Book Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

Title: The Revolution of Ivy
Author: Amy Engel
Published: 2015
Genre: Young Adult Dystonian

Synopsis: Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders. But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.

My Rating: Red-StarRed-StarRed-StarRed-Star

This rating is more of a 3.75 and I will clarify that I don’t think this was a bad book by any means, I think this book could have been more in comparison to book 1, The Book of Ivy.

Let’s first talk about the good and I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible but with consideration that you’ve read the 1st book. In the second part to this duology the story of Ivy continues right where we left off, she’s been cast outside the fence and now has to figure out a way to survive. I felt that this book transitioned from a dystopian to a survival novel that was rather pioneering in nature. It did not feel at all like a dystopian until the last 40 pages. There is about 5% action scenes in this book and this is it, much like The Book of Ivy, this is an insightful approach at storytelling. The best way I can describe it is think of a dystopian revolution without all the action. This book will not be for everyone just based on that but if you’re interested in another exploratory piece you’ll truly enjoy this.

There’s a line which I thought was very telling about the nature of the novel – Ivy reflects on the act of revolution and she likens it to what is happening inside of her. How her thoughts have gone from dependent on what her family has taught her to how her life is now and that revolution her thoughts and ideas have done against her childhood beliefs. This is the story we get here. Bishop continues to be one of the best YA love interest, he’s mature and level-headed, kind without reproach yet complex enough to place him in a gray area.

I did feel that there were some faults not only in this book especially sitting back and knowing the full duology – for starters, this shouldn’t have been a duology.  Both books sit under 300 pages and I think Amy Engel could have easily condensed Ivy’s story to a stand-alone because there were many scenes in this book and the previous one that were filler and did little for plot progression and would have worked better if edited accordingly.

My second problem with this book was that, unlike the first book where we had a clear objective and legitimate tensions and thrills especially when Ivy spied and gathered information, in this book we are left floating and adrift. There is underdeveloped plot which I think was the biggest detractor and we have a lack of tension and uncertainty.

That being said, Amy Engel’s writing is still beautiful and we get to know Ivy and Bishop more, we get to know what they’re made of despite the lack of difficulties which I appreciate. Overall? I think this is a nice duology, great for teens and if you’re looking for a love story that is slightly different with two very competent and mature teens you will enjoy it.

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