Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Enchanted Ivy
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Published: 2010
Source: For Review

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.

When 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. (taken from

Who knew that Princeton could be so magical? At first, I was bored by the idea of the entire novel revolving around Lily's dream to attend Princeton. Thankfully, things picked up and Lily was soon swept up into a tale of incredible creatures and dark secrets. 

Lily Carter is a witty and brave protagonist. She cares deeply for her family members and desperately tries to protect them. Although Lily comes up with many smart solutions, she also makes mistakes. I was never annoyed with her, and I honestly enjoyed tagging along on her adventure. The secondary characters were also fun to read about. Tye and Jake held the potential to be fantastic characters, and I wished I gotten to know them a little better. 

The premise of Enchanted Ivy was entirely unique and fantastical. The idea of Princeton being the gateway to a parallel universe was simply awesome. The fantastical other-world that Lily stumbles upon reminds me so much of the days I was obsessed with fantasy novels. In my opinion, everyone needs to read a pure fantasy novel every once in a while. 

Overall, Enchanted Ivy is a imaginative tale bursting with astonishing creatures and intriguing characters. Durst's whimsical writing makes for a truly wonderful read. I'd definitely recommend it to any lover of fantasy or young adult!

* I received this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review 


Eliza Mellark said...

It sounds like ou really enjoyed this! I'm glad! Your review was fantastic...and it might have caused me to want to read it :D

Kelly Peres said...

Awesome review!!! This book is currently in my to be read pile and after your reveiw I feel the need to pick it up!! One thing that I'm glad that Lily you find is not annoying because lately I find some main characters that, plain annoying until they warm up.

So thanks again!!

Ashley said...

Glad to hear you liked it! I love fairy tales and fairy tale esq stories, so I've been keeping my eye on this on.

fakesteph said...

Sounds very fun. Were-tigers... I think that's what hooked me. :)