMine Forever and ever, amen.
The Revolution of Ivy is all about change and breaking glass ceilings. How very fitting: Today is Election Day! A sequel is a daunting task, Amy Engel told me so, but this second book was so compelling…it was as high caliber as her debut, and I raaaved about that one (The Book of Ivy available here). I actually compare TRoI to the likes of The Empire Strikes Back! That’s rare and stellar praise coming from this reader. Ivy is in full survival mode after [partially] completing her mission. To recap, President Lattimer ordered Ivy put out at the conclusion of book one. Ivy would have accomplished the goal, the Westfall goal, had her heart not been compromised. Falling in love with the enemy wasn’t the plan and her last minute, Hail Mary play cost her place alongside Bishop, her husband and once-intended target. Ivy is blindsided by her family, but even more bereft without Bishop. I was both exhausted and on edge from the onset of Ivy’s exile. She’s been trained (manipulated?) in the ways of political maneuvers, but no one in the Westfall faction thought to initiate protocols for survival. Ivy’s no princess, but these odds outside the fence were unrelenting and nearly insurmountable. The isolation alone would have catapulted me back inside the safety of Westfall! This mindset is strategic in hindsight, however, as it adds more depth to an already impressive Ivy. What once was soft has been carved away, leaving only what’s absolutely necessary behind. The setting commenced as solitary and desperate, until Ivy aligns herself with two nomads, Ash and Caleb. A brother and sister (but not) who welcome Ivy into their group and teach her newfound, comprehensive independence. Her understanding of life outside the fence, nature versus nurture, transforms Ivy into a tour de force; her life in Westfall but a chrysalis. It’s impossible not to reveal a spoiler as this is a sequel, but suffice it to say that Bishop lands, most unceremoniously, at Ivy’s feet, threatening to dismantle the new life she’d forged from pain and suffering. Their reunion is brutal on the heart. Ivy never expected to see Bishop again, so she began shutting down that vibrant part of her soul that his love set to life (penance for her betrayal). When Bishop arrives solely to be by her side, Ivy is inexplicably angry and terribly confused. Ms. Engel writes a magnificent storyline about reconciling emotions. My heart was lodged in my throat, fearful and mesmerized by the power of their words. To say I swooned is simply insufficient. I was overcome with feeling! The political turmoil within Westfall reaches our H/H. The Lattimers and Westfalls are at it in veritable Hatfield and McCoy fashion. The flawed system (made up of extremes and revenge) has deprived the town for too long and it’s imploding. Ever conscientious of choice and freedom, will Ivy and Bishop return to instill peace or remain independent and outside the clutches of chaos? What a finale! Momentous showdowns of the breath-stealing variety! WOW. Ms. Engel advised me that the series ends here. It’s not enough, *sniffs*, I could read about Ivy and Bishop for at least a trilogy! It’s better to have loved, they say? ;D I cannot recommend The Revolution of Ivy enough! Ms. Engel writes a wonderful YA series that is meant for readers of all ages. She created an outstanding young woman who flourishes under adversity. Ivy’s journey to maturity and identity is exemplary. Bishop’s plight is symbiotic to Ivy’s and his catha
Short and Sweet: I loved this emotional and powerful conclusion to the The Book of Ivy duology. To Elaborate… When I read The Book of Ivy, I fell completely in love with the world, the romance, and the depth of the characters. Unfortunately, there was a long time span between reading it and starting the sequel, so I remembered next to nothing (lol). I highly recommend doing a reread before starting this. There isn’t a lot of refresher information, so for the first few chapters, I just kind of went along with everything and tried to remember as much as possible. I was hooked right back into Engel’s beautiful writing and Ivy’s story, even with my bad memory and all. This follow up is hard-hitting and packs punches, kicks, stabs, and about every heartbreak imaginable. While Ivy grew beautifully in the first book, she truly has to find the very core of who she is in this book, and her journey is hard but so, so worth it. I can’t say much about the plot without giving spoilers away, so I’ll just say the plot builds perfectly, and though there are many, many heavy and emotional moments, we do get some beautifully happy and romantic scenes as well. As I mentioned before, the writing is exceptional. Engel has a distinct voice, and so many moments in the dialogue, especially the ones between Ivy and Bishop, will hit you right in the heart. The characters face intense situations and hard choices, and what I love most about Engel’s writing is how she perfectly conveys what the characters are feeling and why (or why not) without making it obvious. They are understandable, flawed, and completely human, and even when they don’t know what they’re doing, Engel makes it effortless to relate to them. I highly recommend this duology to anyone looking for action, adventure, romance, and characters who have to fight with everything they have to survive. The complex characters, exciting plot, and stellar writing easily make this series one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.
Anyone who read and liked The Book of Ivy will obviously want to read the next book. That was the case with me, but while I really liked The Book of Ivy, I LOVED The Revolution of Ivy. The first book did a good job introducing us to Westfall, giving us all the background information and basically setting the stage for this one. Most of the excitement happened toward the very end so in my opinion, it felt like the first book was the appetizer and this one was the main course. And what a meal it was! It starts off just a bit slow, with Ivy trying to figure out how to survive now that she’s out of Westfall. The mood is dreary and you really feel both her fear and the pain for everything she lost. Once she encounters people, things start happening quickly and there’s plenty of excitement to keep you on the edge of your seat. I really liked the new characters that were introduced in this book, Caleb and Ash, and I was glad they were a big part of the story. From the blurb we know that Bishop and Ivy see each other again. I was anxiously looking forward to this encounter since the beginning of the book. Once it happened, there was just a brief period of time where I got annoyed at Ivy and wanted to shake some sense into her. Luckily, this didn’t last long and the story got back on track all the way to the end. The Revolution of Ivy was a fantastic read and I was completely satisfied with all the events that took place. The book was so interesting and full of action, everyone got what they deserved and the ending for Ivy and Bishop was perfection. *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*