Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Review: Rivals

 Title: Rivals (The Ivy #3)
Author: Lauren Kunze
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: New Adult // Drama // Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Decisions, decisions . . . You've survived your first semester and captured the interest of not one but two of the hottest guys on campus.
Now who are you going to choose?
Callie Andrews returns for her second semester at Harvard determined to do better than the previous fall, where those Bs on her report card seemed pretty good compared to the state of her extracurriculars (F, as in if at first you don't succeed, you should probably stop trying), friendships (C-minus, since she and former BFF Vanessa are still on thin ice), and love life (D, as in don't even go there). But various campus rivalries soon threaten to thwart Callie's resolve. Will Callie ever be a match for--
Grace Lee the take-no-prisoners managing editor
Alessandrathe gorgeous transfer student
Clintthe guy who might just be too perfect
and Gregorythe guy who may never be perfect enough.
Callie will face some of the toughest choices imaginable: in friendships, in loyalties, and in love. The pressure to pick a side--and a suitor--has never been higher. But will she and her friends choose well? (goodreads)

Ha! Because first semester wasn't crazy enough, Rivals hits us with even MORE bombshells that I gobbled up happily. 

Plot: Rivals begins with students coming back to J-Term (which, as I understand, is an optional semester at Harvard?) and we begin with the mystery of "who is Callie with?" in response to the cliffhanger in Secrets. But of course, things aren't smooth sailing. We've got jealousy, mistrust, awkward friendships, and an anonymous reportings on the elite social club that Callie and her friends belong to. The Ivy Insider is basically the Harvard version of Gossip Girl. In my opinion, this was the juiciest of the books so far and I can't wait to see how this all wraps up in the finale, Scandal. 

Characters: In this novel, we meet Gregory's girlfriend, Alessandra, the product of a Brazilian super model and a millionaire. Of course this creates even more tension with the Clint - Callie - Gregory dilemma. Callie experiences something that she doesn't want to admit to (jealousy) and must learn how to handle it. One thing that I really liked about this book, is that it seems like we got to see more about Dana. Dana has always been in the background as the quiet Ultra conservative Bible thumping character, but I was happy to see her portrayed as a human being instead of a stereotype. I think that's my one complaint with a lot of these characters (as I mentioned in my review of The Ivy), a lot of the characters are stereotypes. But this is a guilty pleasure, so I won't hold it against the series TOO much (but it does bother me every now and then). One other thing. I found Callie and Vanessa's relationship to be kind of confusing. They weren't talking, but they would occasionally make biting jokes at the other and text the other. I didn't really understand if THEY knew that they had drama. 

Setting: HAHVAHD. We follow Callie around her classes, her social clubs, her job at the library and to Puerto Rico which was a really fun part of the book. 

Short N Sweet: Rivals ups the ante on drama which, let's be honest, is all that we care about. I'm going to be sad when I have to say goodbye to Callie and the gang, and Harvard in the final book Scandal. 


  1. I've never read these -- I didn't realize that they were NA and took place in college. I have the Secret Society Girls to read and maybe I'll have to check these out too...
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Ooo I don't know much about the Secret Society Girls. Maybe I'll check those out with you! :)

  2. This series is new to me, but I love how wrapped up in the characters you are. I love school settings, and the cover is pretty.

  3. I'm happy that Kunze delivered in the drama department seeing how that was what you were most looking forward too, however I on the other hand am not a fan of that particular element, so this book probably isn't for me. Great review though! Happy Friday. :)


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