The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Summary:After a brutal nuclear war, our country was decimated. A new nation of survivors lives within a fenced community. Two families fought to govern our new society. Now, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing faction to the sons of the winning side in a yearly ceremony.
This year, it's my turn. My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill Bishop Lattimer, the president's son and my soon-to-be husband, and return the Westfall family to power. I never expected that my new husband would be the one person in the world to truly understand me. But I can't falter now - Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him...
The Book of Ivy may not be the most complex or thought-provoking dystopian novel ever written, but it is a quick and entertaining story nonetheless.
After a brutal nuclear war that detonated the United States, a small group of survivors banded together. Two men, Samuel Westfall and Alexander Lattimer, fought over how the colony should be governed. The Lattimer’s side won, and in payment, every year, those who were sympathetic to the Westfall cause during the fight must offer up their daughters to be married to the sons on the Lattimer side.
Now, two generations later, it’s 16-year-old Ivy Westfall’s turn to be married to Bishop Lattimer. Except Ivy has other plans.
My mission is not to make him happy and bear his children and be his wife. My mission is to kill him and restore the Westfall family to power.
Despite the fact that she’s destined to kill him, Bishop is nothing like Ivy expected, and she begins to fall in love with him. The romance between them is very slow-burning and extremely well-written. It may not be extremely noteworthy or memorable, but it is sweet.
Ivy herself is a realistically written protagonist. She may not be especially unique compared to all the other heroines in the dystopian genre, but she is likeable and extremely easy to sympathize for. She stands up for what she believes is right, and she isn’t afraid to follow her heart.
The complexity of the secondary characters, Ivy and Bishop’s fathers especially, is what makes the story so incredibly interesting. They both strongly believe they’re doing the right thing, but the “right thing” is never so clear-cut as one is led to believe.
All in all, The Book of Ivy may not be extremely mind-blowing, but it is extremely entertaining.