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Enchanted Ivy [Hardcover]

Sarah Beth Durst
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 10.14 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (12 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416986456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416986454
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,828,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 11 Feb 2011
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Lily Carter comes from a long line of Princeton alumnus, so of course Princeton is her dream school, as well. During a visit to the university, Lily's grandfather has a surprise for her - if Lily can pass the Legacy Test, she will win automatic acceptance into Princeton.

All she has to do is find the Ivy Key. Lily has no idea what that even means, but sets off to complete her quest.

When she meets a cute boy named Ty, who has tiger striped hair, and starts hearing the Princeton gargoyles talk to her, Lily begins to uncover the school's secrets. There are actually two Princetons - and passage through the gate can lead someone from one side to the other - but, of course, the Key is needed.

The two Princetons are supposed to keep each other safe and keep their secret, but not everyone is working to make that happen. As strange things from another place start to appear on campus, Lily is soon caught between both worlds.

The worlds Sarah Beth Durst creates are always a joy to read! ENCHANTED IVY takes a normal setting and gives it a magical twist. There is a lot of college talk, so younger readers might not understand the setting completely, and the story has somewhat of a slow start, but stick with it and the book takes off. There are lots of secrets, and it's fun to uncover the Princeton in the world we know and the parallel Princeton that is full of magic.

There are several twists that will keep readers guessing. Those looking for a stand-alone fantasy with a bit of romance and a lot of action will find an engaging tale in ENCHANTED IVY.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 11 Feb 2011
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lily Carter comes from a long line of Princeton alumnus, so of course Princeton is her dream school, as well. During a visit to the university, Lily's grandfather has a surprise for her - if Lily can pass the Legacy Test, she will win automatic acceptance into Princeton.

All she has to do is find the Ivy Key. Lily has no idea what that even means, but sets off to complete her quest.

When she meets a cute boy named Ty, who has tiger striped hair, and starts hearing the Princeton gargoyles talk to her, Lily begins to uncover the school's secrets. There are actually two Princetons - and passage through the gate can lead someone from one side to the other - but, of course, the Key is needed.

The two Princetons are supposed to keep each other safe and keep their secret, but not everyone is working to make that happen. As strange things from another place start to appear on campus, Lily is soon caught between both worlds.

The worlds Sarah Beth Durst creates are always a joy to read! ENCHANTED IVY takes a normal setting and gives it a magical twist. There is a lot of college talk, so younger readers might not understand the setting completely, and the story has somewhat of a slow start, but stick with it and the book takes off. There are lots of secrets, and it's fun to uncover the Princeton in the world we know and the parallel Princeton that is full of magic.

There are several twists that will keep readers guessing. Those looking for a stand-alone fantasy with a bit of romance and a lot of action will find an engaging tale in ENCHANTED IVY.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weaves a spell on its readers 26 Jan 2011
By Bri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
nother wonderful tale of family and magic from Sarah Beth Durst! I don't think it's possible for her to write a book I don't love.

Lily Carter has dreamed of nothing but going to Princeton. On a tour to visit the campus with her alumni grandfather, she learns from his alumni group about the secret Legacy Test she can pass to gain admittance, no questions asked, no scores considered. Her task is to find the Ivy Key. But with little to go on, how will Lily succeed? Maybe with the hope of Tye, a strange orange and black haired boy, who says he's her "guard," Lily will find the Key. The Key is vital to the test because, as she learns from the gargoyles, it opens the two Princetons. There's the regular Princeton, known to humans, and also a secret Princeton, filled with magic. As Lily races to find the Key, and open the two Princetons, she uncovers more than a secret world, but lies and secrets surrounding her family, new friends and their survival.

Enchanted Ivy is Durst's fourth novel, and as I said before, I loved it. My favorite element of Durst's books are the female characters she creates, and once again, Enchanted Ivy delivers. Teen and older readers can instantly relate to Lily, particularly when it comes to worrying over college admissions. Yet Lily has to use more than her book smarts. When Lily is thrust into a magical world, she has to rely on her instinct and heart. That takes a little negotiation of her reality, and as Enchanted Ivy unfolds, we're privy to that experience as well. She's also burdened with the worries over her frail mother, a woman with a small grip on reality, who must be watched over carefully and who tends to have brief "brain hiccups."

With four fantasy-meets-real world books behind her, Durst has perfected her world-building. Like nature was nearly a character in Ice, here Princeton is almost a character itself, treated with such love and depth of detail. No surprise as the author attended Princeton, but it's still a treat to see:

"Her breath caught in her throat. Now this was more like it! Elm trees lined the road to Princeton University. Their branches arched over the car in a grand canopy of translucent green that stretched for half a mile. Leaves swayed lightly in the wind, and Lily wanted to reach her arms up and catch the wind in her hands." pg. 3

The aspects of the alternate "magic" Princeton, with weretigers, unicorns, talking statues, etc, intertwined with the"real" Princeton, and the history of the two makes an intriguing story. Like Ice, the details are flawless, everything easy to picture in the reader's imagination. I'd love if one of Durst's books could be made into a film, if only to see scenes like this in cinematic form:

"Above, three dragons soared through the sky. Jewel-like scales glittered in the sunlight so brightly that it looked as is someone had tossed sapphires, emeralds, and rubies in the air. One of the dragons broke formation and glided down to the field. He skidded along the grass, churning up long furrows of dirt. As he swung his mammoth head toward Lily and Tye, Lily froze. Steam curled out his nostrils as he breathed. His eyes were swirls of liquid gold." p. 117

I only had one small complaint about Enchanted Ivy, and that's because it had the same plot turn every YA book I've read lately has: a love triangle. The characters of Tye and Jake could've been used without the romantic elements, and for the same purpose. When I read "soul mate," describing Tye and Lily, I was a little disappointed. How Tye/Lily/Jake function within the novel was pretty enjoyable for me in the end though.

