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Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Cover Artist: Sam Weber
Review by Gayle Surrette
Margaret K. McElderry Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781416986454
Date: 12 October 2010 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Lily Carter is a high school junior and she's determined to go to Princeton University and follow in her grandfather's footsteps. It's just her, her mother, and her grandfather. She works in her grandfather's flower shop and helps to take care of her mother, who has a lot of trouble remembering things and coping with the world. They're all going to her grandfather's reunion. He wants Lily to see the campus and to meet some of his old friends.

Lily falls in love with the campus at first sight. She's surprised however, when she learns that her grandfather has made arrangements for her to test for a legacy. If she passes the test and finds the Ivy Key before the end of the reunion, she'll be accepted to Princeton no matter what her SAT scores or high school transcript looks like. If she fails, she can still try to get in Princeton the usual way but she'll never be able to join the club her grandfather belonged to. Lily feels a bit betrayed that her grandfather never told her about this test or the possibility of a legacy.

However, that's just the beginning. Before the reunion weekend is over, Lily will have her world turned upside down and backwards. She'll learn things she wished she'd never known about her mother, her father, her grandfather, and herself. Lily will have to make choices and decisions that would be difficult for many adults to make.

Once again, Sarah Beth Durst has written an action packed, thought provoking story that will keep the pages turning until you reach the last one. Durst's books are marketed for young adults, but don't let that stop you from reading Enchanted Ivy. Much as Ice dealt with a young person in an extra-ordinary situation where actions demand that you know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses as well as just what your ethical beliefs are; Enchanted Ivy's main character also has to make some pretty tough decisions in circumstances that could effect more than just herself.

Lily is a wonderful character resourceful, intelligent, and quick on her feet. This is not the usual angst ridden teenager that we find in books. She's just an ordinary girl with an ordinary life who finds herself in some severely not ordinary situation.

Highly recommended.

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