Saturday, July 2, 2011

Enchanted Ivy

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.

Beth says 4.5 Stars…

I’ve enjoyed all of Sarah Beth Durst’s books, so I had high hopes for this novel. Thankfully, it delivered most of what I wanted. I loved the concept and thought it was well executed. I certainly can’t say that this novel is a derivative of another; it comes on its own term and with its own ideas. Parallel worlds are nothing new, but the delightful little twists put on it made it just different enough. As a student who actually looked at Princeton not too long ago, I could picture some of what she wrote about. The plot itself wasn’t actually that mind-blowingly original, but for some reason it felt fresh. Perhaps it’s because this book is distinctly not a paranormal romance, but it absolutely hit the spot for me. The evil-doer took me slightly by surprise, although I think that some people will catch on much faster than I did. I will say that the world was built very well and the concepts explained readily enough. Having Lily as both ignorant of the reality she was stepping into, but smart enough to figure it out worked well. Thus, readers could attempt to determine what was happening, but then not feel foolish if they couldn’t. Durst’s writing remains as delightful as ever and always manages to pull me in immediately. I find her style similar to a warm blanket and fire on a cold day; nothing fancy, but completely comforting and slightly magical.

Lily delighted me. I really felt connected to her, probably due in part to the fact that we have some very similar personality traits. I enjoyed reading a representation of a focused teenager who put academics high on her list. I will say that she didn’t particularly grow throughout the novel in any way other than increasing her awareness of the reality of the world(s) and her role in it. She didn’t have a huge moral change, or become a stronger and more confident person. She actually started out the book as a reasonably well-adjusted and competent teenager, and didn’t need a dramatic change. I would say that some sort of development would have been nice from any of the characters, but alas, none existed. The “love triangle” was just pathetic. There was never any real conflict with Lily, and honestly the romance wasn’t the driving force behind the novel. Tye amused me greatly and didn’t quite fit the stereotypes of tall, dark, and broody – I’m slightly partial to the snarky rebel, the role he did fall into.

This book is absolutely fantastic. It’s super cute – nice and light for the summer. This could be fun on the beach or in the car during a college search road trip. This falls in line with Durst’s other novels, and is for fans of the rest of her work. I’d recommend this for some nice fluff that’s well written and won’t make you feel dirty after reading it.
Book from Library


Post a Comment