The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel


Publication: November 3, 2015

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Series: The Book of Ivy Duology, Book Two

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288 pages

Rating: 5 sm

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.

“That’s what love is, though, isn’t it? You don’t stop loving someone just because they disappoint you.”

Trigger warnings for mentions of rape, murder, and suicide. If this triggers you in any way, I do not recommend picking this book up. Please beware and take care of yourselves. ❤

The Revolution of Ivy picks up just after the first book, when Ivy has been put out. She has nothing but the clothes on her back and has to learn how to navigate a completely new part of the world. She has to learn how to survive, and deal with the brutal people on the outside of the fence.

I thought this was a wonderful second book, and a great conclusion to the story. Again, most of this book isn’t action driven. The beginning a little, because Ivy is learning how to survive in what is essentially a new world. And the ending, because so much happens in the last fifty pages or so.

Again, I really loved the characters in this book. I can’t stand how much I love Ivy’s character development. I remember being slightly frustrated in the first book because I felt she was so brainwashed by her family. So willing to sacrifice herself for people who could barely love her back. If they even did that. She has a sort of awakening in this book that I really, really appreciated. However, that brings other issues to light that I think she works through well throughout the novel. I loved watching Ivy struggle and discover who she is and what it means to live in this post-war, post-apocalyptic world they live in.

Bishop. Oh, my little baby Bishop. He is top notch book boyfriend material, people. Seriously, there’s this huge “bad boy turned good boy” trope in Young Adult literature. And while I love that trope, and enjoy books that contain it, it’s nice to have a male character who is just good from the beginning. There’s no miracle girl that changes his ways and makes him a better person. He just is. I love his devotion and love to Ivy. I just. Ugh. I could gush about this romance for the rest of my life if someone would let me.

On top of that, we were introduced to new characters. People outside the fence that I loved, and one that I wanted to stab every time he was on the page. Once again, I loved Amy Engel’s writing. The story flowed so well and was at a perfect pace.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this sequel. This was such a wonderful duology, and is one of my new favorites. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about either book since I read them, and already want to reread them. And make everyone I know read them.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

Bout of Books 21 Progress Updates

Hello, lovely readers!

This will be my master post for Bout of Books 21 updates. I hope you’re all getting plenty of reading done! This post will have updates for days one through six. I will post a wrap up after day seven.

Let me know in the comments how you are doing so far!

Day One – Monday – January 8, 2018

Pages Read: 238 pages

Books Finished: None yet!

Currently Reading: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

My Thoughts: I forgot how much I enjoyed Falling Kingdoms the first time that I read it. The audio book is really enjoyable, I think the narrator does a fantastic job! (And that’s coming from someone who is really picky about audio book narrators.) It’s also been nice to listen to an audio book, as I’ve been trying to finish up a few last minute gifts. Next, I plan to listen to the rest of the Falling Kingdoms audiobook. After that, I will pick something else up. I’m leaning toward either Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, or The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. My husband picked Six of Crows as my book to read, and I did start it the other night. I just feel kind of iffy about it right now. I also have a copy of the audio book for Cinder by Marissa Meyer from the library right now too. We shall see!

Day Two – Tuesday – January 9, 2018

Pages Read: 412 pages

Books Finished: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Currently Reading: Nothing!

My Thoughts: On Day 2, I managed to finish the audio book for Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I rated it ★ and you can find my review from four years ago here. I had to work both jobs and spent a good portion of my evening playing video games with friends, so I didn’t pick anything else up yet. I still can’t decide what to read next! I did read a little more of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo while I was at the second job. I’m not sure I’m in the mood for it, so I didn’t count those pages and am going to set it aside for later in the year. I’m leaning toward either picking up Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes or a contemporary!

Day Three – Wednesday – January 10, 2018

Pages Read: 492 pages

Books Finished: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Currently Reading: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

My Thoughts: I’ve heard so many good things about Kasie West’s books. Along the lines of how cute her young adult contemporary is. So I was so excited to finally be picking up a Kasie West novel! I’m about 80 pages in so far, and I’m just so underwhelmed by it. I don’t know if maybe I set my expectations too high, or what, but I’m just not enjoying the writing. Or the characters. Or really anything. I’m still interested by the premise, and plan to finish the book. Hopefully I will enjoy it more the further I get in! On a side note, I’ve also read reviews saying people didn’t like this book as much as some of her others; so if I end up not liking this, I will probably still read something else by her. Sometimes that happens, sometimes you just don’t like a certain book by an author but you enjoy other things they’ve written.

Day Four – Thursday – January 11, 2018

Pages Read: 632 pages

Books Finished: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Currently Reading: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

My Thoughts: Okay, so now that I’m over half way through this book my opinions have changed slightly. But only slightly. I still find the actions of most of the characters incredibly petty and annoying. In fact, I can’t stand the majority of the characters in this book. I do really like Fill-In Bradley, and don’t really have any complaints about him. Gia is growing on me a little more as she’s starting to develop as a character. I don’t mind Bec sometimes, but I think even she acts incredibly immature 80% of the time. I think I’m going to end up liking Gia more than disliking her, if her character development continues in the direction that it is headed. I plan to finish this book tomorrow, but it will be a busy day. We will be traveling to visit family tomorrow, and possibly a friend. I’m not sure how much reading I will get done.

