Author: Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Published: Greenwillow, 2010
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: A-
Despite lacking connections, money, any East Coast legacies, and a prep-school ready wardrobe, California girl Callie Andrews has managed to get into the most prestigious college in the world--Harvard University. Callie's got the brains and the determination to get through the hardcore academics, but it's the social aspects that have got her all confused: she has to face three crazy roommates, boy problems galore, her first college parties, and an ex-boyfriend in California who may ruin her life. And, oh yeah--the most popular upperclassmen in school is out to get her and is, coincidentally, the editor of the magazine that Callie's dying to get on...Will she be able to survive her first semester at college? Or will the stress send her packing for LA?
My thoughts: I was expecting a light, chick lit read going into The Ivy: maybe not-so-great writing, kind of fluffy, kind of Gossip Girl-y. I should know by now not to judge a book by its cover. The Ivy was written in a descriptive, addictive way that kept me turning pages. It had its light, funny, party moments, but also held some deeper morals and meanings.
I was sucked into Callie's world: the drama, the parties, the hard work, the scandals, the day-to-day college life (coffee, work, lectures, work, more caffeine...) Her story had me completely hooked from start to finish, making for a quick, breezy read! Ms. Kunze has a comfortable writing style that gives you a perfect picture of every event, every character in your mind. She clearly was writing from experience, and it showed in her details and fun little Harvard facts tossed in throughout the novel. I also really liked the little snippets from the fictional school blogs and newspapers before every chapter--it gave the book a more personal, college-y feel.
The characters were well-written and oh-so-lovable: I loved all of Callie's kooky friends and roommates, and the mean girl was just so fun to hate. The romance was just right (although I want to see more of Matt!), and it felt like it spoke directly to teenagers. Although sometimes a bit predictable, I found myself wanting more--what's next for Callie?
This book felt like a little snippet of easy-to-read-about college life, and makes a leisurely, enjoyable read for readers 15 & up!