Book Review: Enchanted Ivy

Book Review: Enchanted IvyEnchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on October 12th 2010
Pages: 310

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.PWhen 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. 


Sarah Beth Durst is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. And Enchanted Ivy is a fantastic example of why.

Enchanted Ivy centers the tale around Lilly. Her one goal in life? To get into Princeton University. But where as most high schoolers have to pass SATs and admission applications, Lilly's situation is a bit different. She is a legacy. And as a legacy, she must undergo a special test to prove that she has what it takes. Sounds easy right? Think again. When your family is part of the "secret" part of Princeton University, nothing is as easy as it seems.

First and foremost, Lilly is absolutely delightful. She is a charming character who I instantly connected with. Throughout the novel, I loved watching her character grow into her own. True, her character begins the novel a little shy and reluctant, but as the novel progress, she completely transforms into a young woman who will do anything for those she loves. And in a special nod to Sarah Beth Durst, I love… love… love how she always incorporates the family unit. Lilly's love for her family is very evident and it makes the novel that much more special. And the other characters? Just as fantastic. One of my favorites being Tye, Lilly's love interest, who can be described in one word: adorable. He is sweet, funny, and his antics added a completely different level to the novel.

Like Sarah Beth Durst's previous novel Ice, Enchanted Ivy is written beautifully. The world is vivid, the characters full of life, and the premise is incredibly original. Durst definitely knows how to transport the reader into another world by creating a story that is unlike any other. Enchanted Ivy is definitely one of the best young adult novels of 2010. Highly recommend.

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