Reviews tagging Grief

The Ivies, by Alexa Donne

8 reviews

sniggy's review

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adventurous challenging emotional mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

so, i just finished this. there are a few things
1. the writing
it felt kind of forced to like connect with modern audiences. there were some weird words and phrases .

2. the plot
just like what!!???!??!? the plot was interesting to say the least. there were loads of  things that were left unexplained. the things that were explained were just not explained well at all.
Spoiler
3. the love interest 
what was happening with Ethan, i have no idea. like he was helping Olivia figure things out and then suddenly he was into Harvard and  had been test taking for Emma's scam business. didn't like his character at all.

4. predictability 
many of the subplots were predictable for me. like there was no surprise aspect at all. 
Spoiler
5. the murderer
the motive was terrible. like did not make sense at all why that happened. mc was saying throughout the book that it's always the boyfriend and guess what? IT WAS THE BOYFRIEND!!!!!!!!!!

6. Olivia 
Olivia's character was bland. it was giving pick me energy. saying things like 'i will never fit in' 'i will never be one of them' i'm not like them' like just shut up!!!

7.the names 
the first thing i look at in a book is names. the names in this book were so basic. eg: Olivia, Avery, Sierra, Ethan, Paul, Emma, Tyler. 

8. NOTHING HAPPENED!
also nothing happened. in most murder mysteries there are so many twists and turns but i felt like nothing really was happening. usually in books like these, there is so much information that you forget but not in this. all the 'MC almost getting killed' part was also bland and felt forced.

9. tropes 
plus, all the basic murder mystery tropes were there.

10. just a me thing 
covid-19 was mentioned in this. like its not a bad thing but it was kind of just glossed over. i think i just don't like it when authors put real life events into books.





apart from all that negativity i think the story was really fun and interesting and an out of the box idea.  


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gabriella_l's review

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dark mysterious 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

5.0

i read this book ages ago and i still think about it, amazing plot, twists, and storyline. highly recommend 

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hanghuhn's review against another edition

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emotional sad
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated

4.0

I don't know anything about college/university and schools in the US. I don't know why they need to write essays for the applications and also, the whole concept of elite universities, at least the elite universities in the US, is foreign to me. Although I also study at an "elite university" (excellence university) in Germany, from what I gather, it's completely different.
So I don't know how realistic this boarding school/applying to university in this book is. The protiagonist are mostly not likeable, they are rich kids who think they can get anything what they want. Maybe there are too many clichés, but we all know that rich people behave badly and think they are the best and can get what they want without consequences.
And than there is this schoolarship girl, Olivia, at this elite boarding school. She dreams of going to Harvard since she was a child, but doesn't have the money and background all the others at her school have. The Ivies, a group of mean girls, takes her under their wing and manipulates the girl who tries her best to fit in. So she falls for the Ivies. She does things that are not okay, but the rest of the Ivies do worse things.
There are secrets and scams, money flows between the rich kids, they cheat on exams, but hey, they wont get caught or get any punishment. Their families have connections, money, lawyers.
And than one of the Ivies is dead. Murdered. Olivia is scared. What if it's one of her supposed friends? Because the dead friend got into Harvard and Avery, the leader, was rejected. And Olivia got into Harvard, too, but keeps this from Avery. Because of the pact that the Ivies made. One girl for each elite university.
Olivia is determined to solve this murder. She has help from the boy she has a crush on, Ethan.
Olivia digs deep and although she receives threats to stop or else, she wont stop. She wants to know if the Ivies kept secrets from her and why. She thought they were her friends, but thankfully, she starts to question their behaviour. But then, especially Avery is nice to her again and it seems like she isn't that bad.

I've read an Amazon review about this book where the reviewer says that the book is racist because of the way the author talks about all those rich kids – they are white BTW (with the exception from Sierra, one of the Ivies). The reviewer says that it seems that racism is okay if it's against white. Well, there is no racism against white people. It's called discrimination, but not racism. And maybe some people may feel a bit offended, but than it may be because you are on of those white, rich kids who can get whatever they want without any consequences, punishment and so on. Maybe you should ask yourself why you feel offended.

I liked the book, not the things the Ivies did. But I liked that Olivia got out stronger.

SpoilerA few words about Olivia and Ethan: At first I thought they would be great together, as a pair. But Ethan turns out to be just like the rest. Not because he did bad things, well, he did. He participated in Emmas SAT scam. But otherwise he seems to be harmless. But his apology towards Olivia, or his so-called apology ... I'm glad that Olivia stood up for herself and didn't let her crush blind her. It isn't always necessary for a girl in a YA novel to get together with her crush. It would have been a nice ending, but Olivia didn't need Ethan or any boyfriend.

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annieslibrary's review

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emotional 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? It's complicated

4.5


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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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rexreads's review

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

4.0

Spoiler I really like a lot of it, but after the false ending it felt to me that the author tried to do too much and while I followed what was going it felt a little all over the place. But I still LOVED the book and the situation! So creative. Wish there had been better LGBTQ rep and any disability rep at all.

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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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kaitplusbooks's review

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

5.0

Review to be published on kaitplusbooks.com later this month!

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