Friday, February 4, 2011

"Enchanted Ivy" by Sarah Beth Durst

From Goodreads: "What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!  

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future."

This book has the stereotypical YA plot line- Nerdy/ unpopular female character who is an overachiever. Check. Girl whose life does a complete 360 when she learns that everyone she has ever trusted/ cared about has lied to her? Check. Love triangle? Check. One of the boys being the all American apple pie kind of guy whereas the other is an outcast? Check. Girl falling for the boy who is immersed in the fantastical world/ the "dangerous" boy? Check.

But you know what? That didn't really bother me at all and I did quite enjoy the book. I think why I enjoyed this book so much was because Sarah incorporated all sorts of paranormal/ fantastical characters and the world that she created is really unique. Princeton University houses two campuses, the one in which the average person about, but the other which houses all things fantastical which only those fantastical individuals and the Princeton Knights (a group of people who have sworn to protect the regular Princeton residents from the fantastical individuals) know about. Sarah provides the reader with a ton of history about Princeton and it is extremely easy for the reader to fall into both worlds of Princeton.

Main character Lily was an extremely strong individual, she was always looking after her mother whose health was declining, she was extremely intelligent and whatnot, but I just felt like her personality wasn't as well developed as it could have been. It just seemed that she was entirely too obsessed with getting accepted to Princeton and that she was wearing blinders to everything else that was going on in her life. Though Tye's (boy # 1 of the love triangle) personality more than made up for Lily's. He was just such a cute character and totally swoon-worthy.  I really liked his conviction when he came up to Lily and in a very serious-like manner said something along the lines of, "Oh by the way, not only am I your guard but I am also your soul-mate"- I mean, wouldn't that totally be awesome? As for Jake (boy # 2 of the love triangle)? In my opinion he is kinda like Nash from Rachel Vincent's "Soul Screamers" series or Cam from Inara Scott's "The Candidates" (which I just reviewed)- he is just one of those perfect male characters (you know, the popular boy/ jock/ pretty boy and whatnot) and it is really hard to feel any real connection with him. He is very much one of those characters that I don't feel fuels the plot whatsoever.

All in all, I do think that the world in this book is unique book and I do think I continue on with this author/ potential series, but I do think that some people may find the stereotypical YA plot line somewhat repetitive.

Rating: 8.5/10


  1. Despite your checklist, I still really like the sound of this one and it seems like even though it's formulaic, you still really enjoyed it:) Looking forward to meeting Tye, I think Jake will be too perfect for me:) Thanks for the recommendation Avery!

  2. Woah... it didn't bug you? I'm gonna have to check this one out! ;) Oh and I'm all for swoon-worthy boys. Oh yes, I am! :D Great review.

  3. I'm glad to see that the formulaic plot didn't kill it for you...that's unusual! If that's truly the case, I'm adding this to my list now! :)


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