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The Ivy

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Author: Lauren Kunze

Published: August 31st 2010 by Greenwillow Books

Format: Hardcover , 312 pages

Isbn: 9780061960451

Language: English


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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 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?

30 review for The Ivy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    It had me for a while. Enough to make me feel like an idiot for being engaged for that short time. Then I realised that this book was a series of shallow vignettes about getting drunk, laid and more and I couldn't find the joy any more. This is definitely the kind of read that would energise a reader with no expectation other than a cliched protagonist surrounded by stereotypical supporting players that act in stupendously stupid ways. I don't know what offended me more - the depiction of a reli It had me for a while. Enough to make me feel like an idiot for being engaged for that short time. Then I realised that this book was a series of shallow vignettes about getting drunk, laid and more and I couldn't find the joy any more. This is definitely the kind of read that would energise a reader with no expectation other than a cliched protagonist surrounded by stereotypical supporting players that act in stupendously stupid ways. I don't know what offended me more - the depiction of a religious teen as a somewhat zealot or a vastly intelligent, motivated girl performing a succession of brainless acts. Actually Harvard should be more offended than I am. There is a superficial sense of fun and frivolity that surrounds Kunze's storytelling but it is just that - superficial. Having lived in similar housing during my college years I can tell you there is a grain of truth but to limit her characters to cardboard caricatures doesn't a writer make. Nor does Kunze's tendency to change character perspective mid passage! It felt as though she took a handful of parties as the narrative line of her story and strung them together with paper thin (if at all) development. In essence it is a tabloid story - lots of gossip and pleasure in people's naivete and/or stupidity surrounded by some glamour. There was no examination or grounding to the characters as they sway from party to party with loose connections, little loyalty and shallow behaviour. Actually that's not fair, at one point the character direct their attention to maijuana instead of alcohol to amusing but (again) cliched results. The only plus I can take from the over emphasis on partying is the unique means in which Kunze chose to depict her protagonist's perspective. Reader's won't care about Callie all that much as she clearly doesn't care all that much for herself or her own integrity. Watching this girl continually and unflinchingly act in a callously oblivious manner speaks to the holes in the author's directive that the character is intelligent. She makes blunders that can be seen in any standard sitcom on any network. The love interest compels only because he's Chuck-lite (Gossip Girl) and his reformation is heavy handed to say the least. This is the first in a series of novels which is interesting as this title had nothing to say in the first place, to continue the journey seems like an exercise in frustration. As for Onur's inclusion in the authoring credits (she co-conceptualised the plot) I am left even more confused as there isn't much of a plot to speak of other than girls batting at each other with rage issues, boys falling over themselves for Callie and parties that required themes. The Ivy is bereft of soul....so it will probably become a huge earner. Perfect for the reader with minimal expectations.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anushka

    Also find this review on Don't Stop Readin' and BookLikes. This book was mentioned in an episode of Gossip Girl and when I saw the cover...damn. I was sold. I knew I just had to read this book. It’s not that gorgeous but I don’t know, this cover just called to me. Finally I got a chance to read this and I’m glad I wasn’t too disappointed either. This is the most chick-lit-ish book I’ve ever read, conisdering the fact that only chick-lit I’ve read is Pretty Little Liars and Private series, which Also find this review on Don't Stop Readin' and BookLikes. This book was mentioned in an episode of Gossip Girl and when I saw the cover...damn. I was sold. I knew I just had to read this book. It’s not that gorgeous but I don’t know, this cover just called to me. Finally I got a chance to read this and I’m glad I wasn’t too disappointed either. This is the most chick-lit-ish book I’ve ever read, conisdering the fact that only chick-lit I’ve read is Pretty Little Liars and Private series, which had more suspense than drama. The Ivy , in my opinion, was a lot like Private excluding the murder-mystery part and the infamous Billings House, other than that they both had a very similar protag, group of friends and setting. I’ve no intention to do a detailed review of this book. I’d just like to mention a couple of things. First, I do NOT enjoy stories with a Queen Mean who is capable of doing the evilest things you can imagine (But Mean Girls is one of my favourite movies ever, go figure) and a lot of backstabbing, plotting, cheating and two-timing. This is the reason I didn’t watch Gossip Girl Season 4 either and was about to leave this book in-between. I am very weak when it comes to this and with the way this book ended we all know what the first thing is going to be in the sequel so I’m thinking about dropping it. I cannot digest all this cruelty. Then, I didn’t like Callie much. She was ‘okay’ for me in the beginning but became downright insufferable when she did something she shouldn’t have towards the end. She pretends to be the nice girl who cares about her friends throughout the book but the truth is, she does some pretty awful things but feigns as if she didn't or blames it on other people. She rationalizes her terrible behaviour by some means or the other every time. Except her, all the characters were tolerable, Mimi, Gregory, Clint, OK, Vanessa – all of them made quite an awesome gang and not to forget they were incredibly funny! Alex’s character was over-hyped, though. She was described as the evil incarnation of Regina George but she didn’t do anything except insulting Callie once or twice. I guess that’s because she didn’t have much role in this book… but who am I kidding, she is gonna be the star of next one! So, I think, in this her character was only meant for introduction, she’ll do the real damage in the following book. I’m not sure if I should read the next one because of my very low affinity for stories involving Girls Being Bitches. Although, this one ended on a massive cliff-hanger and I am a bit curious to know what’s on the other side.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steph Su

    Let’s start by placing my poised, professional reviewer mode aside and putting on the hat of my other half, that of an aggrieved college-aged YA reader. In this alternate, blogging- and review-free world, Steph would say that these sorts of books, these seemingly “in-depth” looks into college life piss her off to no end. People getting into Harvard, only to not care about academics at all and instead focus all their time on partying, befriending the right people, and boy drama? Are you serious? Let’s start by placing my poised, professional reviewer mode aside and putting on the hat of my other half, that of an aggrieved college-aged YA reader. In this alternate, blogging- and review-free world, Steph would say that these sorts of books, these seemingly “in-depth” looks into college life piss her off to no end. People getting into Harvard, only to not care about academics at all and instead focus all their time on partying, befriending the right people, and boy drama? Are you serious? How did you get into that school in the first place? I’m so exasperated I’ll probably throw something against a wall (preferably the book and not the laptop upon which I’m writing this). I hate that these types of books claim to portray the reality of college life. Actually, college has become simply another setting for the petty “boarding school drama” YA books, except that, with the elevated age group, you can now talk about sex, drinking, drugs, and more! And you still don’t have to worry about parents! Or (God forbid) classes! Woohoo! Someone stab me. It’s along those lines that I absolutely cannot get behind Callie as the protagonist with whom we’re supposed to sympathize. This supposedly smart, talented, and high-achieving au naturelle arrives on campus, only to have her mental capacities reduced to that of a hormonal 13-year-old as she falls into fashion insecurities and obsesses about boys. Oh, but I guess since this book is set at college, this isn’t another installment in the Clique series. Guess I missed that memo. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the part of the 3% in her year who won’t graduate from Harvard. Callie’s dippiness at odds with her supposed intelligence is reinforced by the choppy writing. It’s unclear what point of view this book is written in. It starts out third-person limited, in Callie’s POV, but then occasionally pops over into Callie’s roommates’ heads before staggering back “home” to Callie’s. Uh, perhaps the authors were trying to emulate a Victorian novel panoramic (i.e. omniscient) narration? I’d have no problem with this, even if it is a risk in the current YA world, akin to third-person present tense, or even first-person present tense sometimes. The problem comes when that intention is not made clear; then the narratorial choice only seems sloppy, the mark of an amateur writer. As another example of the clunky writing, take any scene from any party where drinks are served and the characters drink. Suddenly, time ceases to exist. Dialogue tags go into hiding. Words become more rhythm and less coherence. Now, all of this could actually be sort of cool, a literary expression of being wasted. But the rest of the narration is not tight enough for this literary exercise to win me over. I mean, sometimes the narrator talks to us, the reader. As in, “As you should know, reader…” statements. As in, something you probably shouldn’t do EVER in fiction, something taught to basic-level creative writing students. Argh. I could probably go on for longer about the petty plot, or the way one guy in particular is about the only thing I enjoyed reading about in this book (even though, in certain ways, he’s pretty cliché; what can I say? I like my *** ****). But I’ll leave it there. My hope is that reading my review will help you realize whether or not this book is something for you. Don’t get me wrong: I like books set in college, as well as the occasional juicy, Gossip Girl-esque dramas (I have a weak spot for Zoey Dean’s books, after all). But THE IVY was flawed in ways that unfortunately lessened the whole reading experience for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I loved The Ivy. Honestly, by page 4, I already knew I was going to read this book in one sitting. The Ivy is college life, ivy league style - everyone rich, famous and geniuses, or some mix of the three, or at least it seems that way. Can an average girl survive and find her way at an above average school? I adored everything about The Ivy, from the secret societies (or Finals Clubs as they are called at Harvard), to the choosing of classes, to the parties (with authentic sounding drunken hookup I loved The Ivy. Honestly, by page 4, I already knew I was going to read this book in one sitting. The Ivy is college life, ivy league style - everyone rich, famous and geniuses, or some mix of the three, or at least it seems that way. Can an average girl survive and find her way at an above average school? I adored everything about The Ivy, from the secret societies (or Finals Clubs as they are called at Harvard), to the choosing of classes, to the parties (with authentic sounding drunken hookups), the friendships, the extracurricular, and even the first use of pot. It truly brought back fond (and not so fond) memories of my less than ivy league college experience. There was a lot of romantic prospects on the horizon for Callie. This felt very real, doing a fantastic job of showing the different ways guys approach dating. The book ends with a giant cliffhanger, regarding relationships, friendships, and the entire college experience that left me anxious to know how everything turned out. I desperately hope Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur have more in store for Callie because I'd love to continue the journey with her and her friends. The Ivy is both relateable and over the top. It's a wonderful mix of scandal and heartbreak with fun, modern tech thrown in. Blogging, Twitter and Facebook are utilized and do much to remind readers they are experiencing the Harvard of today. Is this what Harvard is really like? I don't know. This book is so outrageously fun it really doesn't matter. The Ivy is definitely the best book about college life I've read so far.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Since I got a bit of a kick out of Pretty Little Liars, I thought it would be amusing to read the Ivy League version. It was not. Not only are none of the characters in this story smart enough to make their attending Harvard plausible, you get the impression that the author has not, in fact, ever met a smart person. The protagonist's manifestations of intelligence include doing arithmetic in her head and believing that Persuasion is "sophomoric" compared to Pride and Prejudice, which I don't thin Since I got a bit of a kick out of Pretty Little Liars, I thought it would be amusing to read the Ivy League version. It was not. Not only are none of the characters in this story smart enough to make their attending Harvard plausible, you get the impression that the author has not, in fact, ever met a smart person. The protagonist's manifestations of intelligence include doing arithmetic in her head and believing that Persuasion is "sophomoric" compared to Pride and Prejudice, which I don't think is a defensible opinion if you have read them. None of the characters study and two of them have declared majors within the first few weeks of freshman year. Did the author even attend college? Here's a plot twist far better than anything in the story: You get to the end and read the author bio and discover that she not only attended Harvard but also majored in English there. So let me tack hard and say that this portrayal of Harvard students as vapid, status-obsessed, incurious, occasionally somewhat racist buffoons is, as far as I know as a Yale graduate, completely accurate and true-to-life. Well done, Lauren Kunze.

