Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: The Ivy

 Title: The Ivy (The Ivy Series)
Author: (Lauren Kunze w/ Rina Onur)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: New Adult // Drama
Format: eBook
Source: (Purchased)

 Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?
Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with
the guy she loves to hate ...
the guy she'd love to forget ...
the guy she'd love to love ...
and Matt
the guy she really should love ...
all vying for her attention.
But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.
Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard (goodreads)?

I bought this ebook when it was on sale for $3...I think that was a year ago. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started it. 10 hours later, I was looking for the sequel!

Plot: I think your opinion of this book depends on how you approach it. By no means is this a riveting critique on the social cliques of prestigious universities or student substance abuse. It's a fun, easy read about a new girl and her climb to popularity. Callie Andrews is from California, she has blond hair and is starting her freshman year at Harvard University (just like the author, but we'll ignore that). Her roommates are a crazy cast of characters, and her boyfriend just broke up with her -through email. The book takes place over the first three months of school and a lot happens before Thanksgiving Break. The book ends with a pretty scandalous cliffhanger which had me wanting to know more. 

Characters: Callie is our main character, and even though the novel is in the third person, we are basically seeing everything through her eyes. She's not a role model whatsoever; she's just a girl trying to survive her first year away from home and figure boys out. There are a lot of secondary characters that all either add to the drama or are comedic reliefs. I'm a very PC person when it comes to diversity in novels, and while Kunze does include some diversity, I thought she also called unnecessary attention to the characters of color. OK (our Nigerian prince who has an English accent?) is repeatedly characterized by his ebony skin and called a "big black man." We get it, he's black. Let's move on. There is also Fahad, who is from Saudi Arabia and described as wearing a white tuxedo with an ironic purple turban. Why is his turban ironic? ALSO, I don't think Saudi Arabian men even wear turbans. I know I don't know every single Saudi in the world, but I've never seen a turban grace their heads (unless they are religious leaders) so..... 

Moving on from the POC characters, Callie has a list of men who are heads over heels in love with her. I personally love  Gregory. He can be pretty rude, and always sarcastic, but it's clear that he's hiding behind an image. One last thing (I notice I've been rambling). This novel is in the third person and is mostly told from Callie's angle, like 90% of the time. Then there are times where Kunze switches perspectives and it is super confusing as to whose eyes we are seeing a situation through. I think this book would have been better if it were just written in the first person POV. 

Setting: The Ivy takes place at the illustrious Harvard University, and as I have never been to Harvard, I liked hearing them described from an actual Harvard Alumnus.  

Short N Sweet: If you want a cerebral read, keep looking. However, if you are looking for a fun college story along the lines of Gossip Girl, you might want to check this one out!


  1. College was one of the best times of my life. And besides your gripes about the descriptions of POC (what is that?), it sounds like an easy fun read. However I think the parts where we're not sure who the story is coming from would have irked me though. But if it had you looking for the sequel, it is probably worth looking into. Thanks for your honest review!

    1. I agree that college was the best years of life, whoever said high school was DEAD wrong! POC stands for People of Color. It's a really small gripe, but I've become very aware of how some cultures are represented in the media, and these descriptions struck a cord with me.

      I actually JUST finished the last installment, it was a really fun and crazy ride!

  2. I have read this series and I enjoyed them as well. These books are those of the hit-and-miss kind. Glad they were enjoyable for you as well. (:

    1. This series was CRACK for me I swear! I can't believed I read them all within a two week period!

  3. This sounds like fun, and I love all the love interest. Isn't it great when a book holds you attention like that :)

    1. It's super fun if you're in a reading slump! Loveable characters, awesome drama, and fun times to be had by all!

  4. Gossip Girl used to be one of my guilty pleasures, so admittedly I'm attracted by that aspect of the story. I've never visited Harvard either, but I'm always wanted a peek inside how the other half lives, and this sounds like a great way to do that. Lovely review!

    1. How long did you watch Gossip Girl for? I had to stop once it went to university, didn't feel the same.

      It's really interesting to see all of the politics and social clubs at Harvard. Total boy's club over there!


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