Reviews tagging Incest

The Ivies, by Alexa Donne

5 reviews

collinsd's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75


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isabella_ramensky's review

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funny mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

So I read this book because of Alexa’s youtube channel and was not disappointed. 

I am a little younger than the girls in this book and go to school in America so I related to them on a lot of levels. College stuff and whatnot. 
A lot of the plot twists were predictable but not in a bad way, in a everything fits together way. And figuring it out was fun. 

I thought some of the slang fell a bit flat. Considering the author is older than her characters it makes sense though. mostly I laughed and cringed a tad when something felt off. only happened a few times though. 



SPOILERS BELOW:

Spoiler I liked how you still didn’t really know who it was until Olivia found Tyler’s computer. 
On that note though, I got while reading that he mentioned Emma being strangled and it was a little infuriating watching Olivia not notice. I feel like she did that a lot which makes sense as a character thing I guess but still.

Also I ended up loving Avery (which I didn’t expect) even though her getting away unscathed and going to Princeton annoyed me so much. 

I was pretty disappointed in what happened with Ethan. I mean I guess that was the point but I really liked how he and Olivia worked together. I mean he was a little cringy and the Harry Potter line was weird considering the age of the characters. Nobody talks about it super much.

I wasn’t super satisfied with Tyler’s motives and confession either. Not sure why, but something was missing. <spoiler end>

Also, I liked Olivia and the detective’s conversations. 



Overall I really liked this book.

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cherryhayburn's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0


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cepbreed's review

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dark funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

My love for this book really crept up on me, originally I wasn't into the long exposition and drivel about another classic pack of mean girls but when the action picked up I was fully head over heels. The characters were unlikable and gritty, everyone is a suspect, and no one can be trusted. It falls into so many of those YA mystery novel tropes, but does them well enough to stay interesting. All of this really hit home for me though, and I literally mean home. I live so close to where all of this fictional action is taking place, and my brother is attending one of the cut throat colleges mentioned early on, its insane. Plus I'm a senior this year so admissions are my current hell.

SpoilerWhy try and redeem Avery at all? It would've been much better leaving her as a completely irredeemable bitch instead of changing her character to help the one-note-poor-girl MC. She was meant to be bad, they all were, even the MC, so I felt no remorse for any (minimal) consequences they received.


Songs: 
  • Bang Bang Bang Bang - Sohodolls
  • Are You Satisfied? - Marina and the Diamonds
  • Teacher’s Pet - Melanie Martinez 
  • Boarding School - Lana Del Rey (unreleased)

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thesaltiestlibrarian's review

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dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0

 Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions expressed in this review are mine alone and may not reflect the views of the author, publisher, or distributor.

A lot of thoughts are swirling around my head, and I'm not even sure where to start. Let's break it down. So you have this private school, Claflin, in Massachusetts. Sounds swanky, right? It's also cutthroat. Only a few students every year are admitted into Ivy League schools.

You know what, no, I'm going off. I can't stand it. I grew up poor and didn't even think I'd ever have the chance to go to college. But I did, because I worked my ass off in full-time online courses for two years WHILE I took care of my grandmother so my parents could work. Those online grades got me scholarships to the campus I eventually attended, and yes, I think it's good for people to study what they're passionate about. But we need to stop pushing the "college is the only option" narrative on teenagers. It's unrealistic with the way things are run right now. Education is becoming a privilege, which is absolutely not what it actually is. I can teach myself the same physics for free at the library that someone shells out $100,000 for at a college that equates in the long run to buying brand-name toothpaste: no one cares in the real world, it holds no actual sway, and is swindling you out of money you can spend on the same damn thing somewhere else.

This book didn't deliver on the narrative that it could have. We got rich people problems running amok, terrible people being terrible, and no real discourse on how education elitism is poisoning the post-secondary tracts that should ultimately be free or HIGHLY reduced in-state. The whole motive in this book was so ludicrous that I very nearly stopped reading at the 89% mark. Private school is a sham, Ivy Leagues mean nothing, and standardized testing only measures your ability to take a test and memorize crap.

The writing was fine, I couldn't have cared less about any of the characters, and the narrator was no more innocent or lovable than the nearest Fannie Mae CEO. Nothing about these people was redeemable. No one tried to redeem themselves in any capacity. The only reason I'm not more pissy is that this actually had structure and plot that held me. Olivia's whole "we're not the same, sis" attitude got old FAST, and I can't believe she was surprised at her friends' horrible actions.

The reason I AM pissy is the lack of indictment on college scandal and the price of education. If Donne had just taken that extra step, THE IVIES would have been absolutely scathing. But we got a run-of-the-mill YA mystery that actually left me feeling that Donne approves of the current state of affairs. If you're looking for the next Holly Jackson, this ain't it. If you're looking for societal commentary, it's not here. This book is a reflection of Ivy Leagues: promises a whole bunch and delivers only disappointment and a time commitment you can't get back. 

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