  6. 4 out of 5

    I'm All Booked Up YA

    The first of a four book series, The Ivy focuses on Callie Andrew’s first semester at Harvard. Lauren Kunze, with her friend Rina Onur, started this series while students at Harvard. They refuse to admit how much of the plot actually happened 😉 Christy first read this book series in 2014 while actually sitting in Harvard Yard. She went to Harvard for graduate school and loved being able to see the places mentioned. While the characters are undergrads, she cannot comment on how accurate dorm life/ The first of a four book series, The Ivy focuses on Callie Andrew’s first semester at Harvard. Lauren Kunze, with her friend Rina Onur, started this series while students at Harvard. They refuse to admit how much of the plot actually happened 😉 Christy first read this book series in 2014 while actually sitting in Harvard Yard. She went to Harvard for graduate school and loved being able to see the places mentioned. While the characters are undergrads, she cannot comment on how accurate dorm life/social clubs/extracurriculars are. But, the way the campus is described is super accurate! It’s completely true that Hahvahd Yahd (in Bostonian) is worth a trip. Word of advice, go in the summer! Claire first read this series 2014 and immediately swooned over Gregory Bolton, one of the two love interests. Also, this is the first college YA series we ever read and we credit it for starting the trend. Callie moves from sunny LA to Cambridge, MA to start her first year of college. Things are more complicated than she thought. It’s not just about good grades. The elite social scene causes challenges she never imagined. First, there are her three roommates. Vanessa, the socialite from Manhattan, Mimi, the French starlet and Dana, the conservative from middle of nowhere South Carolina. Then, throw in the complicated guys from across the hall, and things get crazy. Gregory is the hot bad boy, who has some hidden depth. OK, a Nigerian prince who the press follows, Matt the geek guy next door and Adam, who is pretty much the male version of Dana, are Gregory’s roommates. Put these eight students together and there is bound to be drama. Add in Clint, the upperclassmen who has his eye on Callie. Then, his evil, yet beautiful ex-girlfriend, Alexis. She’s Queen Bee, wealthy and determined to ruin Callie’s freshmen year. Here Callie thought she’d have a normal start to college, but add in the gorgeous guys, the frenemies and the fact that she’s being invited to join the Hasty Pudding and Harvard is like stepping into another planet. Then: The idea of a YA book set in college sounded amazing. College is overlooked both in TV shows and books so we advocate for people to talk about this strange transition. You’re not a kid, not quite an adult. It’s bound for craziness and a few missteps. We liked that Callie’s character was realistic, considering all her friends are either from foreign countries or the East Coast. Plus, they pretty much all have more money. Callie balances classwork, a job, COMP and an attempt at a social life. We also loved how college was portrayed. It was pretty realistic and highlighted the difficulties of fitting in with a new crowd after high school. It was interesting to hear Callie’s take on her friends’ extravagant lifestyles. Gregory Bolton also made us fall for this series. The hot guy next door? Yes! Gregory was brooding and definitely had hidden depth. While he came off as an ass, we knew he had a heart of gold and we were left swooning through the entire series. His chemistry with Callie was incredible, and you guys know we live for witty banter. We distinctly remember hating Clint. He was the worst and when you add in his obnoxious ex, we hated him even more. The thought the love triangle was tolerable, all things considered. We also loved the group dynamic. Each character had their unique qualities and made the group better. Now: Wow, this series was even better than we remembered! Callie steps on to campus disillusioned about what college will be like and at first, falls flat on her face. There was a lot we forgot about this series–mainly, how intellectual it is and that shouldn’t be a surprise, it is Harvard. Unlike some books/TV shows/movies where the character is a student, Callie actually goes to class. She talks a lot about two in particular, Justice (Moral Reasoning) and The Nineteenth Century Novel. Get ready to nerd out! Also, this book is funny! We forgot how much we loved the fun intros to each chapter, which are articles from FM Magazine or group chat conversations. Callie is also hilarious. She’s definitely not perfect, but we were cheering her on as she navigated her messy social life. The best part: the characters! Years later, Gregory Bolton still made us swoon, while Clint still got on our nerves. Ugh, stop wearing those sweater vests and stand up to your crazy ex-girlfriend. Alexis, is the villain you love to hate. Without giving too much away, she really is everything wrong with the 1 percent wrapped into a single person. But the best character, Mimi! She speaks Franglish half the time and doesn’t understand American slang. Plus, despite her antics, she’s wicked smart and will leave you laughing on the floor. The other characters add to the plot and make this first semester unforgettable! Plus, you’ll love all the traditions, including the famous Harvard-Yale game. Verdict: This book was 5 stars in 2014 and 5 stars now! The romance, plot and drama make this college YA a must for anyone. Excuse us, we have to go finish the rest of this series now because the next three books are even better than the first!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I've been dying to read The Ivy ever since I first heard of way back in '09, and I have to say, now that I've read it, it was well-worth the wait. No doubt about it. To me, The Ivy is like Gossip Girl goes to college meets Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy series with just a bit more substance then both of those reads have combined, which left it to be a mix I absolutely adored! The Ivy tells the tale of Callie, a girl who's just about to start her first year at the highly prestigious Harvard Universit I've been dying to read The Ivy ever since I first heard of way back in '09, and I have to say, now that I've read it, it was well-worth the wait. No doubt about it. To me, The Ivy is like Gossip Girl goes to college meets Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy series with just a bit more substance then both of those reads have combined, which left it to be a mix I absolutely adored! The Ivy tells the tale of Callie, a girl who's just about to start her first year at the highly prestigious Harvard University. In high school Callie used to be one of the most popular girls there; she never had any trouble making friends, getting the good grades, and having all the boys drooling over her, and she expects to collage to be the same way of course. Though, as she is soon about to find out, it won't be that easy, because first of all she has three kooky but somewhat lovable roommates, but is one out to ruin her reputation? Second of all, her boyfriend of several years has just broken up with her, but is he hiding a major secret? Third, she has Harvard's queen bee out to get her as well. Last of all, she's having boy trouble, major, major boy trouble. You see, not only does she have an ex who she can't seem to get out of her mind, but she has Gregory, the guy who loves to make her mad, Matt, the sweet, nerdy, and charming boy who has a heart of gold, and Clint, the rich socialite who she would do anything to really, really love. Now, it seems that freshman year will be anything but simple. Though, will she be able to survive it? Only time will tell! I really, really liked Callie. She was funny, sweet, and all around good person, though that never stopped me from wanting to shake some sense into her sometimes, which made her even more lovable in my eyes. I enjoyed seeing her have hobbies besides just chasing boys around. Also, I found her three roommates to be absolutely hysterical; my favorite out of the three, though, would have to be Mimi. Further more, it always proved to be interesting to see Callie go through her days at Harvard because it never failed to provide drama, drama, and some laughter, but the one thing that made Callie the most relatable and someone I never ceased to root for, in my opinion, was her ability to make mistakes and learn from them; it's an important quality to have I have to say. Plus, this wouldn't be a complete if I didn't talk about the boys at least once. Matt was amazing, by far one of my favorite's of Callie's guys. I especially liked his expose about sexism at Harvard because it really was eye-opening and made me think. Further more, Gregory was swoon-worthy and sarcastic, though he was imperfect in almost all ways when it came to dealing with his possible liking of Callie. Also, my favorite non-Callie boy was OK, who was just a complete riot. Besides the characters, my other favorite part of The Ivy was its setting, because I loved the fact that Kunze and Onur included some of Harvard's history, legacies, and clubs among other tidbits in it. Further more, the plot was filled with fun and drama, and when mixed with the easy-going writing, it was easy to fall right into this book and finish in a few short hours. I especially loved how while it was told from Callie's third person narrative, it also included little snippets from the other characters lives because it always seemed to provide a new little twist. I'm not really one to say whether or not it did an accurate job of portraying college life because of the fact I'm still in high school, but from what I've read from other reviews by people who have experienced college life, it seems to them at least that it does a good job of portraying the social and study part of it. In all, The Ivy proves to be the perfect breezy end of summer read and a new series to keep an eye out for because I have a feeling it can only get better and better from here. Grade: A-

