Saturday, September 18, 2010


Title: Ivy

Author: Julie Hearn
Published: 2006
Rating: 2 out of 5

The only beautiful thing in Ivy's drab life is her glorious red hair. At a young age, her locks made her the target of Carroty Kate, a 'skinner'. She recruited Ivy to help her coax wealthy children away from their nannies so that she could strip them of their clothes - clothes worth a fortune in the markets of Petticoat Lane. It is years before Ivy escapes and finds her way back to her in-laws. Once there, she finds respite in laudanum. But before she can settle into a stupor and forget the terrible things she has done, Ivy is spotted by a wealthy pre-Raphaelite painter. Oscar Fosdick needs a muse (until now he has had to use his domineering mother as a model, something not conducive to producing his best work, he finds). To him, Ivy is perfect, a stunner. Realising quickly that this painter has more money than sense, Ivy's in-laws order her to sit for him, and to do anything else he demands. But not everyone is happy. Oscar's mother is determined to get rid of Ivy. Oscar's famous neighbour is determined to paint her. Carroty Kate is determined to find her, and Ivy herself is determined to escape...
Synopsis from Fantastic Fiction

I was very disappointed to find that I couldn’t really get into Ivy. The blurb sounded good to me, and although I’m not much of a fan of historical fiction, I still picked Ivy up to read. First of all, the book started off with Ivy’s childhood. There were many unnecessary sentences in my point of view. Fortunately, when the book progressed to Ivy being kidnapped by Carroty Kate, my interest was renewed. The thieves’ den and their method of stealing, “skinning” was a new and interesting concept to me. However, when part two of Ivy began, I felt lost since there had been a time lapse of ten years or so. Ivy. As a person, was similar to how she had been as a child. But the gaps of knowledge I had as a reader frustrated me at times (i.e: how long did Ivy remain with the thieves).

Overall, I didn’t enjoy as much as I’d hoped to. Props does go to the historical content and facts, as it was well researched and portrayed. The characters were interesting enough as well. Yet the story didn’t appeal to me.


  1. Hey, I was hopping in and saw this review. I love historical fiction yet I felt the same way about Ivy and gave up halfway through which is something that I have never done before I plan to go back and finish it now though.
    Please don't be put off YA historical fiction though, there are some fantastic titles (you can find some examples on my blog.)

    I'm going to be holding an 150 follower giveaway soon but I still need 10 more followers to reach that milestone so I would love it if you visited my blog.

    Enjoy your weekend,
    Stephanie @

  2. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this book that much! I've never even heard of it, actually, but I doubt I'll push it to the top of my pile now. Great and honest review :)

  3. Good to know on this one! Thanks for the honest review :}. You might enjoy a new fiction book out by author Mitch Davies called, "A Wind In Montana," which is about two young people who must make the right decisions for their future. The author is very in tune with the younger generation and I found the story very easy to relate to.

  4. Stephanie: I'll try to find some historical YA titles that you've mentioned on your blog from my library. :)

    Melissa: Thanks :) Although I'd like to read your review of Ivy if you ever do read it.

    Audrey: 'A Wind in Montanna' sounds like a great and different read. I hope my library has it! Thank you for telling me about it. :)


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