Friday, June 24, 2016

The Education of Ivy Blake

The Education of Ivy Blake. Ellen Airgood. 2015. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

The Education of Ivy Blake is a companion novel to Prairie Evers. Both books are middle grade realistic fiction. Both are slightly bittersweet, think Because of Winn Dixie. I enjoyed the Education of Ivy Blake very much.

Since Ivy's mother killed her husband--Ivy's father--she hasn't been the same...at least not in her daughter's eyes. Even her "good days" are strains and stretches. It seems her mother is incapable of being happy, of being content, of being consistent, of being stable. Ivy could cope with her distant, weird mother for the most part since they were living with an aunt. But now that the aunt has died, and it's just the two of them, living with her mom has been impossible. For a while, Ivy found relief and protection by living with the Evers. Her mom wanted to leave her behind, being so newly in love and eager for a new beginning. But now that her mom's love life has soured, she wants Ivy back so she can start a new new life in yet another new town. Ivy doesn't trust her mom, but, her mom is her mom is her mom is her mom. Ivy's loyal. Ivy's brave. Somehow Ivy will make her life beautiful and purposeful.

Ivy is a great character. This book is emotional, but not overly DRAMATIC.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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