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Floyd

    Well, in my defense I picked this book up during its free kindle giveaway and started reading it while I was in the hospital and wanted something very light. And to be fair, I am not this book's intended audience. I don't watch Gossip Girl or Housewives or any of the other "same theme" shows mentioned in so many of these reviews. That being said, the book was as light and substance-free as you could possibly want a book to be (unless, of course, we're talking about mind-altering substances). Fir Well, in my defense I picked this book up during its free kindle giveaway and started reading it while I was in the hospital and wanted something very light. And to be fair, I am not this book's intended audience. I don't watch Gossip Girl or Housewives or any of the other "same theme" shows mentioned in so many of these reviews. That being said, the book was as light and substance-free as you could possibly want a book to be (unless, of course, we're talking about mind-altering substances). First, what I liked: I enjoyed this book as a kind of anthropological study. In Part 1 of my study, I learned how my midwestern liberal arts college education has exactly zero in common with an Ivy League education, if Kunze's descriptions are to be believed, which seems reasonable. I enjoyed the descriptions of the social setting at Harvard, seeing how residence life, social life, and academic life were really a different beast than anything I ever knew. I never aspired to great academic heights, but I enjoyed taking her picture of Harvard and trying to imagine how I could have fit myself into it. (It would have been a disaster. I don't have the social or academic spine for something so competitive.) In Party 2 of my study, I finally realized that I have been out of college for ten years. I have a hard time believing it. I still have this feeling like I just graduated and I'm barely out in the real world. But in Kunze's story, we have an academic setting that is full of cell phones, Facebook, and computers taken to class. These things are completely foreign to what my college time was like. We had just discovered the grand and beautiful use of PowerPoint, back in my day, and warnings that "Wikipedia is not an acceptable source to cite" on a research paper didn't start being made until my senior year. :p So that's a little depressing. But as anything other than a social study, this book was kind of ridiculous. The characters were one-dimentional. At the end of chapter one, I could already tell you exactly what was going to happen to all of them, and with a couple of exceptions (the story ended before the full plot rolled out, and there was a lot more substance abuse than I expected), I was right on all counts. The hardest thing for me to understand is the protagonist's A-1 stupidity. Here is a girl who is a "soccer prodigy," smartest girl in her high school class, and experienced in the ways of relationships. You need these things to get accepted to a place like Harvard, so that's okay with me in this case. Kunze sets Callie up as an outsider by making her blonde (huh?), from California, and not wealthy. I would expect a girl like that to have some common sense and a touch of good judgement, but Callie has neither. She spends the entire book drooling over boys (who all fall in love with her because apparently she emits magical pheromones... can't think of any other explanation for why all these dudes think she's so great. All she does is get drunk and ruin their shirts over and over again), drinking too much, smoking weed, and trying desperately to get accepted by people that she doesn't understand. And, of course, somehow managing to perform brilliantly in her classes and extracurriculars along the way. I didn't realize the book was the first in a series when I started reading it, and was therefor kind of satisfied when it ended with Callie's life pretty much ruined. "Haha!" I thought. "She's paying the consequences for all her seriously bad judgment." Nah, not really. We just need three more books before all can be resolved into a happily ever after where she gets the grades, the rich hot dude, and the social acceptance we always knew she deserved desired. I don't think I'll be reading those.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    This is, without a doubt, the worst book I have ever read. (view spoiler)[ Plot-wise, the story is boring and the wonderful protagonist that we're supposed to identify with because she's the nice, humble fish out of water that's earned her way into Harvard without a legacy, actually sucks. Sure, she quotes classic literature here and there, but the rest of the time she's a shallow and only has time to think about whichever of the hot guys vying for her affection she is in the current company of. This is, without a doubt, the worst book I have ever read. (view spoiler)[ Plot-wise, the story is boring and the wonderful protagonist that we're supposed to identify with because she's the nice, humble fish out of water that's earned her way into Harvard without a legacy, actually sucks. Sure, she quotes classic literature here and there, but the rest of the time she's a shallow and only has time to think about whichever of the hot guys vying for her affection she is in the current company of. Then, she does lousy things to her friends and doesn't even apologize for them, or really even try to discuss them. On top of that, she's reduced Harvard (and granted, she's attended and I haven't) to a series of parties, and it even has "Popular" kids? If this is really how Harvard is, I'm glad I went to a nice state school where that High School crap was a thing of the past. Next, let's talk about serious issues that are joked about or glazed over. There is brief implied sexual assault early in the book (which the protagonist doesn't even realize is happening, but at least feels bad about not noticing it after). Then, we first make a joke about one of the roommates being bulimic, and then it turns out that she actually *is* bulimic later in the book. But we still joke about it again when a different roommate is experiencing alcohol poisoning. Which isn't actually named, either, but she goes to the hospital so if you know alcohol poisoning exists, you can figure out that's what's happening. Not to leave all of the bases uncovered, there is one instance of casual racism, but it's just a foreign character making tomahawk motions, and we're assured that the American students know that that is "politically incorrect" (but not offensive, apparently). I almost forgot, also, the slut-shaming that is almost constant in the book. Just, ugh. Plot deficiencies aside, this book is horribly written. To the point where I was bookmarking the worst offenders. The story is largely written 3rd-person from Callie's point of view, but occasionally we wander into the minds of other characters for a paragraph or two. But even worse, there are instances where the POV changes mid-sentence. My favorite instance of awful writing however, is the following piece of ridiculousness: Was it a coincidence that the books from her class seemed like a mirror for her life, or was this uncanny syllabus clearly the mark of divine intervention - a holy practical joke, if you will... Or was it simply the work of an extremely clever narrator? (hide spoiler)] So, so bad. I don't even care about the "cliffhanger" at the end. The only reason I finished was because it was so short, I was already halfway done so it seemed like something I should just keep going on. At least I got it for free.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)

    I picked up The Ivy at BEA, and was very happy to have gotten it because it was during one of my mad crazy rush hours of being in 10 lines in an hour! The summary sets up the book at a college, which is perfect for me because it's one of my favorite settings to read about. This fact alone made it one of the first BEA books I picked up to read, and guess what - I really loved it! I didn't love it for the same reason I loved Courtney Summer's Some Girls Are (excellent character development) or Susan I picked up The Ivy at BEA, and was very happy to have gotten it because it was during one of my mad crazy rush hours of being in 10 lines in an hour! The summary sets up the book at a college, which is perfect for me because it's one of my favorite settings to read about. This fact alone made it one of the first BEA books I picked up to read, and guess what - I really loved it! I didn't love it for the same reason I loved Courtney Summer's Some Girls Are (excellent character development) or Susan Beth Pfeffer's This World We Live In (outstanding post-disaster world building) - what you should know, before I go any further, is that books can get a great score from me for very different reasons - The Ivy is a great book purely for the entertainment factor. A good amount of drama, but it wasn't unrealistic. I got to love and hate some characters, and the plot really kept me wanting to read - perfect combination for a lighter read. The Ivy was a great "college life" book that kept me entertained throughout. While I may not be happy that it ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, I can't wait to read the sequel!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Milly

