Author: Amy Engel
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Genres & Themes: Young-adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
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…
I was watching Booktube videos when I came across one video in which the booktuber recommended this book for people who like/love dystopia. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Dystopia (I used to be one) but it’s been quite a while since I read a good fantasy book in the dystopian genre and so I picked it up. The story also sounded interesting. Cliched but interesting.
I found the book a lot similar to Matched and Delirium because of the arranged marriages, corrupt government, and fencing. It’s like a mixture of both. So, if you’re a fan of both of these two dystopias, you might want to try this.
This book is set decades after a Nuclear war that ruined the United States. Some survivors settled in Westfall and after a conflict over which family – Lattimers or Westfalls – would govern the newly formed nation, the Westfalls lost. Now peace is maintained by marrying a Westfall daughter to the Lattimer son. This is Ivy’s turn to marry Bishop Lattimer but her plans are not just marrying the son, but also killing him so the Westfalls would regain their power and make Westfall great again. But, the problem starts when Bishop is nothing how Ivy thought he would be. He’s kind and considerate and all the good things she never expected him to be. But, Bishop’s death is important.. really important. And it’s only Ivy who can kill him.
The book is really short for a dystopian book. It’s like only like less than 300 pages long. The world building is okay in my opinion though there are some things that bothered me because they were simply illogical and made no sense. The first half of the book was also really awkward and cringy so if you’re going to read the book anytime soon, brace yourself for all the awkwardness.
Ivy is a protagonist that can’t keep her mouth shut.. ever. She can’t control her anger and therefore, speaks whatever comes into her mind at the time. She’s reckless and I liked her. But, her recklessness made me roll my eyes a lot. CAN YOU PLEASE KEEP YOU MOUTH SHUT FOR A SECOND? what amazed me is the fact that most of the people put up with her recklessness and didn’t scream at her (except for Bishop’s mom, of course).
Bishop is ,well, really nice. He’s understanding, considerate and supporting. Although I admire all of these qualities and I am aware of the fact that he’s not fully perfect or flawless, I still wish he was more complex. No, I don’t want him to be abusive or anything but I wish it wasn’t like he was all different and unique. I just wish they had fights or conflicts to make it more real. He was kind AND handsome AND supporting. That made him perfect and I’m not in for perfect guys.
The ending wasn’t a big blow. I kind of knew that this end would happen one way or another so I wasn’t really surprised. But, I gotta admit it was a little emotional but I didn’t shed any tears because my tear ducts are blocked (pun intended).
The Awesome Parts of the book:
- The book is enjoyable. It’s light and easy to get into. If you’re looking for a short dystopian book you might wanna try this one.
- Ivy and Bishop’s relationship was brilliant. It wasn’t insta-love. It was slow and it took a good amount of time but it was intense.
- I have already menioned that this book is a lot like Matched and Delirium but, I prefer this one. I gave up on Matched series because I couldn’t care less of its characters, and I am not a huge fan of Delirium either so I really like this one.
- The book also preaches the rights to have a freedom of choice. The girls in Westfall get married at a young age and they honestly have no choice to make on their own. So, this book supports it a lot which is a great thing!
I totally recommend this book. It’s light and easy to get into and it’s a short dystopian with a good story.
About the Author:
Amy Engel is the author of THE BOOK OF IVY young adult series. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. THE ROANOKE GIRLS (March 7, 2017), is her first novel for adults.