Saturday, October 16, 2010

ARC Review: The Ivy by Lauren Kunze

Title: The Ivy
Series: The Ivy #1
Author: Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Available: Now
Reading Level: Young Adult

2 out of 5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Freshman year at Harvard--glamorous parties, blossoming friendships, steamy romances, and scandalous secrets. Skip the campus tour and get right to the good stuff: classes are for scoping guys (and their Facebook profiles), not taking notes. The library is for study dates (the medieval history stacks get a lot of action), not studying. And success is a 4.0 GPA... plus getting into the most exclusive parties. How will Callie--a California girl with brains, beauty, and big dreams--and her three roommates survive? 

My thoughts:

The Ivy introduces us to Harvard freshman, Callie. She isn’t from the east coast or rich like the majority of her classmates. She was the girl all the boys wanted back in sunny California, but now she feels like an outcast without the right clothes or breeding. She quickly finds herself dumped, and headed towards possible reputation ruin thanks to her ex. That doesn’t stop her from trying to fit in with Harvard’s finest. She is quickly the focus of a hottie upperclassman who just happens to have an ex that could ruin her. Let the drama begin!

I wanted to love this book. Really, I did. Unfortunately, it fell short. Callie, who I liked initially, became increasingly unlikeable. I couldn’t sympathize with her at all. She seemed level headed at first meeting, but began to make one poor choice after another, while showing zero consideration for those she claimed to care about. She was seriously self-destructive. By the end of the book I didn’t care what happened to her. The secondary characters also did nothing for me. They lacked any sort of depth, and seemed to encompass a hefty list of stereotypes. All were horribly superficial with the exception of the Christian roommate. She is too busy judging others actions and studying to really get to know though. Like I said, stereotypes.

The plot was also not what I was hoping for. There was a mysterious scandal involving Callie and her ex that wasn’t very difficult to figure out. For someone who was so concerned about her reputation being destroyed because of something stupid her ex did, you would think she’d try to lay low. She did anything but. The primary focus seemed to be the struggle to climb to the top of the social ladder. Plenty of the plot focused on cattiness, flirting, sex, scandal, and of course, getting wasted. Entertaining yes, but not what I was hoping for when I picked up The Ivy.

I did enjoy the snarky dialogue. The resident bitch’s advice columns were creative, and probably the highlights of the novel for me. There is also a poem that had me laughing out loud. If I could read based on dialogue alone this would be a win for me. Unfortunately, the lack of interesting characters and plot killed it for me. Will I pick up the next one in this series? Maybe, but if the characters don’t evolve, and continue to just party their years away I’ll be done.

While this one didn’t make me fall into book love, others have given it rave reviews. Give it a try. You might like it :)


  1. Thanks for the review! Too bad you didn't like it so much, but thanks for being honest. I'm still hoping to read it eventually.

  2. Yeah, read a lot of mixed reviews about this. I don't think I'll pick it up now. Great review.

  3. Thanks for the honest review. I've read it and actually really liked it.

  4. I hate it when that happens! You start out loving a character then end up not liking them at all.

  5. I really like your review. I think it was very honest. I like when books get mixed reviews, it usually means that it will be good, or at least it will for me.