    If you like shows like Gossip Girl or The Greek, then this book is probably your cup of tea. My curiosity was piqued when I learned that the setting of this book was Harvard. I know very little of Harvard life but was always intrigued by it especially with it producing drop-outs turned big innovators of our time (Gates: Microsoft and Zuckerberg: Facebook). But even better, the book is written from a woman’s perspective! It almost feels like taboo to read about Harvard life through the eyes of a If you like shows like Gossip Girl or The Greek, then this book is probably your cup of tea. My curiosity was piqued when I learned that the setting of this book was Harvard. I know very little of Harvard life but was always intrigued by it especially with it producing drop-outs turned big innovators of our time (Gates: Microsoft and Zuckerberg: Facebook). But even better, the book is written from a woman’s perspective! It almost feels like taboo to read about Harvard life through the eyes of a woman. I was enchanted to say the least! So the story revolves around Callie, a high school grad from Westwood, California, who got accepted to Harvard. Callie leaves everything familiar to her (divorced parents, boyfriend Ethan, best friend, and popular high school life) and moves to Massachusetts to start her freshman year at Harvard. Little did she know her life’s about to change in a major way. Drama ensues the first week she’s there. She finds herself rooming with 3 women who couldn’t be more different from her and with each other: pious and religious Dana from So Carolina, a French diplomat’s daughter Mimi who also possesses model-stunning looks and affinity or alcohol, and wealthy and Gossip girl-like and socialite Vanessa from NY. Callie, being the smart and beautiful blonde that she is catches the eyes of several guys: the nerdy and nice Matt, the arrogant and gorgeous Greg who irritates her to no end, and Clint who happens to be the most sought-after and recently single upperclassman. We follow Callie as she navigates the crazy life at Harvard, develops friendships and relationships, parties with her roomies, and fights her way to become part of the ‘in crowd’ as jealous and devious upper class women try to bury and ruin her. Oh and yeah, don’t forget Callie’s big secret: a videotape that could end it all if it fell in the wrong hands. Oh the drama! This book was nothing short of d-r-a-m-a! It made me wonder how much of it was really true. Callie gets into so much trouble as she starts seeing the wrong guy and tries to be a part of the ‘in-crowd’. I thought being part of the popular crowd was so ‘high school’ since I don’t recall my freshman year being as such. Yeah, I was a part of a sorority but I don’t recall being embroiled in trying to belong and get invited to the in-crowd parties taking a major chunk of my time and energy during my freshman year. This book makes my freshman year look so innocent and so Felicity-like. I know I’m no Ivy Leaguer but it now also makes me wonder if I’m part of the minority rather than the majority in having been untouched by all these drama and the ‘need to be popular’. Hmmm. Let’s just say that I couldn’t relate to Callie with regards to it. But, needless to say, I was very intrigued and entertained! It is largely the reason why I kept reading and surprised at how it had to end. I was like, what? A sequel? No! Now I have to wait for the sequel just to find out what happens to Callie. Darn, darn, darn! It’s definitely sprightly and fluffy. If you’re looking for depth, you’re not going to find it here. But if you want to be entertained, go for it and pick this book up!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I picked up an advanced copy of THE IVY last month at BEA. I had seen it pop up here awhile back and flagged it as interesting in that it's a YA take on the whole Ivy League experience. So when I was offered a copy at BEA, I grabbed it and stuck it in my bag. And, given how much I enjoyed Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series, it seemed only fair to give this similar series a go. Written by best friends and former roommates at Harvard themselves, Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur, I like the s I picked up an advanced copy of THE IVY last month at BEA. I had seen it pop up here awhile back and flagged it as interesting in that it's a YA take on the whole Ivy League experience. So when I was offered a copy at BEA, I grabbed it and stuck it in my bag. And, given how much I enjoyed Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series, it seemed only fair to give this similar series a go. Written by best friends and former roommates at Harvard themselves, Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur, I like the simplicity of the cover and, having read it now, the deep red over the wrought iron gates definitely hits the right tone for this dishy delving into the outrageous underbelly of freshman year at Harvard. I started this one while still in New York and finished it on the plane ride home. It reads fast and furious and is the first in a four-part series following a humorous and diverse cast of characters. Word is each installment in the series will take place a few months apart, following the seasons and natural divisions of the school year. Callie Andrews has just landed at Harvard. Hailing from sunny California, she's not your typical Ivy Leaguer and she got there honestly on the strength of her grades and diversified extracurricular activities rather than the length of her pedigree or the degree of her parents' wealth. The adventure starts on moving day, when Callie meets the three other girls who will be her roommates for the duration of freshman year: Vanessa Von Vorhees, Dana Gray, and Marine Aurelie Clement. And their names pretty much predict exactly what you're going to get from them. That same day she also meets the boys next door. Literally. Greg, Matt, OK (short for Okechuwuku), and Adam. Things get off to a rocky start to say the least, as Callie doesn't feel like she really fits in with any of the motley group. Then her longtime boyfriend Evan dumps her via a poorly worded email. And the implosion doesn't stop there. It seems young Evan made a few ill-advised mistakes when they were back home in Cali and they may just come back to bite Callie just when she's trying to make a fresh start in a new environment where the slightest social faux pas can ruin your chances of making it out of Harvard alive. Her roommates rally around her in her time of need, but there's one person on campus who has it in for Callie Andrews, a person who will annihilate anyone opposition. THE IVY sucks you in right off the bat. Each chapter begins with a letter and/or email from Alexis Thorndike, Advice Columnist for the Fifteen Minutes Magazine--Harvard University's Authority on Campus Life since 1873. Alexis's blunt, holier-than-thou attitude comes through loud and clear in these short snippets and couches Callie's upcoming shenanigans in an appropriately foreboding light. And shenanigans is the only word for what Callie has. From roommate cat fights and drunken make out sessions with vague acquaintances to desperate crushes on the wrong people and the devious plotting of social assassination--it's all here. Thankfully there are a multitude of laughs along the way. A humorous (and very typical of the whole) early encounter with cocky next door neighbor Greg (taken from my uncorrected ARC): For a moment, she could see nothing but his eyes. The color was irrelevant (blue, if you must know), but the expression was magnetic: intensity masquerading as indifference, the look carried a challenge--Entertain me, or I will entertain myself at your expense. His mouth twisted in a smirk so natural she had to assume that this was its default expression. Even in silence, he appeared to be mocking her. Callie felt her cheeks grow hot. "Oh--uh--yikes," she stammered, bending down and shoving her bras and underwear back into the box, cringing as she reached for her smelly shin-guards and wishing, for once, that she had listened to her mother ("The doctor said no more soccer for at least a year: do you really think your shins are going to need guarding in college?"). Instead Callie had insisted, a tad bit dramatically, that they were the closest thing she had to a teddy bear (seeing as she slept with them on the night before every big game), and without them she was like a warrior without his armor, at which point Theresa Frederickson-Andrews, no, make that Theresa Frederickson (it'd been three years since the divorce but she still had to remind herself), threw up her hands and shook her head, muttering the oft-repeated phrase, " . . . just like your father." In a way, though, it was true: without soccer--a busted ACL put her out of commission at the end of last season for possibly forever--she wasn't quite sure who she was anymore. Thankfully old Scott Bugers Wentworth had also promised as rapt--raptly asleep that is--audience had lapsed into a collective heat coma on graduation day that "College is a primetime for reinvention." So far, it was looking like she had a jump start on redefining herself as the Dorm Klutz. "I'd offer to assist you," said the box-droppingly handsome Reason-for-the-mess, still watching with poorly concealed amusement and looking like help was the farthest thing from his mind. "But usually I like to buy a girl dinner or at least a drink before I handle her undergarments." Callie is a very normal girl who struggles, somewhat ineptly, to deal with the ridiculous academic and social expectations put upon her the second she passes through the hallowed gates of this place. For the first half of the book I just went with the flow, laughing out loud several times, and letting the snarky writing tug me to and fro. After that the predictability (and petty) meter started shooting off the charts and I felt anxious to get to the inevitably unresolved ending. The lack of substance was getting to me. This is a four-part series after all, though it seems to me as though it's really one crazy adventure divided into four books. In the end the reading experience reminded me strongly of a modern-day, college version of The Luxe series. It's a sea of hormones, backstabbing, ambition, and flailing freshmen. And, even though my investment level ended up on the low end, it was a breezy, raucous read and I liked the last guy Callie kissed the best. For those interested in a more in-depth, sophisticated, and charming version, I cannot recommend Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series highly enough. THE IVY is due out August 31st.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brianna (The Book Vixen)

    Review copy provided by publisher The first thing that caught my attention was the cover. I love how the title dominates the cover; all lowercase, big and bold and the way it sits against the wrought iron design. (At first glance, I had thought the background was roses.) When I first heard of The Ivy, the blurb wasn’t what you see up there; it was short and mysterious: When Callie arrives for her freshman year at Harvard, she encounters her three vastly different roommates, new friendships, 'st Review copy provided by publisher The first thing that caught my attention was the cover. I love how the title dominates the cover; all lowercase, big and bold and the way it sits against the wrought iron design. (At first glance, I had thought the background was roses.) When I first heard of The Ivy, the blurb wasn’t what you see up there; it was short and mysterious: When Callie arrives for her freshman year at Harvard, she encounters her three vastly different roommates, new friendships, 'steamy romance', and 'scandalous secrets'. It had me at steamy romance and scandalous secrets. When I received a copy of The Ivy, the back of the book didn’t reveal too much either: What is freshman life at Harvard University really like? Best friends and 2008 Harvard graduates Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur launch their series with this hilarious, romantic, sexy, and shocking novel about friendship, growing up, love, and – oh yeah – higher education. When I first started the book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It took me a while to get into the storyline but when I did I was hooked. The Ivy, first in a series, is mainly about Callie Andrews and her journey into the world of socializing, guys and fitting in at Harvard. She is not your typical Harvard student, most of which are rich East Coasters. She’s a pretty mellow girl from California. She was an avid soccer player but is out for the rest of the season, possibly longer, thanks to a busted ACL. Left behind in California are her boyfriend Evan who’s going to UCLA and her BFF Jessica. Callie and Evan have been dating for 2 years and have vowed to call each other every day. That rule is quickly broken with each being busy with their new roles in college life. Not to mention the long distance thing is already taking its toll. Callie is moving into the Wigglesworth Dormitory (doesn’t that make you think of Harry Potter?) when she drops one of her boxes and her “intimates'” spill all over the floor in front of a guy. This guy, Gregory, is good looking and cocky and happens to be her neighbor from across the hall. He’s roomies with Adam (the quiet, nerd type), Okechuwuku (he goes by OK and says he’s a prince) and Matt (the male equivalent of Callie). Callie shares a room with Marine Aurélie Clémont (goes by Mimi for short) who is from France, Vanessa Von Vorhees from New York (typical Harvard student) and Dana Gray, the Jesus-freak who pretty much stays to herself. It may seem like there is a lot of characters to follow but it’s not overwhelming. The secondary characters are strong and interesting and play a role in the overall storyline. As soon as I finished the last page, I rushed to Goodreads, to find out if this book is part of a series. Good thing it is. Otherwise I would have throw this book at the wall for the ending that it left me with. The ending was like watching the season finale of [insert your favorite TV show here] with that ultimate, climatic, cliffhanger moment that leaves you hanging in the balance for months on end wondering what’s going to happen. You saw how things have started to unraveled and now you’re dying to know what will follow. That’s how I felt when I read the last page of The Ivy. Just as the blurb promises, there are steamy romances (quite a tangled web I might add) and scandalous secrets. The Ivy will have you laughing, gasping out loud and will leave you wanting more. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series plays out. The Ivy was co-written by two best friends who were roommates at Harvard. And in case you’re wondering (like I was) how much of The Ivy is based on actual events, the authors aren’t spilling. Lauren and I were roommates and best friends for all four years at Harvard. We graduated in 2008. We started collaborating on this book when we were juniors. We swore to never tell how much of it is actually true. -Rina Onur, on Goodreads

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    Review taken from my blog: http://teenbibliophile.blogspot.com/2... The Ivy has to be one of my most favorite debut books of this year. It is a story about a girl, named Callie, who is starting her freshman year at Harvard. Callie leaves California behind and with it her parents, best friend Jessica, and longtime boyfriend Evan. At Harvard we meet Callie's roommates. Each of of her three roommates have their own distinct personality. First there is Mimi who is from Europe. She is a true party gir Review taken from my blog: http://teenbibliophile.blogspot.com/2... The Ivy has to be one of my most favorite debut books of this year. It is a story about a girl, named Callie, who is starting her freshman year at Harvard. Callie leaves California behind and with it her parents, best friend Jessica, and longtime boyfriend Evan. At Harvard we meet Callie's roommates. Each of of her three roommates have their own distinct personality. First there is Mimi who is from Europe. She is a true party girl, but is a good friend. Vanessa is the fashionista in the group. Out of all the roommates Callie and Vanessa have times where they get mad at each other. Will their fights lead Vanessa to make a decision she will later regret? Last but not least there is Dana. She is all about staying pure and clean. Even though she was the most different character I wish Lauren and Rina put more scenes with her in there. Then there are the boys that live across the hallway from the girls. We first meet Gregory, who is a jokester and takes nothing seriously. But later on we find out that he really does have a caring bone in his body, Then there is sweet and nerdy Matt. Matt becomes good friends with Callie and develops a crush on her. OK, who is a prince is a big and nice guy. He has a crush on Mimi. The last of the roommates is Adam. He spends most of the time with Dana. Then there is the good-looking upperclassman Clint. There one important thing that goes with him, his very popular ex-girlfriend. Who just so happens to be the queen bee of Harvard and can either make you or break you. I was hooked from page one! The Ivy had me completely captivated. I was dying to know what Callie and Evan did that was so freak-out worthy (although I had an idea of what it was and was right). Who was Callie going to end up dating? Was her and Evan's secret going to get out? Would it ruin her and her chances of getting into a secret society? Many people found that the lack of parents present in Callie's life was wrong. For me I found it a relief. Parents in books are made out to be the same. So with parents out of the way we get to focus on the main drama of Callie's freshman year. The Ivy is a good look at how college is like and how students deal with college life. The back of the ARC gave very little info on the book so I had no idea what I was getting into. Turns out that was a good thing, because I loved the surprises. I found myself laughing, cringing, shaking my head with disapproval, excitement, and giddy. This book is a must read. I absolutely cannot wait for book two!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    La Femme Readers

    My Rating: 4.5 Lauren and Rina's The Ivy, initiated a sensational glimpse into the esteemed reputation of Harvard University. With a glamorous outside and an underlying element of cunning behavior, this debut knocked my socks off. The intensity and raw depth behind the story was an immensely pleasurable experience. The characters eccentricity was evident from the first introductions, thus, helping me build connections on different levels. Callie, a naturally beautiful girl from California was an My Rating: 4.5 Lauren and Rina's The Ivy, initiated a sensational glimpse into the esteemed reputation of Harvard University. With a glamorous outside and an underlying element of cunning behavior, this debut knocked my socks off. The intensity and raw depth behind the story was an immensely pleasurable experience. The characters eccentricity was evident from the first introductions, thus, helping me build connections on different levels. Callie, a naturally beautiful girl from California was an easy individual to understand. The students there supplied an affluent appearance, while Callie expressed herself as simple and low maintenance. My favorite aspect of the novel, were her roommates. Each and every one of them brought something new to the table. There sarcastic and laugh out loud remarks continually surfaced from start to finish. However, all these girls can't live in one dorm without some drama! Sometimes, personalities aren't what they seem, females can be so damn catty. I found myself feeling bad for the on-going trust issues among her roommates and other "acquaintances." Besides that drama, Callie unexpectedly fell into a pool of drool worthy guys all fighting for her attention. I mean, wow, Clint and Gregory were sizzling hot. Gregory came across as an excessively cocky and egotistical bastard. While, Clint was the sweet and classy guy who treated her well. Yet again, I found myself falling for the badass. I don't know what it is, the guy's who deserve a punch in the face, call my name in YA books. All throughout The Ivy, each direction Callie took, her life was in shambles. It was bad enough she had schoolwork but also had to look out for backstabbers and a secret that was continually haunting her. By the end of the book, I was flabbergasted at the cliffhanger. I simply am dying to get my hands on the sequel, Secrets. I definitely feel a lot of things will start blowing up and I can't wait to see it happen! Just a little warning for my young readers, this book contains sexual content, drinking, drugs and well anything that you think goes on behind college doors. However, being a twenty-five year old I was happy to see all these grown up factors. Love drama and hot boys? Pick this up!

