As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

January 23, 2011

ENCHANTED IVY by Sarah Beth Durst, 2010

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. (Amazon product description)

Review by Jessica Day George, Young Adult and Middle Grade Author

Most of the college-bound have worries.  Things like not getting into the school of your choice, or getting in, and then finding out that your roommate is crazy.  Or that all your professors would be horrible and you now hate Jane Austen, when Pride & Prejudice used to be your favorite book . . . What a bunch of whiners!  After reading this book, I have a whole new set of fears to offer the college-bound: how about being EATEN BY A STONE MONSTER?!

Since I went to a college that only about three pieces of statuary on the entire campus, I never knew that this was something to fear.  (One of those statues was a nine foot representation of Chief Massasoit, though, which could have been terrifying) But now Durst’s latest book has spun it’s amazing web around me, and I find myself studying statues and gargoyles far more closely, and wondering about people with unnaturally colored hair . . . 

This is masterful storytelling, where from the first, seemingly ordinary moment you know that something is slightly askew in Lily Evans’ life, but how askew you cannot guess and finding out is the true fun of the book.  I adored the characters (even the nasty ones), and deeply regretted that in the two years I lived in New Jersey (five miles from Princeton, no less!) I never took the opportunity to tour the campus . . . or buy myself a bright orange jacket.  This book is amazingly fun, and a must read for the college-bound, to remind them to lighten up, if nothing else!

Market: Teen Fantasy
Language: None
Sensuality: Mild (some kissing)
Violence: PG-13
Mature Themes: The use and abuse of power, mental illness, exsanguination of nonhumans.

Book formats:
Enchanted Ivy (hardcover)
Enchanted Ivy (e-book)

To learn more about the author, visit: Sarah Beth Durst

Bookshop Talk will be posting our interview with Sarah Beth Durst on January 25th, so be sure to check back in!


Charlie Pulsipher said...

Cool. Nothing like a gargoyle coming to life to pique my interest. The other fantasy elements don't hurt either. Thank you for the review.

Kim said...

This sounds fun! And an interview with Sarah Beth Durst?! COOL!!!

Amy Finnegan {} said...

This book really sounds cool and original :)

And Jessica, your review rocked, too!