The Ivy by Lauren Kunze
Publication Date: 31 August 2010.
I received an ARC of this book from Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours.
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?
Get admitted to The Ivy, the first book in a provocative new series about the world of the Ivy League.
In The Ivy, Callie Andrews is a young woman, struggling to fit in as a freshman at Harvard. Callie starts off as a somewhat naive small town girl, who soon discovers the joys (and troubles) of attending an exclusive Ivy League college. The authors of The Ivy are alumna of Harvard and I felt that this fact made the story seem more realistic. While I'm sure some poetic license may have been taken to "spice up" the overall story, knowing the authors had the experience of attending Harvard themselves made it seem as if I was getting an insider view of what really happens at an Ivy League school and Harvard in particular. And, if I'm judging from The Ivy, it's not just about academics and coveted internships, that's for sure.
The one thing I felt lacked in the book was that I really felt no attachment towards was the main character, Callie. In fact, halfway through the book, I was getting a little annoyed with her. She seemed to have a knack for making wrong choices and alienating her roommates and friends. I would have liked her to be less selfish and retain some of her original character, not just have it all swept away in the folly of gaining social status and recognition. I was also confused as to why she had to have so many romantic interests. The story would have still been good, and to me more interesting, if her love life wasn't overcrowded with so many guys.
I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I would really like to see more character development of Callie's roommates. It would be nice to see a little more POV from them, especially Dana. I think I would be more invested in their characters and stories if I learned more about their personal lives and how they came to develop the personalities they have. I was also much more interested in them then Callie herself (as mentioned above). This was a good debut novel and I'd enjoy seeing how the storyline plays out in future books.
The Ivy is a good addition to the young adult market since it deals with a subject that is rarely written about in YA novels. I'd love to see more first year college books on the shelves. I think that even in fiction, it shows the highs and lows of teens striking out on their own for what is most likely the first time in their lives. While I think this book is appropriate for older, mature teens, it does contain drinking and sexual situations. I would therefore not suggest it for a younger teen audience.
My Rating is 3.5 stars
Description and picture courtesy of Goodreads.
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