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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Enchanted Ivy

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pub. Date: October 12th, 2010
Pages: 320
Age Level: 14+
For Giveaway from S&S. Yes I gave it away. I just read it first. Can you blame me? :P

Synopsis via Goodreads
What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

As it's name implies, Enchanted Ivy is truly an enchanting read. Infused with adventure, suspense, and a plethora of imaginative fantastical creatures, I found this one very hard to pull myself away from.

Enchanted Ivy has a lovely and eclectic array of main and supporting characters. Lily was a very lovable heroine; she was mature for her age, especially in regards to her family, but not so mature that it became unbelievable. She had a sassy wit about her and was very determined, great traits for her character to possess. Lily's relationship with her mother, Rose, and her grandfather was beautiful, touching, and keenly crafted. I particularly loved Rose's character and would have liked to have seen her incorporated into the story more. Now onto the love triangle. That's right ladies, get ready to be torn between two lovely leading men. I know I was and it seems Lily had a hard time choosing as well. First up we have contestant #1, Tye. He's a bit of an outsider with a sparkling personality and first on the scene. Plus he just so happens to be a were-tiger, werewolves are so out. Contestant #2 is Jake, grandson to head honcho of the Old Boys Club. He has a very sweet personality and I couldn't help but like him, misguided though he was. I was having a hard time choosing between the two but finally decided on Tye. Not only were Tye and Jake's individual relationships with Lily satisfyingly executed, but their relationship with each other was also well-developed and even held a bit of a surprise.

Dragons, were-tigers, and gargoyles, oh my! Tons of various mythical creatures of legend and more were creatively and professionally intertwined into the story. The plot itself sucked me into the magical world of Princeton and I found myself not wanting to consign my mind back to reality. Despite being occasionally predictable, Enchanted Ivy was not without it's surprises either, keeping it exciting. Also, I loved the incorporation of familial relationships, something I wasn't expecting but was very delighted to discover.

Durst's writing style is both luminous and beautifully imagined. Having attended Princeton herself, she was able to provide an accurate and vivid detailing of the campus and it's physical attributes. The dialogue was witty and believable, the overall prose impressively wrought and well-paced.

I was very pleased with the ending that Durst provided me with as I felt it tied everything up nicely and was the perfect way to end the book. Especially that very last page; part of me almost wanted to cry.

All in all, Enchanted Ivy is a thoroughly captivating and enjoyable story that I can see myself reading time and time again. I give two-thumbs way, way up to Durst for creating this wonderful read and I'm really looking forward to devouring Ice, a previously written YA novel of her's. I would highly recommend Enchanted Ivy and suggest that, if you can, find a way to get your hands on a copy ASAP.

Characters: A-
Writing: B+
Plot: B+
Ending: A-
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: A-

Overall: B+/A-

Cover: B


Unknown said...

Hi Briana :)
Thank you for the thoughtful & informative review. I am definitely going to read Enchanted Ivy now.
All the best,

Mavie said...

Wow! Looks like it's awesome. The cover is pretty and the premise sounds really interesting. Thanks for your review, bestie!

Cialina at said...

I am looking forward to reading this! Thanks so much for the review.

Anonymous said...

From your review and the other reviews that I've read on Enchanted Ivy, I'm really looking forward to reading this!

Sandy said...

Haha, how cool! She actually went to Princeton and then wrote about it with a magical twist! Love that :)

Great review, Bri. I totally want to pick this up now!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Great review Briana! I've been excited for this one since I first heard about it. Now I really, desperately need to read it, along with Ice (which has been sitting on my shelf for a while now).

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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