The Conclusion of Ivy

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First of all, if you haven’t read The Book of Ivy, I need to tell you that there could be some spoilers around here. Hell, there are spoilers in the synopsis, so maybe stay away from that too? Just go to your nearest bookstore/online retailer, and purchase and read The Book of Ivy. Or go to the library. Whatever, but read the book and come back, we’ll wait for you. You can read my thoughts on it, if you happen to be unconvinced. But, just so you don’t feel left out, here’s a really stupid gif, to make your trip worthwhile:

See, nice and stupid. You’re welcome.

The Conclusion of Ivy The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #2
Published by Entangled: Teen on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 400
Format:ARC

Ivy 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.

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I am sad to let Ivy go. I am sadder to let Bishop go 😉 But, I am also happy because it was a strong duology that I really enjoyed. Could it have been dragged out into a third book? Maybe. But is it better this way? Absofreakinlutely. See, there were no dull or unnecessary moments in either book, which is pretty fabulous, yes? And there was still enough time for character and plot development and a full story to be told. I am content, even though I will miss these characters so.

I think you can tell that I like this book. So, I am going to tell you why. Because that is the information you came here for, I assume. Great.

  • These characters were phenomenal from start to finish. Perfect? Oh goodness, no! Even the seemingly “perfect” Bishop has his moments of imperfection (which, let’s be frank, makes him even more lovable). They had to learn to recognize and use  their strengths; to take accountability for and overcome their weaknesses. But it isn’t just these two who are well developed! There’s a whole host of side characters who have very fleshed out personalities too. From Ivy and Bishop’s parents (who are all very much a part of this story- so, so refreshing in a dystopian!) to Ivy’s sister, to some new people Ivy encounters along the way, everyone has their own path to take, their own story to tell.
  • The Journey of Ivy. Ivy’s story was such a personal journey, as she had to discover who she was and who she wanted to be. First she had to struggle to find herself away from her family. Who did she want to be? What path was Ivy’s? But then she no longer can rely on Bishop’s strength to pull her through, and she really must choose how she wants to live. It’s a stunning and realistic process, one that each of us can likely relate to. Ivy has moments of incredible fear and trepidation, but she also has moments of clarity that are lovely to watch.

     “But recognizing the ridiculousness of an emotion and being able to master it are two very  different things, I’m finding.” -Ivy

    Who among us can’t relate to that at some point in our lives? While we may not be living in a dystopian world, Ivy’s struggles aren’t just a product of her environment, but a product of her humanity

  • The moral dilemmas that plagued this society in the first book become even more apparent in this one. When I read the first book, one of my favorite things was that nothing was black and white. Every decision had positive and negative consequences, and all choices had repercussions. No one choice made a character all good or all evil; it was simply a choice, with the ability to make a different one the next time. The “what would I do?” question came up again and again, and you couldn’t help but feel for these characters’ situations so many times. It was clear that they didn’t want to make certain decisions, but knew that making a different choice could be even worse.
  • The idea of survival, in more ways than one. Well, yes, I loved the stuff in the woods, because I kind of love when stuff happens in the woods. I have no idea why, so just go with it. There’s something about fighting for survival that really makes me see deep into the character’s psyche, I think. But there are more kinds of survival. It’s surviving the elements, sure, but also surviving your preconceived notions, your upbringing, your choices; surviving love, loss, and absolute turmoil. Some of the more mundane “day-to-day” living scenes actually packed quite a punch, because they felt so honest and real.

Bottom Line: I would recommend this series to anyone, clearly. Amy Engel has brought something very fresh to the dystopian table. It’s a great story, yes, but it also has incredible real world application. Ivy’s is the type of story that will stay with you for a long time.

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How do you feel about dystopians? (I love them, no one is shocked I assume.) Have you read the first book? Thoughts? 

Posted October 29, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 30 Comments


30 responses to “The Conclusion of Ivy

  1. *has not read the book but reads review anyways* Thank you very much for the gif, though. It was quite amusing. Stories about survival and humanity always catch my interest, and if you recommend it this much, and there are too few dystopians recently. Adding the series to my TBR!

    • Hahha I don’t think there ended up being many spoilers really. The problem was that the book kind of ended with a big twist, and that twist was impossible NOT to talk about in the second book’s review almost. BUT I think I spoiled FAR less than the actual synopsis of the book, so there’s that 😉

  2. I love this review, Shannon! But I have to let you know, Bishop is mine. So no trying to steal him from me! 😉
    I absolutely love your paragraph about Ivy’s Journey. This girl has grown so much. I love how she was simultaneously strong and vulnerable. And of course all those other characters were so well-written! And YESS! I’m so glad that this was a duology instead of a trilogy! I will miss this series! 🙁
    But I am excited to see what the author comes up with next.
    Beautiful review! 🙂

    • Hahah thanks! And you can have Bishop, as long as I get to keep Peeta, okay? Deal. 😀 I agree, I can’t WAIT for Amy’s next book! It’s going to be adult I think, but I will still read it, I loved the characters and world she created!

  3. Okay, so I didn’t read the review because I haven’t read The Book of Ivy yet and I want to. But that gif is totally freaking me out for some reason. Just felt the need to share that with you. {shrugs}

  4. This sounds absolutely amazing Shannon. I love how absolutely amazing and complex the characters are and how the moral dilemmas are thought-provoking and well-written. And it’s great how there are some survival scenes as well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  5. Yes, I loved this duology so much! And I’m glad it was only two books. We need more series like this one.
    Isn’t Bishop just the best?! I swear he’s even better in the second book than in the first, and I wasn’t expecting that! Loved Ivy’s journey, and the new characters were great too. I can’t wait to see what Amy writes next.
    Lovely review!

    • I totally agree! Amy introduced some freshness in a very worn out genre, and by making it a duology, KEPT it fresh. Bishop IS better in this book for sure! Because he is so, so real. He gets frustrated like everyone else. I loved him! Thanks so much 😀

  6. I have read The Book of Ivy and I was shocked by the rawness of the plot! I also loved Ivy’s transformation and I was just shocked to see her sent out of Westfall. I was also disgusted by Ivy’s sister’s actions during the trial… and her family… ahhh

    Love the twists, though. I really want to read more of Bishop’s father and Ivy’s mother. Hopefully there will be more of that in the next book. So jealous that you already read it!

    I was shocked when I finished listening to the audiobook that the sequel isn’t even out yet!

    • I agree, it was crazy! The sister… man. I wanted to shake her like, ALL the time. And YES- I loved the storyline with their parents- don’t worry, it WILL be delved into! It came out yesterday though, so you should be able to get it now! I hope you love it!

  7. I have to read this! I listened to the first book on audio earlier this year, so I guess I’ll get this one the same way, hopefully soon.
    Really loved the first book and this ship…The points you mentioned about the next book just made my heart ache – I hope they’ll be okay!!

  8. Wonderful review! Between this and my Goodreads friends, I really need to check out this series! The characters seem awesome and while I have been getting sick of dystopians, this sounds like an awesome book to venture back into them. (Also moral dilemmas are factors that I always appreciate during a good story.)

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