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Enchanted Ivy

Review

Enchanted Ivy

Lily Carter is a junior in high school who lies somewhere near
the bottom of the pecking order. But that’s okay, as her life
centers on her family. Lily lives with her mother and grandfather
above their flower shop. Sadly, her mom has been gradually losing
her memory and  suffers what she calls brain hiccups. Although
her medicine helps, she is getting worse and must be watched
constantly. Despite these hardships, Lily adores her family; they
are her world. However, her world is about to get bigger --- and
stranger.

Lily and her mom are accompanying her grandfather to his big
alumni weekend at Princeton University. Lily is hoping to attend
Princeton after high school, but is worried she doesn’t have
what it takes to get through the admissions process. However, her
grandfather has a surprise for her. He has arranged for Lily to
take a special, secret test --- a Legacy Test ---  that, if
passed, will ensure automatic acceptance.

The test may sound simple enough --- she must find the Ivy Key
--- but Lily has no idea where to start and is worried about
disappointing her grandfather. Soon, however, she is caught up in a
whirlwind of amazing experiences straight out of her dreams and
nightmares. There is a second Princeton, she learns, that is secret
and magical. Inhabitants include dragons, fairies, unicorns, elves,
dryads, were-tigers, goblins and more, and some of them are not
very happy with the humans. A huge war is brewing, and Lily is
caught in the middle. And if battling for her life isn’t
enough, she also finds herself caught between two handsome guys ---
a human and a were-tiger --- and uncovers some deeply buried
secrets about her past. Lily had no idea that the reunion weekend
would be so exciting or so deadly.

Sarah Beth Durst has won many awards for her novels, and
ENCHANTED IVY has the promise for more. Lily is a very likable
character; she’s a bit shy but grounded, with a strong
devotion to family. Durst plunges Lily into her vivid imagination
on a rollercoaster of action with lots of unexpected twists and
turns, where her brilliant use of language fills the pages with
color and clarity. This book has it all: non-stop action, magical
creatures, building suspense, warm-hearted romance, addictive
adventure, scary monsters, deadly battles, and a bit of light humor
--- a real winner, both in the fantasy world and in the book
world.

   -

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on October 18, 2011

Enchanted Ivy
by Sarah Beth Durst

  • Publication Date: October 12, 2010
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • ISBN-10: 1416986456
  • ISBN-13: 9781416986454