Just take a moment to look at the cover of this book. It looks intense, right? It gives you (or just me?) the impression that action is going to take place in a dystopian setting. Action, fighting, suspense, and maybe betrayal? Well, I’m here to burst that bubble by telling you that none of that happened.
This is the story of Ivy Westfall, last and youngest daughter in the Westfall family. The Westfalls lost the long ago battle against the Lattimers and as a repercussions, every May the 16 year old daughters of the losing society (Westfalls) must be marry the 16 or 17 year old boys from the winning society (Lattimers). Then, in November, everything is flipped and boys from the losing society marry the girls from the winning society. These marriages are forced and arranged. If the girls are not paired up to marry anyone, they are put into the “pot” for next year and hopefully married then. If not, they can choose to work and lead a spinster lifestyle since it is made very clear in this book that women are the lesser sex. But because Ivy is the daughter of such a powerful man, she is arranged to be married to President Lattimer’s son, Bishop. Ivy and her family knew this, this is why they have trained Ivy for the last two years to kill Bishop and bring the Westfall family back to power.
That sounds like a great premise, right? I thought so too until I started reading and found out quickly that nothing happens in this story. It is so painfully boring! You want to know how boring? Check out my Goodread’s updates:
The plot was seriously lacking. It had holes in it that you could drive a car through. I spent most of my time wondering what caused the economy and society to turn out the way it did and everyone stay divided. If the author had explained what brought everyone to this moment, it would have made a difference. Instead, the reader is left to wonder on their own.
Now let’s talk about the MC, Ivy. I’m currently lacking the proper descriptive word to use for her. She swears she is on a mission to kill Bishop (terrible name, by the way) and swears she has been trained for years to do this, but you never, ever see evidence of this. She is emotionally all over the place and rather pitiful as a protagonist. She comes across wishy-washy and flip flops on all major decisions. I don’t think she really had a backbone at all. Rather, I felt she was bullied into doing what she was doing by her father and sister. Now those two are shady, but I digress.
Bishop’s character was more like the text book “boy next door” and not the ogre monster he was made out to be. Plus, he is incredibly clueless about everything going on around him. The entire time he keeps saying cliche things like, “I just want you to be yourself, Ivy. You can be you around me, don’t pretend” and “I’m not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. I’m not like that, I’m a good guy.” Whatever, just stop trying to being the good guy because it is coming across fake.
This entire story is predictable and disappointing. If you don’t get bored to tears and make it to the end, you won’t be surprised by what happens. I won’t ruin anything for you when I tell you Ivy and Bishop start to fall for each other and finally declare their love. I can tell you this did not feel believable at all. I did not feel any chemistry between then, nor did I connect with any of the characters in this book. I felt nothing for anyone, other than anger at myself for sticking with this until the end. How can you have a cover like that and NO ACTION AT ALL?! Why must your MC keep saying over and over and over, “I was trained for this, I was trained for years by my father to kill Bishop” but never truly act on anything?
I also want to take a moment to say that this is the third book I have read lately where the female MC was described as being “a book worm” and it actually has a negative connotation in these stories. Ivy was known for loving books and it put her character in a negative light because of this. I do not feel this was necessary at all. As a book lover, I actually felt offended at this. “She read books? She must be a rebel! We must shun her!” A character can enjoy reading books and not be a horrible person. I just don’t felt this minute detail should have been made a focal point at times.
I’m rambling now. That’s how upset I am by this book. I did not enjoy this story, I would not recommend it to anyone, and I certainly will not be reading the next book in the series. Yes, part of me is curious what happens but not curious enough to put myself through all of that again. I have read other reviews where people loved this story and I’m happy to hear that! I am just not one of those people who enjoyed this at all.