Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: Ivy in the Shadows by Chris Woodworth

Ivy lives a life of being ignored.  Her stepfather leaves the family with nothing meaning her mother has to find a way to make ends meet. To do so, she takes in a boarder, twelve-year-old Caleb, someone Ivy thinks is the weirdest kid she's ever met.  Also, Ivy's mother gets a job waitressing.  With her mother at her job, Ivy's five-year-old brother JJ in love with Caleb, and her best friend Ellen trying to become a part of the popular group, Ivy feels more alone than ever.

Reading the story, I felt for Ivy.  She seemed like a normal pre-teen girl just trying to get through the tough years of her young life.  She didn't care to be anything special like her best friend.  She didn't want major attention.  She just didn't want to be lost in the shadows.  Who can blame her?

The beginning threw me as it was unclear to the gender of Ivy.  Her name hadn't been mentioned although I should've gotten a clue from the title (I feel like a dunce that I didn't!) and the writing made me think she was a boy, but slowly, especially with the introduction of her name, I got the hint.  I read this book in ebook format so I didn't really have the cover to refer to like a hard copy.

The story is told through Ivy's narration and that made it easier to relate.  We think Ivy.  We feel Ivy.  We understand Ivy.  That's the point of first-person point-of-view, but in many cases it doesn't come across.  I believe it did here.  But, even so, it still felt a tad shallow.  We didn't get too deep into Ivy or rather, we didn't get deep enough.  I feel that's part of Ivy's characteristic.  There's so much she doesn't let anyone, including the reader, know.

The story teaches a lot.  To tell you what it teaches would be to spoil the story and I don't want to do to that.  To find out, read it.  I will say it does teach about friendship.

I read this book as an Uncorrected Digital Galley from Netgalley using the Adobe Digital program on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

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