Release date: May 3rd 2016
The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?
But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….
It didn’t take me long to get sucked into this book. I felt a connection to Ivy right away, from being crushed by her grandfather’s high expectations, to her families’ legacy, to feeling like she would never find that one thing that would set her apart, something that would become hers. She was dealing with a lot before her mother came back and added even more drama into her life. She was a very well-developed character who could stand up for herself when she knew what she wanted, who was trying to figure herself out, and who felt very relatable.
All the supporting characters were well-developed as well. Some had more focus than others but they ad depth and become so much more than simply a bratty teenager or best guy friend. Her best friend Claire was so awesome and definitely someone I would want to have as a friend. The love interest, Connor, was really good for Ivy and he supported her without putting his own expectations on her. I also really liked the dynamic between her and her best guy friend Alex. They grew up together, she considered him family, but he wanted more than simply friendship. I loved that Ivy remained firm in her decision that she didn’t see him like that but I also understood Alex needing to take some time to come to terms with her dating someone else.
The plot was pushed along by Ivy’s growth and by the family drama. I enjoyed watching Ivy trying to learn how to be a big sister to her two younger(surprise) half-sisters, and her struggle with her feelings about her mother. It was a quick read because I kept wanting to know what would happened next, what horrible thing could possible pass through Ivy’s mother’s lips next, how everything would end. It wasn’t a light, summer-y read but many parts still had that summer-y read feel to it. The only real complaint I had was that the ending seemed a little abrupt.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.