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Enchanted Ivy Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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From School Library Journal
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Lexile measure : 620L
- Item Weight : 13.9 ounces
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781416986454
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416986454
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books (October 12, 2010)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1416986456
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,832,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Characters: Dursts' protagonist, Lily, is refreshingly independent. She even tries to be badass, even though she hasn't quite got the hang of it. There's a life to Lily which allows me to empathize with her. She has the responsibility of watching over her mom, who's a few fries short of a happy meal, keeping up her grades so she can get into college (meaning Princeton), and pleasing her grandfather, by trying to get into said college.
Tye and Jake, the two boys vying for Lily's attention, have both captured a tiny piece of my heart. (Tye all the way!) Tye has shown traits that I was surprised by. Meaning, he has no trouble falling in love. He's funny, rebelling, and generally complex. He lives in the magical Princeton, where his dad rules on the Council. And why he seems to be fearless, up close you can tell he has a few fissures.
Jake makes me a little weary. In the story he's described as a puppy. Eager to please. It seems all he wants is to be a part of the Vineyard Club, and nothing else. He even goes as far as dumping Lily to the ground after she's been injured, just because he fears she's something unliked by the club. In my perspective, I think he needs to mature a little--and hopefully we'll get to see this happen in a sequel.
The plot: A magical Princeton, full of talking gargoyles, were-tigers, knights, unicorns, dragons, and so much more. It makes me want to apply to Princeton! It takes a good imagination to come up with a story that won't be sucked into the masses, and Durst has showed us that she has that.
We follow Lily as she stays at Princeton with her grandfather and mother, trying to complete a test given her by the Vineyard Club. The task she's given: find the Ivy Key. And if she succeeds: guaranteed acceptance into Princeton. Wow. What a deal.
The story is fast paced as Lily immediately starts her journey, where she is joined by the "outlawed" Tye, the were-tiger. Of course, were-tigers don't exist! And the talking gargoyles--it's all wires and mechanisms. At least, this is what Lily tells herself as she's put through events that get stranger by the minute.
The fact that Lily has no idea where to start looking for the Key (or even what the Key unlocks) is a bit daunting, but before she has a chance to panic, she's acquired a companion on her quest. Tye is the definition of a cool college boy, right down to his orange and black tiger-striped hair. Tye tells Lily he is to be her guard during the test, which seems odd to Lily. Why would she need a guard?
Things go from odd to downright weird when the gargoyles start talking to Lily, trying to help her on her quest. Lily discovers that there are actually two Princetons - one in the world she knows and another in a world full of magic. As she learns more about the magic world, Lily finds she's at the center of a decades old struggle marked by deceit and betrayal. It will take all of her ingenuity, strength and courage to keep the two sides from going to war - possibly destroying both Princetons in the process.
Sarah Beth Durst has a vivid and original imagination and she combines it with her obvious love of Princeton to craft a unique fantasy. I loved how she captured the characters: studious, independent Lily, the slightly smug and self-satisfied Old Boys and brave, fiercely loyal and dedicated Tye. The Princeton campus itself is also an important character in this novel and the affectionate way Ms. Durst describes it should have many readers longing to attend. The heart of any book, of course, is the plot and Enchanted Ivy is full of action, emotion, twists and discoveries. This is well worth a read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When she arrived at Princeton, she was surprised to learn that her grandfather had set her up for the Legacy test. Passing it meant automatic admission to Princeton. But taking the test really opened her up to new experiences like getting advice from the stone gargoyles who decorate the buildings at Princeton. Since they are visiting at a reunion weekend, she sees lots of orange and black. In fact, a young man named Tye who presents himself as her guard during the quest has orange and black hair.
She quickly learns that her grandfather is one of the Knights who protect humans because Princeton has a gate to another world - a world with were-tigers, gargoyles, unicorns, dryads and elves. But it takes a key to travel between the worlds. Lily's test is to find a key. During her quest, Lily learns lots of secrets about Princeton, her family and herself. She finds herself in great danger and in the middle of a possible war.
This story had adventure, danger and romance. I recommend it to fantasy-loving young adults.