Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rivals (The Ivy #3)

Rivals (The Ivy #3)
Author: Laruen Kunze & Rina Onur
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: March 6th, 2012

The events in Rivals, predictably, take place a few months after Secrets. Due to what happened at Harvard-Yale and the disastrous poison-pen note written for Vanessa, which was mistakenly thought (by Gregory) to be Callie's note to him saying that they were wrong for each other and she regretted every single moment. Ouch. What kind of guy could bounce back from a supposed rejection like that? Even playboy Greg was noticeably subdued in the early bits of the book.

Clint gets to keep Callie. Greg missed his chance due to a major, major misunderstanding on his part. I was on Team Gregory from the very beginning of the series. I hate nice guys  (Clint) who are TOO GOOD to be true.

The Ivy series is very good. In fact, I'm willing to go so far as to put out the claim that it's the BEST of its kind on the market right now. It's intelligently written Young Adult Fiction that isn't based on supernatural critters (Faeries, Vamps, Werewolves..yadda yadda), which is the easy route most mediocre authors are taking due to lack of talent and the gullibility of people in general. Instead it stands on its own merit due to strength of plot, character development and *drum roll*, very good dialogue  (sometimes funny + witty, mostly on the spot and just damn good in general).

In the series there is never any, "I fell in love with you just to further the plot even though you lack any endearing qualities other than good looks alone." It's the college life after all. The relationships, however volatile at times, make sense even if they don't always succeed and tend to fall out more often than not. People aren't cut and dried from the same mold.

The co-authors have stated that they won't say which bits about Harvard life are based on their personal experiences (did I mention that they're both Harvard alumni?). The authors are well-educated. It shows in their writing. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth of the writing and educational (literary, since Calli is majoring in English) references. It's not all shallow dialogue about gossip, fashion and relationships (these do turn up at times, especially when Vanessa and Penelope show up). I loved the witty repertoire between Gregory and Callie in class, especially when quoting Great Gatsby and Mrs. Dalloway in not so veiled references to their relationships with one another, and with their current partners. It's just so cute and amusing, especially since both of them are quite clueless about each others' true feelings when everyone else around them can clearly see it for what it is.

The ending is a total bitch though. It's not bad, just wholly unexpected. I was expecting Rivals to end on a more positive note compared to the previous two books. I was really annoyed at a certain character who shall not be named to prevent spoiling the story. (S)He just had to ruin everything when it was getting good. Meh.-.-'

Cover: 7
Characters: 9
Story: 8

Overall:  8.5/10