Day Five – Friday – January 12, 2018

Pages Read: 817 pages

Books Finished: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Currently Reading: Nothing!

My Thoughts: Day five was kind of a weird day. I woke up late, and then laid in bed and finished reading The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I did end up enjoying it a little more by the end of the book, but it definitely still had its issues. After that, we had to finish getting ready for our trip this weekend. I managed to read Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell on the drive but spent the rest of the evening just hanging out with my family. We have more family coming in today, so I probably won’t get much reading done for day six, but I will try my best.

Day Six – Saturday – January 13, 2018

Pages Read: 817 pages

Books Finished: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Currently Reading: Nothing!

My Thoughts: As predicted, I didn’t get any reading done on day six. I spent the day hanging out with family. I may get a little more reading done on day seven, as we’re driving home today. We have a few stops to make, but as long as I don’t have any motion sickness while we’re driving, I’ll be reading!

happy reading,

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

wflp3raPublication: November 4, 2014

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Series: The Book of Ivy Duology, Book One

Format: Paperback

Pages: 282 pages

Rating: 5 sm

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn. 

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power. 

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

“For the first time, it sinks in that the horrors beyond the fence are the same as those inside it. People. And the brutal things we do to one another.”

Trigger warnings for mentions of rape, murder, and suicide. If this triggers you in any way, I do not recommend picking this book up. Please beware and take care of yourselves. ❤

This is one of my favorite books of all time (series too, since I read both books in a week). It certainly reminded me of what I love about dystopian novels. The questions they can bring to my mind about our society and what could cause these things to happen.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that’s made me think as much as this one did. It was such a thought provoking book, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished. It brought to mind questions about what is right and what is wrong. But also how life is too messy for things to be one way or the other. Sometimes there is this messy gray area that no one really wants to actually talk about. It was refreshing to have a light shown on it.

The Book of Ivy is about two teens on opposite sides of a political war. While I think that it would have been nice to get a little more world building, I think it had a fairly nice set up at the beginning of the book. There was a nuclear war that left most of the United States in ruin. A small group came together, and then there was an internal war over who would be in power over the people.

Sixteen year old Ivy, is the from the founding family. The daughter of the man who’s father founded Westfall. She’s raised into this household, made to believe that the Lattimer’s are bad and that they don’t care about the people in their community. Bishop, is the seemingly spoiled son of President Lattimer, the leader of their town. A man who believes in the rules and regulations put in place in their community. Both are not exactly who they appear to be.

The romance in this book is slow burning, and in my opinion, was perfect for this story. I absolutely loved Amy Engel’s writing, and the way that she chose to tell this story. It’s definitely more of a character driven plot, than an action driven plot. But I think that worked really well for this particular book.

Overall, I would definitely recommend picking this up. I need more books by Amy Engel now.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

Bout of Books 21 | Announcement

Hello, lovely readers!

I’m super excited to announce that I plan to participate in Bout of Books 21. If you would like to know more about this readathon, head on over to the Bout of Books website. Anything you want to know about the readathon can be found there, you can also sign up there if you would like to participate. They give out a grand prize each readathon, but you have to sign up to have a chance to win!

I have participated in Bout of Books before, but it’s been awhile, so I’m really excited to be doing it again! It’s a big event for the online book community that gives you the chance to meet other bloggers and readers. Bout of Books is a low key, week long readathon in which you set your own goals.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team


Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – This will actually be a reread for me. I read Falling Kingdoms for the first time in 2014, and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to continue on with the series since, but for some reason I just haven’t. I would really love to continue with the series this year, but feel in order to do that I need to reread Falling Kingdoms. I just don’t feel comfortable jumping into the second book when it’s been just over three years since I read the first.

Mystery Book – I’ve had this weird idea to let my husband choose what I read next. I struggled to read in 2017, and I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I just couldn’t decide what to read most of the time. I’ve made a shelf of books that I want to read soon, and I’m going to let him pick a book from there. I guess we will find out what he picks soon!

I’m really not sure how much reading I will get done. I work throughout the week, and we have plans to see family over the weekend. But I’m hoping to at least finish one book during the week. Anything over that I will consider icing on the cake!

Are you participating in Bout of Books? If so, what are you planning to read? If you have an announcement/to be read post, feel free to post it in the comments so I can check it out!

happy reading,

Reading Resolutions 2018

Hello, lovely readers!

Long time no write. Seriously though, I’ve been gone for a while, yeah?

I hope you all have been doing wonderfully since I was last here. I am really hoping to get back into blogging, as I’ve missed it a lot over the months that I have been gone. I hope you are all looking forward to new content from me.

Today I come to you with my reading resolutions for 2018!

Goodreads Challenge – This year I’ve set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books. I only read 40 books last year, but have made a general goal to make more time for reading this year. I think 50 is an attainable goal for me, as I have read more than that in past years.

Finish Five Series – This year I want to knock out some series. I own quite a few series that are completed, some that I haven’t even started yet! Not only that, but I have a few series that the last book will be published this year. So, I should have plenty of books to choose from for this challenge.

