Review of The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina OnurThe Ivy by Lauren KunzeRina Onur
Series: The Ivy #1
Published by Harper Collins on May 3rd 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Friendship, Dating & Sex, School & Education
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780061960468

You're an adult now. Right?
Callie Andrews got into the most prestigious university in the world. Awesome! But now she has to actually go there. And Harvard, she quickly realizes, is about far more than freedom from parents and making the grades. It's about the elite parties, and the social connections, and the boys. OMG: the boys. Callie's love life is the definition of complicated. Especially when her deepest secret falls into the hands of her archenemy.

They say high school is the best time of your life. That is totally not true at all. For me, thus far, college has treated me much better than high school ever had. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur takes place during the grand and glorious years of college, thus marking the book as something a bit different than what the usual YA fare has to offer.

I will say, college is a great place to set a book. There are some interesting dynamics that could be thrown in there, i.e. newly gained independence, roommates, extracurriculars, fascinating classes, etc. Clearly, college is a gold mine, which I think we will begin to see more of in books. There was so much potential for Harvard-set The Ivy, however, for me it ultimately fell flat.

The premise of The Ivy by Rina Onur and Lauren Kunze is basically there is this freshman girl named Callie, she is from California and is blonde. She used to play soccer but messed up her ACL. So, she’s pretty naive and lonely. She’s not as rich as her roommates and classmates. However, she is apparently smoking hot, so all these guys want her body. She must navigate her freshman year and chart the waters of her heart to find the right guy. Oh, and her roommates are kind of cool.

I guess my main criticism of The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur is that there is too much going on for there to be any sort of real depth. As said, Callie has a LOT of romantic entanglements. She has to deal with roommates who are both awesome, but potentially bad news bears (one imbibes enough to fail out, the other has self esteem so low that she will do whatever to fit in, and the third is practically non-existent, but is a total wet blanket). Callie is ALSO trying to get on the staff of this campus magazine called Fifteen Minutes, but she’s made the queen bee angry because of one of her romantic entanglements. Confused yet? I don’t know, I think with so much happening, emotion and characterization is lost along the way.

At first, I liked Callie. I thought she was a cool girl with a good head on her shoulders. Turns out, I was wrong. She is a terrible friend. I won’t explain what she does to be a bad friend, but it sort of bothers me. She’s a mess when it comes to alcohol. I mean, I won’t judge someone for drinking, but really, know your limits. I never really felt like I got under Callie’s skin. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what makes her tick. So, it was hard for me to actually care about Callie.

Then there were her romantic interests. I never got a 3D sense with them. I felt they were there and that was it. Oh, certainly they filled roles – boy who is good for her but she isn’t attracted to, love-hate boy, relationship/perfect boy, and ex-boyfriend. I never really got motivations from each character though. Just like her roommates. I guess, when I read a book I want more than surface. I want to be able to delve deep. After all, this is why I read a book instead of watching a movie, because a book provides that depth.

On the positive, most chapters start with an article from Fifteen Minutes, which I quite enjoyed. I thought they were witty and quite representative of the real college experience.

I will say, there is room for development. There is room for these books to get better over time. There is room for maturation. Also, if you are looking for something to cleanse your palate between reads, then yes, this could be something to look into. As, that was why I picked this up, I needed a light read after quite a heavy book. The Ivy certainly served that purpose.

Other Reviews of The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur:

Persnickety Snark

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Angela Craft says

    I'm totally with you – college was sooooooooooo much better than high school for me! I would love to see more YA that deals with college, so it's disappointing this one didn't work out for you. Maybe this will be just the tip of the ice berg and more will be on the way!

  2. I agree about college being better, even though I had fun in high school. Disappointing that this fell flat for you.. sounds like it had potential!

  3. I want to read it! Yeah I know.. it isn´t the best book ever but I love college lit *-*

  4. StephTheBookworm says

    I just reviewed this one and agree with you on a lot of your points. I really wasn't a big fan of this book at all.


  1. […] actually a fantasy book called The Name of the Wind which is incredibly awesome. The second was a contemporary, which was quite disappointing. Jane is my third, and dear lord is it made of win. For serious, I want a book with students who […]

  2. […] on my TBR pile, I would give it away to one of you, along with the first book in the series, The Ivy. The […]

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: