Wednesday 25 August 2021

White Ivy by Susie Yang Blog Tour

 All books need to be read but some books NEED to be read.

White Ivy is one such book. The debut novel from author Susie Yang, now a New York Times bestseller, is quite frankly a masterpiece and I'm so pleased to be part of the blog tour so I can tell you over and over again just how much I enjoyed this story.


Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her. Raised outside of Boston, she is taught how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops by her immigrant grandmother. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, where her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when she bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners and weekend getaways to the Cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

This is one of those books that I wanted to devour. 

I read White Ivy slowly on purpose just so that I could really absorb each and every detail that we were gifted with.

I guess you could describe this as a coming of age story.

Our protagonist is Ivy Lin, a complex character, one that I felt an awful amount of sympathy for.

In the blurb she is described as a thief, a liar. And while she is both these things on the surface, there is so much more to her. 

This is a young Chinese-American woman who has always been desperate to fit in. Never feeling quite like she belongs within her own family, I got the sense fairly early on that she was willing to do anything to get what she wants (even if it wasn't entirely moral).

A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love.

Despite her flaws, there is just something about Ivy.

People seem to be drawn to her like a moth to a flame.

Family dynamics and complications play a huge part in this tale. They lay the foundations for Ivy's behaviours and for what she is ultimately always striving to achieve, her overwhelming desire to live a life amongst the upper social class.

You get a strange feeling when reading this book because Ivy on the whole isn't a very likeable character. The way she approaches things, how she goes about getting what she wants. But despite all of her flaws, you can't help but feel for her, root for her to get what everyone really craves, to simply be happy and content with life.

An anti-heroine that you'll hate to love.

Filled with surprising twists and offering sharp insights into the immigrant experience, White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming-of-age story, as well as a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.

There are parts of this book that are empowering, inspiring even. 

I adored Meifeng (Ivy's grandmother), I'd go as far to say she was my favourite character. Perhaps not always the best influence for her granddaughter but her stories and her general mannerisms were always well timed, almost necessary.

For all her misgivings, she truly wanted more for Ivy.

However what is learnt is that privilege does not get you everything.

White Ivy is sharp, surprising and simmering with suspense. It is a book that I'd say has created its own genre as it cannot be pigeon holed into just one.

Addictive and compelling, I still cannot believe that this was Yang's debut novel. Her observations were razor sharp. If you haven't had the chance to read this book yet, may I suggest you at least pop it onto your wish-list now.


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