ARC Review & Interview: The Revolution of Ivy-Amy Engel


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“Sadness passes across his face, bleeds into his eyes. Not pity, though, just an understanding. Like what happened to me, happened to him. And maybe that’s love, too-feeling the other person’s hurts like your own.”

***

“I’ve lost so much, but I’ve gained something, too. Life beyond the fence is transforming me. Not into a new person, but back into the girl I’ve always been underneath all the layers my father and Callie built on top of me. Slowly, I’m finding myself. I am becoming Ivy again.”

synIvy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen

The Revolution of Ivy is the stunning sequel to The Book of Ivy. A book of self discovery, learning to love, and growing up, The Revolution of Ivy is a metamorphosis. Ivy was buried under the sins of her forefathers, the immense loyalty and duty to her family that she lost herself beneath the layers of her family’s expectations. Ivy had to be determined, cold, and an actress enough to fool the enemy, hiding away herself in order to succeed. Ivy’s downfall became her saving grace, she found the girl within that had never left but waited for her time to blossom. 

READ THIS BOOK IF: 

  • You’re looking for a flawed protagonist that evolves and grows.
  • You like survivalist shows or books.
  • You want an honest, realistic romance set in dystopian chaos.

PROS:

  • I don’t think I’ve ever read a more beautifully complex romance. Bishop and Ivy are a slow, sensual flame that grows into a roaring fire. I loved that their relationship was complicated, built on years of hate and family obligations, it felt doomed to fail. But Bishop’s kindness, his patience, his ability to learn and read Ivy makes him ideal for her. His gentle way is coupled with honesty and devotion. Ivy is it for him and he knows it. Bishop makes Ivy question and see the world in new ways, he helps her see the woman he knows is there underneath the shackles of her family. With Bishop, Ivy can finally hope for happiness. In so many books, the attraction is instant and primal, it’s wildly sexual, I adored that Ivy and Bishop’s romance was thoughtful. They chose each other and it felt like love. There’s nothing more special than making the decision to love and accept with your whole heart.
  • Ivy is a compelling, understated and relatable protagonist. She worries that her emotionless childhood has prevented her from being able to love. It’s heartbreaking that a girl with so much to give doesn’t believe that of herself. Ivy wants with everything in her to win the approval of her family, to be free, and to open her heart, to share the warmth and compassion she has bursting inside her. Ivy grows so much. One of the hardest parts of growing up is learning to know and accept yourself, flaws and all. Ivy sheds her past and sees for the first time what she has the potential to become and has always had within her. Ivy finds she is much more capable, and far braver than she ever imagined. 
  • The world beyond the wall is rife with dangers. The wilderness is harsh and brutal, it takes prisoners and only the strong persevere. Between the landscape, ravenous animals, and hardened criminals, safety is nonexistent. Every step presents a new challenge. Outside the fence, the world is realistic and expected. It makes it all the more terrifying because it could happen to anyone who got lost in the woods. The survival techniques are abundant. Many skills are detailed and sometimes gory.
  • The reckoning. So many scenes and confrontations that you might have been waiting to happen since book 1 are fierce, bittersweet, and dramatic. You won’t be disappointed. Callie and Ivy’s reunion broke my heart.
  • THAT ENDING. How something so short could be so powerful is beyond me. The confessions, the heart to hearts, the finality, every line added a little more heartbreak.
  • Caleb and Ash are the siblings Ivy never had and what Callie could have been had the situation been different. They’re not openly lovable but you feel every ounce of the respect for Ivy. She becomes a part of their family. They show their love by taking her in, guiding her, and allowing her the freedom to be herself. 

CONS:

  • The majority of the story is one of survival and coping with the rough terrain beyond the fence. Because this takes up a huge chunk of the book, the transition near the end felt especially rushed, off-balance, and easy. Aspects of the plan that should have had complications were relatively flawless, the characters were really lucky for the most part. While this is not entirely a bad thing, it dimmed some of the anxiety of those moments. Parts that should have been tense were too brief for proper build up.
  • In a camp with a surprisingly large group of fellow survivors, Ivy had few interactions with others besides the main two secondary characters, Caleb and Ash. Other characters were fleeting and minimal, you kind of forgot that anyone else was there. 

int

  1. Life on the other side of the wall is harsher and more dangerous than Ivy ever expected. Some of the trials Ivy faces in the wilderness are unavoidable, like scavenging animals and harsh terrain, others are more sinister. What are some survival tips for someone who has no knowledge the world beyond the wall?

