Book Review: The Ivies by Alexa Donne

The Ivies  by Alexa Donne Genre:  Dark academia, YA thriller Synopsis:   Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in th...

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Genre: Dark academia, YA thriller

Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I'm one of them. 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.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Alcohol use, bullying, death, blackmail, toxic relationships

Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆

Oh man, did The Ivies have so much potential. I loved the plot itself but it was the weird intricacies of the book that really impacted my overall feelings. Mainly, there are a few mentions of COVID throughout the book but they weren’t relevant and the book should’ve done without them. It’s like the author or editor or whoever wanted to make sure it was mentioned, but it actually made me like the story less. It’s a current book and mentions how COVID impacted testing and such, but then most parts of the book are like it never happened because there were no longer any restrictions or anything, so it was a problematic add-in to the story. Like yes, I get that it’s realistic fiction and set in our universe, but don’t try to add in a pandemic if you’re not going to take the pandemic seriously. It irked me beyond belief.

But this is one of those books like Pretty Little Liars where all I could think was “Jesus, just go to the freaking police and stop trying to solve this on your own.” It makes my eyes roll all the way to the back of my head in annoyance, but it’s also impossible to put down.

I did like how the ending surprised me, but I also really felt like the book had zero development in terms of character arc. So again. More annoyance and frustration.

But this isn’t a bad book. In fact, I like many aspects of it and would love to see it adapted into a YA drama series. It’s just the abundance of weird little intricacies that really impacting me from really loving it.

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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