Read Five, Buy One – Okay, so a little bit of a funny story here. I was talking to my husband and a friend of mine about how I wanted to buy less books this year. I bought way, way too many books last year compared to what I read and my TBR is starting to get a little out of control. I had mentioned I was thinking of setting myself a read so many before I can buy a book goal, and they both jumped at the idea. Five books is what we settled on. I have a chart hanging on my wall and everything. I’m really hoping I can stick to this.

A Readathon a Month – I would love to participate in a readathon a month. This isn’t a very strict goal, but I would like to at least participate in more readathons this year. I don’t think I did a single one last year, and that makes me incredibly sad. I love readathons and do pretty well with my reading when I do them.

Unhaul – I have a plan to go through my books and get rid of the books I know I will not read. I have some books that I picked up at our library book sale, or at our used book store, that I got simply because they were having a really good sale and I felt I needed to buy more books. Which is so incredibly ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I read the back of almost everything that I bought, so it was always books that I thought sounded interesting. However, I know I probably will not ever read those books. I already have so many books that I want to read more, and more books coming out. I figure that if I want to read them later, I can always pick them up again or get them from the library.

What are your resolutions for the year?

happy reading,

July 2017 TBR

Hello, lovely readers!

I know you’ve probably heard this numerous times already, but I cannot believe that 2017 is already half over! This has been a crazy year for me so far. I’ve switched jobs and am working more hours. Along with dealing with a handful of health issues (though that’s not all that new). I haven’t done as much reading this year as I had originally planned, but I’m still hoping that it will pick up.

I thought I would drop in and talk about some of the books that I’m hoping to get to this month. I have been wanting to participate in a readathon in the near future. It’s been quite awhile since I joined in on a readathon, however I don’t really know of many coming up soon. There is one that I am kind of interested in, a classics and science fiction readathon taking place from July 2nd to July 8th. If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments!


  1. Saga Volumes Four through Seven by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – I finally got my hands on copies of the sixth and seventh volume and have been rereading the past volumes the last couple of days. I’m excited to get caught up on the series!
  2. If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This book sounds really interesting. I won a giveaway on Goodreads for an ARC of this and would love to read it and review it before it’s release in September!
  3. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins – I have read a few pages of this and am really interested in continuing it. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good mystery/thriller and I’m hoping this one will satisfy that itch. I like what I have read so far, so I’m hoping I will enjoy the rest.

And that’s it for me. I don’t want to overwhelm myself by putting a ton of books on my TBR. On top of that, only have a few leaves things more open to choose other things if I wish. I don’t end up feeling like I’m avoiding the books on my TBR if I read other things instead!

What do you plan to read this month?

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Publication Date: October 11, 2016

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Format: Hardover

Pages: 278 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 5 sm

An urgent and provocative debut from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a book about community and ambition, love and friendship, and living up to expectation in contemporary black America.

It begins with a secret, then follows that secret through the lives of three different characters-from high school into adulthood-tracing it’s impact far beyond their Southern California youth.

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken seventeen-year-old beauty. She’ll be the first in her family to go to college, if she indeed leaves home as she intends in the fall. But meanwhile, mourning her mother’s recent suicide, she has taken up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, handsome but lacking direction, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables. They are young; it’s not serious; they keep their relationship to themselves. But the secret that results from this romance-and the subsequent cover-up- will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

As Nadia hides the truth from everyone, including Aubrey, her chaste best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults, still shadowed by the choice they made in their youth, and by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

“Oh girl, we have known littlebit love. That littlebit of honey left in an empty jar that traps the sweetness in your mouth long enough to mask your hunger. We have run tongues over teeth to savor that last littlebit as long as we could, and in all our living, nothing has starved us more.”

The Mothers is such a phenomenal story. I absolutely loved Brit Bennett’s writing and the characters that she created. They all seemed so incredibly realistic, woven into a story that was breathtaking. It’s a story about life and love and loss and how the decisions we make can affect and change, not only our lives, but the lives of the people around us as well. It’s about how life happens.

All of the characters in this novel felt like real people. Like I could have walked out the door, down the street, to my neighbors house. (Okay, probably not. I live in rural America – so let’s be real here.) My point being that they didn’t feel like characters, they felt like people. And I absolutely love when an author is able to make me feel like that. They each have their flaws and their selfish moments and their mistakes. The same as any of us.

This is a book full of funny and smart and sad moments. Of fantastic, quotable moments. It’s full of life and love and hurt and regret. It’s a story about death and ruined dreams and betrayal. It is one hundred percent human. Brit Bennett is a wonderful storyteller and I cannot wait to read more from her.

I thought the ending was daring for a debut novel, but I found it fit the story perfectly. I wouldn’t have asked for it to end any differently. This story didn’t need a neat little bow on top of it. In fact, I think it’s point is made even more so without a tidy wrap up.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a remarkable debut and I’m glad that I gave it a go. I will definitely pick up whatever she writes next.

*The image was taken from Goodreads and the synopsis was taken from the book jacket. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

the girl and the books