BOOK REVIEW – The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

BOOK REVIEW – The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


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…

Our story was written long ago, and it does not have a happy ending.

The Book of Ivy was so much fun, and I quickly devoured it in two sittings!  It’s just one of those books that you can step right into and easily enjoy it from the first page on.  The characters, the world building, the way the story progressed, it was all so effortless to connect with.  And yes, I’m definitely kicking myself for not picking up this book sooner!

Once I’m safely out of range, I realize this is the first time I’ve spent more than five minutes with him where I wasn’t thinking about the plan or what to do next. Which is exactly what my father and Callie want, for me to act natural, to make it seem real. I should be happy. But I remember Bishop’s laugh, his crinkly nose, the warmth in my cheeks, and can’t help feeling I’ve done something wrong.

The story starts off with us following Ivy, who is on her way to get married to a stranger.  And that stranger is the President’s son, Bishop.  Yet Ivy isn’t looking forward to a happily ever after with her new husband.  Instead, she is looking forward to helping out her family’s agenda, which involves murdering her new husband-to-be so her family can step back into power.  And in the beginning, I was all for that plan.  I hated how the President maintained their population by arranged marriage.  That at the age of 16-18 they were expected to get married and for the women to start popping out babies.  I understood the importance of keeping up their population of 10,000, since the U.S. had been decimated from war, floods, drought, famine etc.  But I also understood the importance of Ivy’s family taking back the power and changing the marriage laws along with a slew of other things.  So I was on board with Ivy murdering the President’s son, but then I met Bishop.

“Sometimes,” he says, voice raw, “I hate this place.” He twists his neck and looks at me, hands still hooked in the fence above his head.
“I know,” I say, barely a whisper. “Me, too.”

Leave it up to me to fall for the man who is supposed to get murdered.  I couldn’t help it, but I loved Bishop!  From the moment he squeezed her hand before the wedding ceremony, I was a goner.  Yup, I’m that easy lol.  If you follow my reviews, you know I’m one of those people who always looks for the tiniest of clues to show that someone is worthy of falling for.  And Bishop gave me so much hope.  He was thoughtful, compassionate, caring and was open with her at times.  And his actions and words slowly started to plant foreign thoughts in her head and mine.   Who could we trust?  Was Bishop being honest or was he tricking Ivy?  I struggled trying to figure out Bishop’s motives, but I definitely didn’t struggle falling head over heels in love with every single tiny beautiful thing Bishop did.

My head knows what a horrible idea this is, screaming at me to stop, that I’m taking things too far, but the rest of me has no such reservations. I have the fleeting thought that perhaps self-preservation isn’t my strongest character trait.

Bishop and Ivy slowly started to get to know each other, after they were married.  It wasn’t always smooth, and they definitely had their share of fights.   But underneath their fights and their uncertainty around each other was always something simmering.  They had the best slow burn romance that continued to burn hotter and hotter as each moment passed.  It was undeniable.  So regardless of whether they were making each other smile, or making each other’s blood boil, there was always that sexual tension.  And it was so, so, so good!

I’ve learned the hard way, we can’t choose who we love. Love chooses us. Love doesn’t care about what’s convenient or easy or planned. Love has its own agenda and all we can do is get out of its way.

While I guessed how a few things would go, one thing went in an entirely different direction than I thought it would!  But that’s probably because I didn’t always agree with Ivy’s decisions.  There were things I wanted her to say and do, or not do, yet she had her own agenda and her own plans.  So I’m nervously counting the seconds until I can pick up the final book and see how it all plays out.  If you’re looking for a Dystopian that is easy to get lost in and has a fabulous slow-burn romance, then I definitely recommend picking up The Book of Ivy!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
The Book of Ivy #1

The Revolution of Ivy #2


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  1. Kim

    Awesome review Jen! I’m definitely putting this at the top of my wish list!😊

    • Jen

      I hope you have fun reading The Book of Ivy when you pick it up Kim! And thank you! 😄

  2. AngelErin

    Yey! I love it when a book is fun and you just DEVOUR it!! Now I want to read this one even more. 😀
    AngelErin recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Books Released In 2016My Profile

    • Jen

      Me too! I love when books just beg to not be put down and that you fly through the pages ever so fast! I think you would like this one, but Ivy may drive you a little bananas. Especially in the 2nd book. But it’s still a great dystopian that is a lot of fun!

  3. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I loved this book too—and I agree about Bishop. I hope you love the second book too!!

    • Jen

      Bishop was beyond amazing. I fell so hard for him. And in the 2nd book, *screams*, he was perfect. Ivy drove me a little crazy though, so I was ready to go take Bishop away from her so I could have him all to myself haha.

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