Saving Ivy by Emily Reilly
She dedicates her life to rescuing Ivy from the hands of hell, but are her efforts to help Ivy see the silver lining in her tragic life enough?
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you to Mascot Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for any honest review.
When I heard about Saving Ivy the premise really caught my attention: a young girl dealing with trauma and mental health while her family rallies around her in support. So I was really surprised when I started reading and found out that there's a lot more happening in this book than that.
Intense Subject Matter
There is a trigger warning at the beginning of this book that should really be followed. The abuse, rape, murder and suicide attempts that happen in the novel are scary and should be approached with caution. I didn't feel like these topics were handled with the care they needed; instead, they all seemed like plot points to move the story. I have a serious issue with rape as a plot device and wasn't thrilled to find it in this book. Beyond that, every event seemed to spring up in the story way too quickly. I kept an open mind when Ivy finds her mother within the first few pages of the book, but the book continued to move too quickly to truly deal with any of these very serious problems.
Normally I'm a huge fan of multiple perspectives - I love getting to know different characters and seeing how they change individually. However, the characters in Saving Ivy felt rushed. With every chapter jumping between different characters, it sometimes felt hard to keep track of what was going on in the past vs. the present. Ivy's story is so traumatic but we are rarely given a chance to get to know her. While her sarcasm is an understandable defence mechanism, it also became a barrier for readers to connect with her. I also hated reading Joseph's POV - there was nothing of interest there. Maybe if he had stayed this creepy, background figure that was haunting Ivy's life he would have been more interesting, but his constant complaining was boring.
Hated the Ending
I won't go overly into detail because it contains a massive spoiler about the ending, but I was INCREDIBLY disappointed and upset with the ending of this novel. There is simply nothing positive about the ending of this story and I'm very concern that it romanticizes things that shouldn't be. I honestly couldn't believe that this was the way Reilly chose to end this novel - there's not redemption, no healing, just an end. And I couldn't be angrier about it.
Overall, this was a very different book than what I was anticipating and unfortunately, not one that I was a fan of. Too much of this story was rushed and the ending is deeply concerning. I simply didn't feel like I connected to any characters. Books about mental health are always difficult to read, but Saving Ivy is not one that I would want impressionable people reading. Please pay close attention to the trigger warnings at the beginning of this book if it's going to be one that you read.
Saving Ivy came out on Tuesday,November 5 and I'm interested to hear what you think about it.
FINAL RATING: 2/5
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Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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2020 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 20 books toward her goal of 85 books.
2019 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 5 books toward her goal of 90 books.
2018 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2018!
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