The Book of Ivy – Amy Engel | BOOK REVIEW

Title: The Book of Ivy
Author: Amy Engel
Release Date: November 14th, 2014
Rating: 4.5/5

The Book of Ivy


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 restore 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…


When I first read the synopsis, I thought it’s just going to be another dystopian young adult fiction. I WAS WRONG. IT WAS SO MUCH MORE AND I LOVED IT. The book focuses on Ivy’s growth and also her relationship with Bishop.

“I want to be someone strong and brave enough to make hard choices. But I want to be fair and loving enough to make the right ones.”

Ivy was given the task to kill Bishop but she finds it difficult to do after she knows him more and more each day. She started to question if it was the right thing to do. I honestly feel really bad for her when she started to doubt herself. She was conflicted and she didn’t know what to do. Clearly, she can’t ask anyone for help so she can only decide for herself.

“Because I’m in love with you, Ivy,” he whispers. “Giving up on you isn’t an option.” 

Bishop is the sweetest guy in the world (even though I’m not sure I like his name). It’s really easy to like him because he’s never doing anything malice towards Ivy. He’s patient, kind, and intelligent. As perfect as he is, I was kind of hoping that he has his flaw because he seems a little too perfect to me, although I won’t complain if a guy like him exists in real life.

As I mentioned before, the book focused on her relationship with Bishop. I really enjoyed their romance. It started out with friendship (no insta-love HALLELUJAH!). I was rooting so hard for the two of them and really hoping that Ivy would do the right thing. However, the ending was really unexpected for me. Thank God though I read this book when the second book is already out so I don’t have to wait to find out what happened next.

Another thing I love about the book is how it touched on important issues; such as moral values. While I was reading the book, I found myself asking which side should Ivy choose? What is morally right? Is the outcome going to be positive if she chooses one side?

The other topic explored in this book is the role of women in society. Even though the women in the book might have it harder than we are in real world, we can’t say that it is not an issue in today’s society because clearly it still exists and is something we need to talk about.

“I’m not sure how we got to this place, where a girl’s only value is in what kind of marriage she has, how capable she is of keeping a man happy.”

Overall, the book is very engaging and enjoyable. If you are looking for a quick read, I’d recommend you to pick up this book.



7 thoughts on “The Book of Ivy – Amy Engel | BOOK REVIEW

  1. Based on your review, this sounds like a book that might interest me. I am really appreciating on how the author seems to weave real-life issues into this dystopian book. A clever and respectful way of getting people to think as they enjoy a novel. I have to say that I thought almost exactly what you did after reading the synopsis, but it’s always fun to be pleasantly surprised about how a book turns out.


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