Sunday, April 10, 2011

Readathon Book Review: The Ivy by Lauren Kunze

It is Callie from California's first year at Harvard.  But instead of concentrating on her studies, like you might expect, Callie gets on the party circuit and is well on her way to flunking out ...

If my summary sounds like this novel is a cautionary tale, well ... that's just my takeaway.  Because in reality, THE IVY revels in scandal, parties, hooking up, and making fun of the few people who actually take their studies seriously.

It all starts out engaging enough - flip-flop wearing Callie is a fish out of water in a social scene filled with privileged teens from elite families - and at first, I rooted for her to carve out her own niche.  But then ... I started to wonder how someone as apparently brainless as Callie ever got into Harvard.

I can understand the appeal of a fun, frothy expose type read about "what really goes on" in the Ivy League.  And I am sure the type of stuff presented in this book - backstabbing, casual sex, partying, getting drunk, etc - can happen at Harvard just as much as it can happen anywhere.  Unfortunately, Callie's adventures in higher education - a blur of boys and parties - are mostly mind-numbingly boring.

5 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds a little bit like I am Charlotte Simmons to me.

Taschima Cullen said...

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy, I however found this book a fun mindless read. Very drama filled, a la Gossip Girl.

Sarah Laurence said...

As a Harvard grad myself, this does not sound familiar. There was partying on weekends, but the library was always crowded. Perhaps it's changed since I graduated in the 90s. What attracted me to Harvard was the intellectual intensity of the students and how they talked about lectures, philosophy and good books even at parties. The students that I knew who left, couldn't deal with the academic pressure. It's too bad that this book disappoints (I've seen several critical reviews but haven't read it myself) because I'd really like to see more books about the transition to college in YA. Thanks for writing an honest review.

Michelle said...

Thank you for suffering through this one so that I don't have to. :)

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Sounds like a silly read. Sort of like Charlotte Simmons meets Gossip Girl (as everyone else has said).