Always forever maybe book cover

The Ivy (The Ivy #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina Onur

The Ivy (The Ivy #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina OnurThe Ivy (The Ivy, #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina Onur
Published by Greenwillow Books on August 31st 2010
Pages: 312
Goodreads
four-stars

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with

Gregory
the guy she loves to hate ...

Evan
the guy she'd love to forget ...

Clint
the guy she'd love to love ...

and Matt
the guy she really should love ...

all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

A few weeks back HarperCollins ran a special for The Ivy. They knocked down the e-book price to 0.00. Being the first time hearing of it, and a premise that intrigued me, I of course *purchased* it. I don’t think I’ve ever L-O-L’d so loud and so much while reading a book before. One hilarious scene after another, kept me joyfully hooked. Now I HAVE to get the other books in the series. Well played, HarperCollins, well played.
I opened up this review with a “I love you” statement but now I’m going to backtrack a little and start off with the parts that I didn’t. Even though I found the overall story hilariously enjoyable, the closer I got to the end, the less I liked The Ivy and it’s main-ish character, Callie. In the beginning I was screaming 5+ stakes!! But by the end, I settled on 4…

At first, I adored Callie Andrews. Callie stood out of the crowd because she wore tanks and sweats while other girls wore posh, top of the line clothes. Callie preferred the quiet, read Pride & Prejudice weekend nights, while other girls worked on getting their crunk on. Callie dumped her jerky boyfriend, spotted the player right off the bat, befriended the cute and kind male neighbor, and slowly got to know the reputable campus charmer while her roommate(s) slept around with any male that paid them a half amount of attention. Callie stayed true to herself for a good chunk of the book. Then all the sudden *poof* her good judgement and reasoning blinked out of existent.

I can understand her new surroundings and friends influencing her, but Callie’s mindset made an extreme change. She went from being self-confident and intelligent to worrying about her looks, ditching class and putting off her assignments. I didn’t understand her new way of viewing life. She never had problems making friends in high school yet all of the sudden she’s dressing differently and acting differently to impress her roommate? The more I got to know her, the less I liked. By the end I found her pretty annoying. There was nothing indicating her lack of “self-confidence” in the past, so when it started popping up here and there I got confused, and then I got irritated.

Regardless of my Callie-dislike, there was plenty other things to like! I think Kunze and Onur did a fabulous job portraying college, especially freshmen year. Having spent last year for the first time, away at college, I could relate and even laugh at the cliches yet total truths of college life. Whether it be the lack of sleep, high quantities of caffeine intake, all-night partying on school nights or silly things like crossing campus, jacket-less in 50 below weather (nights I wish I could take back), Kunze and Onur hit the nail on the head!

I also really liked the narration of this one which was SHOCKER – third person POV. Normally this type drives me crazy, but for The Ivy it worked. There’s so many people to keep track of, Callie, Gregory, Clint, Matt, Mimi, Vanessa & more! that, 3rd POV helped keep everyone on the radar. As an outside party viewing the various situations you could see and better understand various character motivations. You didn’t have to guess the reactions because everyone’s facial and body expressions were announced. However, like I said, Callie is the main-ish character so we only saw other characters when they were in her presence.

All in all, I did love this book, regardless of the flaws. It’s on that Young Adult/New Adult dividing line, leaning more towards NA. Even though there’s mentions of sex and alcohol and marijuana use, the story still stays kind of light and teen-y. If you’re into secret societies, cutesy romances and love everything that Gossip Girl entails (high fashion, privileged youths, sabotage/general back-stabbery) you’ll love The Ivy.

four-stars