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young adult book reviews & more

Ivy by Julie Hearn

IvyIvy has never had a good life. When she was young, her father died and her mother abandoned her. Her aunt and uncle that took her in weren’t too kind either, and she was constantly mocked by her female cousins and beat by her cousin Jared. She’s humiliated and punished when sent to school, so she runs away, only to join a band of thieves who start her laudanum addiction. As she grows older though, her fiery locks catch the eye of an artist, and she becomes his model. Yet problems persist in the form of a jealous mother, a familiar band of thieves, a controlling cousin, a drug addiction, and a realization that modeling can be a painful experience.

Ivy was an enjoyable historical novel even though the story had it peculiarities. For example, Ivy had an aversion to eating meat, which is never completely explained but probably has something to do with her love for all animals. The motives of several characters were often befuddled and unclear, and Ivy was the only well-developed character, although I didn’t like how she was always at the mercy of others and rarely made decisions for herself. Despite its drawbacks, Ivy’s journey from thievery to a respectable occupation was fascinating in the context of nineteenth-century British society.

It was the historical angle and thievery that drew me in, and I’m glad I read this novel. Ivy was a sort of combination between Elizabeth Scott’s Stealing Heaven with the thievery aspect, Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe with high society and fashion, Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light in respect to the role of women, and Christine Fletcher’s Ten Cents a Dance in regard to addictions, the last three also being historical novels. I do recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction, but want against some confusion that may occur while reading this novel.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from BookDivas

3 munch(es) :

Carol said...

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Reviewer X said...

Good review -- I want to read this book, actually. I just thought I'd also point out that "aversion to eating mean" should be "meat" :P Eating mean sounds ... well, incoherent. Haha :)

And actually I meant to ask -- were you entering the HNTBP contest or were you just giving your tip for not being popular? I know you already have the book, bu the contest is open to everyone, so :P

Steph

Ink Mage said...

Hmm, I wonder if I'd like this book. I thought The Minister's Daughter by the same author was really pretty bizarre. But then Sign of the Raven had an interesting premise and I remember actually liking it. I suppose if my library gets a copy of Ivy, I'll try reading it.

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