Friday, December 31, 2010

A League of Extraordinary Scholars

The Ivy

Written by: Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur

Released: August 31, 2010 by Greenwillow Books

Summary: Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with


the guy she loves to hate...


the guy she'd love to forget...


the guy she'd love to love...

and Matt

the guy she really should love...
all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

I got this book in the mail through Good Golly Miss Holly’s ARC tour and I started to read it almost as soon as it was out of its brown envelope. And while I wasn’t disappointed – far from it – it wasn’t what I was expecting. And, on a huge bonus, it’s a 2010 debut.

Callie was a character who, at times, I really wanted to smack in the face. She’s obviously smart enough to get into Harvard but there were quite a few times where I wondered how she could be so stupid. But, she was realistic and honest (as a written character) to true life so it was hard to hate her. Pity, sometimes, empathize, sure, but not hate.

The love interests in this novel are abundant and I'm finding myself a bit at odds in who I should be rooting for. Evan is out and Matt seems too brooding and clingy but I’m having conflicting thoughts on Gregory and Clint. Clint seems like the obvious choice but I can’t help but think that Callie, to him, is more of a rebound. But Gregory, though an ass of a character, is hiding behind his hard exterior but through the cracks you see a fantastic guy. I think that I’m going to have to read at least one more book before I can make a final decision... though I’m leaning more towards Gregory. Thankfully, the next book is set for a Spring release in 2011.

Freshman year is that span of time in a scholar’s life where they are able to shed their high school self and develop into the adult that they were meant to be. Sure, non-student types do this as well, but with the post-secondary group it’s more shocking and a greater adventure. And sometimes people aren’t going to like the change. If university taught me one thing, it’s that. But with school also comes a balancing act that not all can navigate without falling at some point.

I thought that this addressed that issue amazingly well and though this wasn’t my exact freshman experience, it’s not that far off. Ok, I lie, it’s more like my second and third years of school, but let’s not argue over the details. There were many freshman happenings that I related to though.

I went into this expecting something a bit more supernatural but I think that’s more because I was mixing it up with other books out there in my mind. What I found, instead, was a novel that was breathtakingly simple in its realistic approach to how a school really is – which is a good thing. In the world of YA where paranormal reigns supreme, I loved being able to escape into a slightly older mind-set that had absolutely no vampires, werewolves, fairies, or witches and has fantastic writing and realistic situations. I give it an 8/10 and I can’t wait to read more by this author.


Good Golly Miss Holly said...

Hey Katherine, please contact me with an alternative email address as I'm unable to get the next tour address for The Ivy through to you.

Katie said...

Great Review! I've been meaning to read this book for awhile, guess I better get on it then. Thanks again for the review!