This is one of the best book openings I have ever read. It’s the type of story that pulls you in immediately, right from the first chapter. The writing in this book it’s one of my favorite things about it and one of its strongest assets. I don’t really know how to describe it, but suffice to say that it’s the type of writing that makes you want to keep reading and reading and reading.
The first 30% of the book was just marvelous I didn’t want to stop reading and I was so curious about this strange story, where it would go and this particulat main character. The careful construction of the characters and the main protagonist past is so well done and it was amazing to read. It is such a strong build-up for all the events that are going to unfold in the story right up until the very end.
Ivy is an amazing protagonist and yeah she is a bit disturbing? Problematic? Scary? Probably all of them. That doesn’t mean I don’t love her because I do (and this girl would definitely be a Slytherin). This book was expertly done, and it has so many layers of meanings and significance and things that make you stop to think about. I was glad that my edition had book club questions because they made me think a lot about the book right upon finishing it and damn what a load of things.
This book is a part thriller, although I think thriller is kind of a strong word I would probably call it a mystery but okay, and parts social commentary. It questions the “model minority” and subverts the stereotype in numerous moments with the anti-heroine protagonist dismantling its tropes. Like I said Ivy is a very complex character, from a young age her grandmother taught her how to steal and conceal it, and in more ways than one this has shaped her entire life. Ivy is a person strung up on acquiring wealth, she is ambitious and ruthless and doesn’t stop at nothing to get what she wants.
The title was a very interesting aspect think about this book, for me it has more than one meaning, it questions the idea of intrinsic versus obtain value, it speaks about Ivy the protagonist trying to make herself into something that she isn’t or masking herself, it relates to race of course and also for me it related to the plant ivy and how it gets hung up on something tightly not letting it go.
Throughout the novel we see many examples of privilege and how the protagonist deals with it seeing it as an objective trait and I really loved at this aspect of the novel. Another aspect for me that was really good was the relationship of Ivy with two other characters Gideon and Roux. Each of these characters provide her with different things and make her act in different ways and they were so important to the flow of the narrative.
I was at first confused on what my rating for this book would be, torn between four and five stars, but I think I will settle for five because this book has a very powerful charge of layers, themes, and ideas that are explored in more or less depth but all of them done impeccably so. It is a strong book and I loved it. I could easily see this book being turned into a movie or a TV series and how there is much potential to be developed into one of those medias. If you’re looking for a story with intricate writing, disturbingly captivating characters and multiple plot twists I recommend this book.