  16. 5 out of 5

    MGGMMGGM

    This is a tough cookie and I must be honest, I am finding it difficult to write an opener (evidence right there) for my review so on to it then! I felt so detached with this book, half way through it I was mostly skipping pages and scratching my head because I can connect to the characters nor the story as I should be. I won’t say that it wasn’t for me or something since I wouldn’t pick it up if it didn’t interest me but along the way – our chemistry wasn’t working at all. I just felt that it was This is a tough cookie and I must be honest, I am finding it difficult to write an opener (evidence right there) for my review so on to it then! I felt so detached with this book, half way through it I was mostly skipping pages and scratching my head because I can connect to the characters nor the story as I should be. I won’t say that it wasn’t for me or something since I wouldn’t pick it up if it didn’t interest me but along the way – our chemistry wasn’t working at all. I just felt that it was all about booze, sex, shopping and immaturity. Well granted that most of highschool and college is basically like that but I was really hoping it didn’t focus on that alone. I don’t know where the story was in the novel – it’s there somewhere, it was just not speaking to me clearly. Ohh you know what sucks more? Reading the book was like watching a re-run of Gossip Girl (TV Series not the book) but not in a good way(the opener was the dead giveaway – The Ivy: News article/Publication, GG: Email blast/Website article). Well I don’t know, it seems like I’mone of the few to compare the two but that’s how I felt. The Ivy for me was all over the place and most of the time I kept on re-reading the last sentence because I keep on forgetting the storyline. Another difficulty to adjust to was the POV – it jumps from one character head to another. When you are reading that type of story telling, it will really be confusing and hard to follow. The Ivy was suppose to go in my DNF pile but somehow I wanted to give this book a chance but thinking about it now, the act would have prevented me to write this review. (writing this was so hard!) Oh and last but not the last – the ending. Cliffhanger endinga are ok but in this case it was MEH! I didn’t intend to come out as bitchy or mean, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as most readers did. Would I recommend it personally? No. But that doesn’t mean this book is not as awesome as some readers see it. Read other reviews and decide for yourself but as for me, it stays on 1 star. *pout*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amber (Books of Amber)

    Let me start out by saying that the characters in this book are a bit older than what is the norm in YA. Callie is a freshman at Harvard, so she's just that little bit older, but the story definitely still fits the typical age range for YA. The Ivy is an excellent contemporary book, with so much drama! I love books like this, and this really reminded me of that TV show, Greek, just without the sororities. Callie is a great MC. She's flawed in ways that are to be expected with a teenager who's just Let me start out by saying that the characters in this book are a bit older than what is the norm in YA. Callie is a freshman at Harvard, so she's just that little bit older, but the story definitely still fits the typical age range for YA. The Ivy is an excellent contemporary book, with so much drama! I love books like this, and this really reminded me of that TV show, Greek, just without the sororities. Callie is a great MC. She's flawed in ways that are to be expected with a teenager who's just moving into adulthood, and she has a lot to learn about friendships. Her roommates provided a lot of humour, which I adored. I was laughing out loud throughout most of the book because these characters are hilarious and crazy! I loved them all apart from Vanessa. Vanessa was a complete cow. She had the audacity to call Callie a bad friend, when in reality she was just as awful, if not worse. There was a scene at the beginning when Callie embarrassed herself in front of the entire cafeteria, and Vanessa pretended not to know her. Yeah, great friend. This book does contain a love triangle, and while I normally abhor those, I actually really enjoyed this one! Gold star for the authors for doing it right! Gregory! *hearts* I'm in love. Callie was so oblivious, but he obviously likes her. Open your eyes, woman! I love Gregory so much, he's a wonderful character. Clint is the other side of the love triangle, and while I liked him - mostly - I felt he was too mature of Callie and they didn't have much chemistry. I think it's pretty obvious as to which side of this triangle I prefer! Matt was another character I loved. He's such a nerd. Overall I LOVED this book and I think it's definitely underrated. More people need to read The Ivy, because I think it's one of the best contemporaries I've read. And it is set in college which means no parents. Which means craziness ensues.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara Grochowski

    THE IVY may not be the most accurate portrayal of freshman year at University, but that's besides the point: Rina Onur and Lauren Kunze fully succeeded in writing a fun, dramatic, boy-filled novel that I kept me distracted for hours. While THE IVY exaggerated some aspects of college life, there were definitely situations that happen on campuses across the country. For me, this novel was a perfect balance of reality and fiction - too much reality would be horribly boring, too much fiction and I w THE IVY may not be the most accurate portrayal of freshman year at University, but that's besides the point: Rina Onur and Lauren Kunze fully succeeded in writing a fun, dramatic, boy-filled novel that I kept me distracted for hours. While THE IVY exaggerated some aspects of college life, there were definitely situations that happen on campuses across the country. For me, this novel was a perfect balance of reality and fiction - too much reality would be horribly boring, too much fiction and I wouldn't have related to the characters. Every time I stumbled across a phrase or situation I recognized, like moving into the dorms or Thirsty Thursday, a little lightbulb popped on and I was pulled just a bit deeper into the story. I honestly can't discuss this book without mentioning that there are many, many boys within its pages. Good looking boys, I might add. This fact may not pull in those male readers, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to seeing quite a few of those boys in book two. *daydreams* Speaking of boys, this book definitely has a romantic plot line... or two... or three. The main character is apparently a boy magnet and is never without at least one admirer. Best of all, being such a boy magnet allows for different types of romance... there's a tension-charged relationship and a sweet relationship. Something for everyone! THE IVY may not be a new or revolutionary concept for a novel, but Onur and Kunze did a phenomenal job with this familiar plot and I, for one, will be reading any subsequent novels. THE IVY is relateable, despite some of the far-fetched material, and extremely amusing! Grade: A

  19. 5 out of 5

    April

    They say high school is the best time of your life. That is totally not true at all. For me, thus far, college has treated me much better than high school ever had. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur takes place during the grand and glorious years of college, thus marking the book as something a bit different than what the usual YA fare has to offer. Read the rest of my review here They say high school is the best time of your life. That is totally not true at all. For me, thus far, college has treated me much better than high school ever had. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur takes place during the grand and glorious years of college, thus marking the book as something a bit different than what the usual YA fare has to offer. Read the rest of my review here

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    I "bought" this a week ago because Barner & Noble was giving it away. I can see why. Sophomoric--as in high school sophomore, not college. Contrived characters and plot. All been done before. Don't waste your time. I "bought" this a week ago because Barner & Noble was giving it away. I can see why. Sophomoric--as in high school sophomore, not college. Contrived characters and plot. All been done before. Don't waste your time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Savannah (Books With Bite)