One of the most important things to realize about life beyond the fence is that no one can survive alone for very long. So it’s vital to find other people. Of course, you have to make sure the people you find are the right type of people and not ones who are looking to hurt you. You also need to find a good source of water. And you can’t be picky about food. If you’re squeamish about what you eat, you’re not going to last very long.

  1. Bishop and Ivy are very much like Romeo and Juliet, the whole star-crossed lovers, deep family hatred and wrongdoings. What inspired Bishop and Ivy’s characters?

The character development all started with Ivy. I knew I wanted her to be outspoken, even when it wasn’t always smart. She was loyal, stubborn, a little naive, and her love for her family made her easy to manipulate. Once I had Ivy’s character in my head, Bishop flowed from there. I wanted them to have complimentary personalities. So Bishop needed to be patient in the face of Ivy’s impulsiveness. He needed to be steady when she was more volatile. And I knew Bishop couldn’t be the typical “bad boy with a heart of gold” type character because if he gave Ivy any reason to dislike or distrust him any more than she already did, they never would have had a chance at an honest relationship.

  1. What would you say are Ivy’s strength and weaknesses? Would you consider her a heroine?

I would say Ivy’s ability to love is both her greatest strength and her biggest weakness. She loves with her whole heart and has a hard time giving up on people, even when she probably should. But that love is also her saving grace; it eventually leads her to people who genuinely care about her and love her as fiercely as she loves them. I don’t know if I consider Ivy a heroine so much as she’s a smart, strong girl who refuses to give up on herself or on anyone she loves. Maybe that makes her a heroine, but I think Ivy would consider herself just a normal, flawed human being who tries very hard to do the right thing.

  1. What makes Bishop the perfect companion?

I think Bishop is the perfect companion for Ivy because he lets Ivy be herself. He’s not put off by her sometimes prickly personality and he doesn’t overreact when she lashes out. And because of Bishop’s patient calmness, Ivy is able to slowly open up and trust him completely. Bishop supports Ivy and always has her back, but he doesn’t condescend to her or treat her like anything less than an equal. He’s just a genuinely good person who loves Ivy unconditionally.

  1. Are you writing anything new?

When I finished IVY, I started an adult novel called THE ROANOKE GIRLS. It’s being published by the Crown imprint of Random House in early 2017. I’m working on edits for that book right now. Once those are done, I’ll be diving into the first draft of something new!

  1. What was your writing process? How did The Book of Ivy evolve?

My writing process usually begins with just the germ of an idea. I’ll have the initial thought and I let it sit for a few days or weeks to see if it takes root or dies out. If it takes root, I start thinking about the characters. Once I have a clear idea of who they are, I begin to write. I don’t outline at all. I generally know how the story begins and often know how it will end (although that’s subject to change), but the rest of the story is a complete mystery to me. I just let it evolve as I’m writing. Sometimes the story goes in completely unexpected ways and that’s always fun and a little terrifying, too.

  1. Callie and Ivy have a complex bond. What makes their relationship so twisted?

I think what makes their relationship so twisted, and heartbreaking, is that Ivy and Callie are coming at the relationship with completely different objectives. Ivy wants Callie’s love. She wants Callie to be proud of her and is always trying to earn that affection. Callie, on the other hand, cares about Ivy primarily as a means to an end. So long as Ivy is doing what Callie wants, Callie is happy. But if Ivy ever deviates from that, Callie affection is withdrawn. It makes for a very unhealthy, sick dynamic that Callie exploits to her advantage time and time again. It takes Ivy meeting Bishop and being involved in the first healthy, truly loving relationship of her life to realize how manipulative and selfish Callie really is. But that doesn’t mean Ivy automatically stops loving her sister, because that’s who Ivy is at her core—someone who is always hoping for something better.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

FINAL COVER1731277710212034The_Selection

 

 

 

 

 

Happy reading, 

Jordan

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