I love any novel that can hold me in wonder one second and have me giggling the next. Sarcasm always wins me over, as well as wry observations, and Lily delivered:

"Precocious kids had dimples. And wore pigtails and sailor suits and recited Shakespeare in twelve languages by age two...Oh God, what if that was her competition for Princeton admission?" pg. 11

My last comment on Enchanted Ivy has to be: When's the author's next book out?!

Rich in magic, Enchanted Ivy bedazzled me with its charm and wit. It will lose you in a world filled with mysterious boys, weretigers, and family secrets till you reach the final page.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not great 13 Dec 2010
By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read Into the Wild, another of Sarah Beth Durst's books (not to be confused with Jon Krakauer's ode to being really stupid--aka cool--when hiking), in 2008. I wasn't super impressed (I didn't even read the sequel), but I still wanted to read this one and her other book, Ice. I love fantasy and fairy tales, which is her niche. Unfortunately, she still has yet to really engage me. This one was definitely preferable to Into the Wild, mostly because the protagonist is a bit older and easier for me to relate to. Also, the title is a pun, which you have to love. Enchanted Ivy, both because Princeton is an ivy league school with magic things running around and because there are some vines that are enchanted. Awesome.

There were three things that really kept me from connecting with Lily and the book:

1) Lily is too trusting. She never really suspects anyone until they openly admit that they are terrible people. She has a tendency to expect others to save her, which gets really frustrating. That's part of the growing she does in the progress of the novel, but it happens in such a way that I do not feel thrilled for her. Instead, I feel even more judgmental.

2) She manages to be a big flirt while claiming to be complete out of the league of the only two young males in the book. Cry moar. I mean, really.

3) Every time one of the characters touches her, she feels tingles. And it does get mentioned every single time. Except for that time where she sat behind him on a ride with her arms around him for a matter of minutes, so good consistency there. She attributes this tingly feeling not with her romantic feelings (certainly an improvement), but with the magic she senses within him. Well, that's great. Except that she has never noticed magic anywhere else through this same tingle, even in the other magical creatures she meets. What does this mean? Is Lily stupid or is all the powerful tingle of love?

Final verdict: just okay. A bit too cheesy and obvious to be particularly good, but interesting enough in spite of that to be readable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Fantasy 28 Mar 2011
By K. M. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this contemporary fantasy. I thought Lily was a realistic teen. She was excited to be visiting Princeton with her grandfather and her mother. She was bright and intended to go to Princeton like her grandfather had. She was also used to protecting her mother who has memory issues and who was prone to doing odd things. She had learned to always keep a calm front no matter what new strange thing her mother did. She was very protective of her mother.

When she arrived at Princeton, she was surprised to learn that her grandfather had set her up for the Legacy test. Passing it meant automatic admission to Princeton. But taking the test really opened her up to new experiences like getting advice from the stone gargoyles who decorate the buildings at Princeton. Since they are visiting at a reunion weekend, she sees lots of orange and black. In fact, a young man named Tye who presents himself as her guard during the quest has orange and black hair.

She quickly learns that her grandfather is one of the Knights who protect humans because Princeton has a gate to another world - a world with were-tigers, gargoyles, unicorns, dryads and elves. But it takes a key to travel between the worlds. Lily's test is to find a key. During her quest, Lily learns lots of secrets about Princeton, her family and herself. She finds herself in great danger and in the middle of a possible war.

This story had adventure, danger and romance. I recommend it to fantasy-loving young adults.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanted Ivy 19 Jan 2011
By Moirae the fates book reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews.

Enchanted Ivy, is a fun fast paced magical story. We meet Lily Carter on her way to Princeton University with her mother and Grandfather for reunions weekend. Lily wants to attend Princeton just like her Father and her Grandfather.
To get automatic acceptance into the school, Lily must pass a test. She is sent on a quest to find the Ivy Key.
This book has a much deeper plot then Lily's quest to find the Ivy Key. The Ivy Key she must find, opens a magical gate between the human Princeton and the magical one. (Not a spoiler, the dust jacket tells us this.)
As Lily is on her quest, she runs into all types of magical creatures, shifters, elves, unicorns, dragons, talking gargoyles and much more.
I found this book, to be very fast paced and very fun. I really enjoyed it. The imagery that Durst describes is so vivid I felt like I was walking through both Princeton's with Lily.
The dialogue was good and the characters had good development.
Lily's Mom has memory problems, which they call brain hiccups. Lily feels responsible for taking care of her mother. Through this, we see how Lily grows as a character and how she matures. (Although she is a very mature character from the start.)
There were a few things in this book that I thought were kind of predictable, but there were far more things that I was surprised with when they were revealed. I found myself making assumptions about clues that were dropped in the book; sometimes my assumptions were right, but more often they were wrong.
The way this book ended, leaves it open for a sequel, I have no idea if there will be a sequel, I hope there will be, I'd love to see what adventures the characters have after Enchanted Ivy.

Over all rating:
I really liked this book and would recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Hex Hall.
**** 4 out of 5 stars

What parents need to know:

The only "Sexual content" in this book is kissing.

Cover art:

I like the cover art so much; I wish I could get a poster of it.

Obtained:
I won this book from a blog contest, thanks Angela and Sarah!
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