    Couldn't get into it! DNF

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shameeka Alexis

    What the hell what that? Seriously.. It was so.. Messed up. That would be the right word. One thing: The author is OBSESSED with "tall" guys. Or it's probably the protagonist. Some instances: “No,” snapped Callie. “I mean, yes it was him but no, he’s not my ‘so-called boyfriend.’ He’s my real boyfriend, like, he actually exists. . . . His name’s Evan and he’s great,” she blurted. “Really great and really . . . tall.” Yeah, honey. I'm sure the dude you're blabbering to is intimidated. “I’m so What the hell what that? Seriously.. It was so.. Messed up. That would be the right word. One thing: The author is OBSESSED with "tall" guys. Or it's probably the protagonist. Some instances: “No,” snapped Callie. “I mean, yes it was him but no, he’s not my ‘so-called boyfriend.’ He’s my real boyfriend, like, he actually exists. . . . His name’s Evan and he’s great,” she blurted. “Really great and really . . . tall.” Yeah, honey. I'm sure the dude you're blabbering to is intimidated. “I’m so sorry,” he said, standing immediately—which revealed his substantial height—and holding out the chair. “Please, have a seat.” “She appeared to be in the middle of a heated conversation with the tall boy whose back was facing Callie.” Coincidentally, every guy Callie meets is tall. Back to the review. I couldn't stand some of the phrases and lines the author uses in the book. I am a nerd and a geek at heart. And I like geeky or nerdy sentences. But most of the ones in this book were too much. Let me entertain you by quoting some now: “Out of the corner of her eye Dana noticed the way that Matt was looking at Callie and frowned. According to Maxwell’s law of attraction, the prettier you are, the dumber you’re supposed to be. Yet there was Callie, a direct, unfair violation to the fundamental order of the universe. (Dana also fully understood Maxwell’s real paper about gravitational forces, “On a Paradox in the Theory of Attraction—something in which she took pride.)” Poor Maxwell. I bet he wouldn't have deduced the law if he knew it was going to be translated this way. “Callie stuck out her feet and wiggled her toes. Her flip-flops looked just fine to her: convenient, affordable, the perfect polyurethane blend of rubber and foam.” “First Law of Thermo-identify-namics: you can always tell a freshman girl by (the absence of) her clothing.” I am not a fan of Thermodynamics. And that doesn't mean I enjoyed that one. So, Callie goes to Harvard. Though she keeps mentioning she was an athlete, the way she behaved didn't reflect that. Oooh. Callie and Gregory's first meeting... It was really unique. Callie's carrying two boxes: One with her "intimates" and the other with "old soccer stuff". She bumps into Gregory and the poor kid gets an eyeful of her "intimates". Have you heard such a thing before? I'm guessing not. That's how UNIQUE their first meeting was. Gregory and Callie have the typical love-hate relationship.. Blah blah. Wanna know one more UNIQUE official first meeting? Callie pours coffee (some Vanilla blah blah) on Clint's shirt! I bet you haven't heard this one before either! Next comes Matt. I don't it was even necessary for Matt to like Callie. I mean, don't the guys at Harvard have anything better to do?! Than to moon over the same freaking girl. "Isn't Harvard a university?": This question kept flashing in my brain. It seemed like some dating agency in this book. Reason? Until almost half the book, all they do is party, get drunk, and bang guys! I was waiting for the "University" part of Harvard to start. Coming to those roommates... Ugh! I hated all of them.. Including Dana. They were all so two dimensional and fake. I just couldn't picture them in the real world. They are the epitome of "Fictional". Callie and Vanessa hang out together.. And they've joined this place to study, for God's sake! They anything but study in this book. I had to keep reminding myself they were in college.. Studying. Some more quotes to entertain you (and myself, of course): “That may be”—Callie shrugged—“but you never know until you try.” (Translation: I’m too afraid to sign up alone .) “You know what?” said Vanessa, starting to nod. “This could be an excellent opportunity to meet some new people.” (Translation: I accept you as my interim friend on the way to bigger and better things. ) That's some deep understanding... Lady Gaga blared out of the speakers at the First Chance Dance, telling the students that if they “just danced it’s gonna be okay, spin that record, babe, and it’s gonna be okay . . .” That's one more way of saying "Lady Gaga's 'Just Dance' was playing".. “Okay,” he said after a pause. “Nice to meet you, too— officially . And don’t worry about the sweater,” he added with a glimmer in his eyes. “It was a gift from my ex-girlfriend, so I was planning to burn it anyway.” e, x : there were no two letters in all of English or mathematics that were more beautiful. I can give you four beautiful words - words that seem so precious to me, currently: I am outta here. Review also posted at: www.shameekalovesreading.wordpress.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm1858

    The Ivy by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur Greenwillow Books, 2010 312 pages YA; Contemporary 1st in series 3/5 stars Source: Won from Goodreads Firstread program Summary: Callie Andrews has finally arrived at Harvard where she meets her three very different roommates, cute boys, new enemies, and struggles with course work, peer pressure, and money troubles. Thoughts: I was really excited about the premise of this book as I'm not familiar with many YA books set in college and like many of those raised on th The Ivy by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur Greenwillow Books, 2010 312 pages YA; Contemporary 1st in series 3/5 stars Source: Won from Goodreads Firstread program Summary: Callie Andrews has finally arrived at Harvard where she meets her three very different roommates, cute boys, new enemies, and struggles with course work, peer pressure, and money troubles. Thoughts: I was really excited about the premise of this book as I'm not familiar with many YA books set in college and like many of those raised on the East Coast, I have a fascination with the Ivies. I didn't really like Callie; she's supposed to be so great and has four potential romantic partners but I don't know what they see in her. I mean, she's blonde and from CA but is that really enough? Of those guys, I did not like Gregory (at first-wait till you see why I do) because he WAS a jerk and his hotness did not compensate enough. Plus I really hate when the idea that a guy who is mean to you actually likes you is promoted-so wrong! And he's a total whore with a revolving bedmate each night (it seems-this wasn't detailed every night but it could fit). But then it turns out that he loves to read, especially Jane Austen, especially Persuasion, and that almost redeems him except that the book ends with a cliffhanger and without him around. I did not like Evan, her ex-boyfriend still in CA, nor did I like Clint but I did like Michael, who seemed like a really nice guy. The other characters include Callie's three roommates who are French girl, NYC Prep girl, and Fundamentalist Christian girl. They develop a bit more personality but not as much as they should have. The final other character is Callie's enemy as she is Clint's ex-girlfriend and is in a position to make Callie miserable. While I can't say much of this aligns with my college experience at all (I'm not at an Ivy), I can see how some people at a college near me have a similar work hard, party harder mentality. The social analysis of Harvard's chauvinistic instances and the realities of money were probably the most interesting part. I actually go to a women's school so I deal with a whole different set of issues and I'm quite fortunate in the financial department although I am still working and will graduate with debt. Plus I have no interest in paying thousands of dollars for exclusive parties; I like to read which is free when I get books from the library/my new love Netgalley. There is a focus on the "compromises" women make in order to be successful and Callie desires much more money in order to be able to compete with her peers. The other thing I didn't like was that this was a collection of vignettes more than one coherent story and while it usually focused on Callie's POV, it also randomly shifted to some of the other people. It was a bit disorienting. Warning: Language, underage drinking, and some sexual content. Overall: Intriguing beginning with a cliffhanger that left me curious for more. Not in love with the series. Cover: I don't really like the cover-the red is overwhelming for me but that is very much a personal preference.

  24. 5 out of 5

    CeCe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was okay. I can't believe the setting for this book was at Harvard. These people barely went to class. More complaints than anything positive to say. So many POVs that you never knew when there was going to be a switch. I wish there was a conversation between Callie and Gregory as to why he acted the way he did towards her until 95% when they got "together". And the whole secret that finally came out was weak. No shock there!! Surprise, surprise...a sex tape. Callie made poor choices in men a This was okay. I can't believe the setting for this book was at Harvard. These people barely went to class. More complaints than anything positive to say. So many POVs that you never knew when there was going to be a switch. I wish there was a conversation between Callie and Gregory as to why he acted the way he did towards her until 95% when they got "together". And the whole secret that finally came out was weak. No shock there!! Surprise, surprise...a sex tape. Callie made poor choices in men and it seemed as if that was not changing since she was so taken by Gregory. Gregory was never kind to her. There was not ONE sweet moment from beginning to end - when they were taking about books, but even then he revealed nothing. Those little scenes that were suppose to end with them connecting on some level were weak. Gregory always walked away saying something rude or hurtful. Clint was supposed to be this great guy, but I never liked him. His reaction to Callie was no different than how he probably treated Lexi when they were together. I am recalling how he told Callie they needed time. Isn't that what he said to Lexi right before they broke up?!?!? I love these type of NA stories. I enjoyed this one until the end when nothing really happened except Callie got caught up with the "in-crowd", slept with Gregory, and got herself in blackmailed (kind-of). Not a fan of multiple POVs either. I was going to overlook it, but those multiple POVs never revealed anything from the people I actually cared to know what was going on in their head. Who cares about the roommates?!?!? Even though Vanessa was a virgin, she was the biggest "skank". Such a unlikable character. So fake. I get that these girls were supposed to back stab each other at any given moment, but there is only so much selfish behavior I can handle from the people that the heroine called her friends. Callie was not the bright. IN MY OPINION, Callie picked bad friends because she was desperate. She would be friends with anyone even a witch like Vanessa, just so she would not be alone. Matt was a good friend, but of course, she forgot about him, the minute she got attention. There was nothing that connected me to the characters. There was not one person I liked or cared about. I really liked Callie's character in the beginning, but she ended up just being an idiot.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    When I was a teenager, I was lucky enough to live in Boston. I spent a lot of time in Cambridge and wandering throughout the Harvard campus, wishing that I had both the money and the SAT scores to attend. I wish I could say that because of my fondness for my Boston days that I really loved this book, but that sadly wasn't the case. I really didn't care about anyone in this book, as I felt all the characters to be stereotypical and one dimensional. Sure, Callie's a nice California girl who lands a When I was a teenager, I was lucky enough to live in Boston. I spent a lot of time in Cambridge and wandering throughout the Harvard campus, wishing that I had both the money and the SAT scores to attend. I wish I could say that because of my fondness for my Boston days that I really loved this book, but that sadly wasn't the case. I really didn't care about anyone in this book, as I felt all the characters to be stereotypical and one dimensional. Sure, Callie's a nice California girl who lands at Harvard and finds herself a fish out of water, but there is nothing unique about her as a character. Her new classmates are prep school graduates and sophisticates from around the world. Callie has good looks and good fortune, and she ends up acquiring attention from the hottest guys on campus-which brings jealousy and ire from some of the hottest girls. I found myself growing irritated with the group of privileged students that surround Callie. Callie's not poor, but she's not wealthy like a lot of her classmates, who seem to take their Ivy league education for granted in favor of social clubs and superficial pursuits. Her new friends rub off on level-headed Callie. Yeah, I know that paragraph made me sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but I can't help it. All that said, The Ivy is a quick read. If you're looking for something to take on a plane or to the beach one last time before the weather turns cold, this is your book. It will keep you flipping the pages, even if you're like me and you're not sure why. I did find it really irritating that the book left off with a cliff-hanger, even though I'm not sure I care about the characters to pick up the sequel when it's released. I say that now, but I probably will! I give The Ivy 2.5/5 stars. This book would appeal to fans of Gossip Girl or fans of dishy chick lit in general.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    *3.5 stars* Ivy League, sexy and completely dramalicious...is there a better combination? Small-town, down-to-earth Callie gets the surprise of her life when she heads off to Harvard only to be dumped by her high school sweetheart. Freshman year can be difficult, but it's been a roller-coaster ride for Callie. While she can't always keep up with her designer clad roommates, she has caught the eye of a couple of eligible bachelors on campus. Callie is your typical everyday girl. She's cute and swe *3.5 stars* Ivy League, sexy and completely dramalicious...is there a better combination? Small-town, down-to-earth Callie gets the surprise of her life when she heads off to Harvard only to be dumped by her high school sweetheart. Freshman year can be difficult, but it's been a roller-coaster ride for Callie. While she can't always keep up with her designer clad roommates, she has caught the eye of a couple of eligible bachelors on campus. Callie is your typical everyday girl. She's cute and sweet, but does make mistakes. At times, you want to shake her and other times hug her, but she does keep the story entertaining. As for her posse of gentlemen, each one has some great traits to bring to the table. This part almost seemed too easy. Not only does Callie have one guy after her, but three. Seriously, who is this girl? If only life were that easy to have not only three guys, but three great guys after you while attending Harvard. I guess it is fiction right? Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur being Harvard roommates themselves, brought to life the college campus. Between the classes, high societies and elite clubs we get a glimpse into the life everyone dreams of. While at times this felt a bit Gossip Girl-esque there was enough intrigue and creativity to make this story entertaining and bring a fresh twist to the familiar topics. Plus these ladies and gentlemen did actually study...though not as much as I would imagine being at Harvard and all. If you're looking for some mind-candy during this Holiday season, The Ivy is a perfect choice. Sit back and escape while enjoying your non-fat, no-whip, half cafe, peppermint mocha with soy of course.

