Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Published: McElderry Books, 2010
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: A
High school junior Lily Carter has college on the mind: she's dying to go to Princeton University, just like her grandfather did. So when the opportunity arises to accompany him to his 50th reunion, she jumps at the chance. However, she wasn't expecting to take the top secret Legacy Test...something that will grant her automatic admission to Princeton if passes. But this is no ordinary test: as she searches for the elusive "Ivy Key", Lily uncovers dark secrets, including a magic gate that leads to an alternate, magical Princeton--a gate that only she can open. War is rising between the magic and non-magic worlds with her family in the center of the conflict, and it is up to Lily to face all the (cute) were-tigers, taking gargoyles, dragons, unicorns, and other magical creatures and bring peace to both worlds--but who can she trust? Getting into college has gotten more complicated than she's expected...
My thoughts: I cannot stress how much I adored Sarah Beth Durst's latest novel. Enchanted Ivy was totally unlike any fantasy I've ever read before. I'm usually not the biggest fan of fantasy, but fantasy lovers and those who prefer different genres will both love this story. Ms. Durst made the plot interesting, fast-paced, addictive, and totally unique. Once again, Ms. Durst's creativity amazed me. I loved how she combined magic and Princeton--the result was unlike anything I've ever read before. Ms. Durst painted a wonderful picture of the campus and of every event, so that I felt like I had been sucked into the story myself and could picture all of the well-developed and likeable characters in my head.
The novel was the perfect length for me, and even though some of the details of the book (who's on which side of the magical battle) got a bit confusing, I never wanted it to end. The twists and turns had me madly flipping pages, and there were perfect amounts of humor and romance to balance out all of the fantasy.
I cannot recommend this book enough! Go buy a copy to experience the magic yourself!