We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.
Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.
Goodreads link: HERE
A print copy of The Ivies by Alexa Donne was provided to me by Turn The Page Tours in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my ability to review this book with integrity and honesty.
This book is PG13 and contains swearing and mature themes. This book does not contain nudity or graphic scenes.
The Ivies is a book that follows a group called you guessed it - The Ivies, made up of five fiercely competitive and vindictive girls who will do just about anything to accomplish their goals and that's getting accepted into their respective Ivy league colleges. Being known as shady, vicious and even ruthless, the ivies seem to find themselves in the biggest scandal that the prestigious Claflin high academy has ever seen.
This is my first time reading a book by Alexa Donne and I am pleasantly surprised. I’m a huge fan of Alexa’s writing advice on Youtube but I was kinda hesitant because you know… booktube/authortube books get tons of heat that we all fall prey to letting impact whether we read a book or not and whether we like said book or not, even if we don’t want to admit it. So just in case you needed to hear this, this is your sign to pick up that authortuber/booktuber book despite what you may have heard!
Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary.
The Ivies is told in Oliva’s perspective, as a scholarship student Liv always feels a step behind and craves to not just fit in at Claflin Academy but to truly belong amongst her rich and super privileged peers. I liked Liv, her perspective was kinda refreshing to me. It’s been a while since reading YA Thriller/Contemporary and Liv’s voice was honest to her age and situation. I was really happy to hear the complexities that go through a teenage girl's head fleshed out really well. Olivia is an obvious and easy choice to tell this particular story given her background and relationship with the other Ivies.
Throughout the book we get to see Olivia struggle to trust her friends and those around her. Liv’s internal battle of “but they're my friends… aren’t they” is top tier. Oliva doesn’t front that she's a good girl either and I like that. Liv’s is totally honest about who she is and who her friends are, which is how we are led through the rabbit hole of who dun it.
Karma is a -itch. I guess I’m a -itch, too. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being an Ivy.
This won’t be a spoiler review, so I won't go into detail about the plot or even the characters, besides liv, really because I don’t want to give the mystery away BUT I will say I saw the WHO of it all coming... I totally give Alexa credit because the way the story unfolds and how we get to the WHO & WHY of everything totally blew my mind because it's just like huh??? It's truly mind boggling as to how someone can be so sick and messed up in the head. I think Alexa did such a great job of writing in a did they/ didn't they fashion. Everyone was sus!
A thought, the tiniest supposition, pushes to the front of my brain. What if -- very killed --?
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ivies, although I feel it is more of a soft suspense story than a thriller if that makes sense. I loved the fully fleshed-out side characters and I love that all the other key characters got their own distinct voices. I think an obvious honorable mention is Avery, the certified mean girl in this story because she was written well and not completely cliché. I loved Avery’s and Olivia’s complex relationship because it really helped drive the story forward.
The only problem I really had with this book was the, what I feel, was awkward and sometimes pretentious wording. As the book progresses you get used to how these characters speak… but I do love that Alexa pokes fun at the writing a bit because there are times where the characters call each other out for the way they speak.
“ - You are myopically selfish.”
Besides being able to see through Liv's POV, my favorite part of this story is the very end chapter. That last chapter shows who Liv is and has always been and who she will become one day. I think it was a really smart ending and tied everything together.
The Ivies gives me very much Mean Girls meets Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars vibes. I enjoyed this story and would definitely give this a reread.
BUY THE BOOK HERE:
ABOUT ALEXA DONNE
A true INFJ, in her “free” time she mentors with WriteGirl, runs the Author Mentor Match program, and manages one of the most popular writing advice channels on YouTube. She lives in Los Angeles with two fluffy ginger cats named after YA literature characters. You can find her in most places @alexadonne.
FOLLOW ALEXA DONNE:
Up for grabs is ONE (1) finished copy of The Ivies by Alexa Donne. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from May 23rd to May 30th at 12 AM CST. To enter, click the link below!