  27. 4 out of 5

    AtenRa

    1st re-read 7 years later I absolutely loved this series when it first came out and I was dreading to read it again seven years later, knowing full well that I would probably hate it the second time around. Even though my tastes have pretty much remained the same, it doesn't change the fact that when I first read the Ivy I was 29 and now I am 36 and change, which means less attracted by and interested in beautiful/ rich girls' inane "troubles" and tumultuous love life, basically what other girls 1st re-read 7 years later I absolutely loved this series when it first came out and I was dreading to read it again seven years later, knowing full well that I would probably hate it the second time around. Even though my tastes have pretty much remained the same, it doesn't change the fact that when I first read the Ivy I was 29 and now I am 36 and change, which means less attracted by and interested in beautiful/ rich girls' inane "troubles" and tumultuous love life, basically what other girls their age would kill to have. Also, I am way more cynical, easier to pass judgement and pick out any cleverly concealed sexist/racist/body shaming comment; especially books of this genre are full of them! Turns out, I shouldn't have worried-I still love it 😃 And yes, maybe I'm rolling my eyes at some of the snotty attitudes and behaviours, but I guess, since both of the authors actually went to Harvard and know first hand, that at least at some extent, they are actually real, albeit a bit exaggerated (hello, fiction! Or is it...?) What was the most memorable part of the book though was definitely Gregory who could easily be my fictional boyfriend, even at 36. Don't care if it's creepy, he's amazing, gorgeous, I love him ❤ Callie was a bit of a disappointment because I remember rooting for her before but now I found myself almost disliking her. Gregory, you deserve better! Definitely will read it again for a 3d time, maybe after 40. Ugh, 40. Yikes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trisha W.

    I can not say enough good things about this book. After I started it I could not put it down and finished it in one day. This book is full of so much humor, drama, romance, and everything else that a college person goes through that you just have to keep reading it. This was just an excellent book. Saying this, their were a few things in the book that left me guessing. Callie's mom is mentioned a few times and so is her dad, but she doesn't call them for help when the people she thought was her f I can not say enough good things about this book. After I started it I could not put it down and finished it in one day. This book is full of so much humor, drama, romance, and everything else that a college person goes through that you just have to keep reading it. This was just an excellent book. Saying this, their were a few things in the book that left me guessing. Callie's mom is mentioned a few times and so is her dad, but she doesn't call them for help when the people she thought was her friends started turning against her. Her parents weren't mentioned hardly at all. Maybe I just found this weird because my family is so close, but that left me wondering. I do have to say that when I got to the end of the book I was so mad with the ending! That is until I realized that this is going to be part of a series. Which I am SO happy about! When I closed the book I was thinking to myself, 'what happened with Callie and Gregory?', 'Did Callie and Clint make up?', 'Was the video actually shown to people, and did Callie return?' I do think this was a good ending since it is going to be part of the a series. BUT, I think that a few of my questions could have been answered instead of left hanging. But that is just makes me even more excited about the second book which I am sure was the authors intent. =) But this was still an excellent book. If I can't put a book down I always consider it excellent. =)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laxmona

    I don't really read gossip books, but then i wanted to take a break away from fantasy and supernateral genre!! I found this book interesting and enjoyable until the first few chapters. But it really left me wondering if such social clubs, if they even exist, and social status hold such significant importance to students in Harvard?? I should really ask my teacher who is a Harvard graduate about that. Callie had been a very likeable heroine who is smart and beautiful in the beginning but then, as t I don't really read gossip books, but then i wanted to take a break away from fantasy and supernateral genre!! I found this book interesting and enjoyable until the first few chapters. But it really left me wondering if such social clubs, if they even exist, and social status hold such significant importance to students in Harvard?? I should really ask my teacher who is a Harvard graduate about that. Callie had been a very likeable heroine who is smart and beautiful in the beginning but then, as the story proceeds, my heart starts to plummet with all the wrong decisions she makes. Even making out with all the guys in who is trying to hit on her!! Hooking up with her Bestie's crush and even ditching her!! Not only those, there's more!! And all these things makes her a S***!! Ohh!! Why did her character had to deteriote to such level!! Not only that, the other downturn about the book was the emphasis on sex, which appeared in nearly all the chapters. There was also this smoking bit and acholic thing~~ maybe I'm not used to reading books with such contents in it. But i didnt enjoy the latter part of the book. The only character i liked and truely sympathized with was Vanessa, true that she ia a HUGE STALKER and boy crazy, not to mention an uncontrollable gossiper, but at the same time, she was really caring, loyal and sincere with her friends. i thought she was going to be a big b**** but hell was i wrong!! Or maybe not??

  30. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    DNF 56% Now that I've got that out of the way, here's what I thought of the half I did read: I thought it was vapid, shallow, and plotless. Look, I went to a college that was known as a "party school" (which, honestly, I think any school that's not a community/commuter college gets that title) so I know the stuff Callie and her friends were doing really happens. I've seen the evidence. But by God, all they wanted to do was drink and party! And they go to HARVARD. Classes seemed unimportant. And the DNF 56% Now that I've got that out of the way, here's what I thought of the half I did read: I thought it was vapid, shallow, and plotless. Look, I went to a college that was known as a "party school" (which, honestly, I think any school that's not a community/commuter college gets that title) so I know the stuff Callie and her friends were doing really happens. I've seen the evidence. But by God, all they wanted to do was drink and party! And they go to HARVARD. Classes seemed unimportant. And the characters/their relationships didn't seem to make much sense to me. Like when Callie first meets her roommates, she basically hates them. Mimi practically ignores her, Vanessa is the kind of girl that calls her friends "dirty whores" in a loving way, and Dana is an uptight religious freak. But then, magically, the next time she interacts with them, they're all besties. What? No matter what Callie says, she's totally there for her MRS degree. Again, my God, the first time she meets at least 2 hot guys, she forgets she has a boyfriend and thinks "I love you" to the new guys. Seriously? Girl, get it together. Jerks like them are not that attractive. As you can see, I got aggravated quickly. The only plot seemed to be "let's get drunk and party while I flirt with five different guys!" Yeah, no. I'm done. I gave it 56% to deepen and it didn't.

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