Book Review by Aarene Storms: Ivy

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ivy, by Sarah Okeksyk

Ivy is a talented high school artist growing up in a small town in Maine. Her mom wants her to study business at a local college, but Ivy wants to study painting ... as far away from her hometown as possible. Her emotional roller coaster sometimes derails Ivy's good intentions, but gradually she works towards creating her own kind of freedom.

Although Ivy was published in 2011, one gets the feeling that it is set in a much earlier time. She exchanges hand-written letters with her long-distance boyfriend, and they call each other on land-line telephones (the kind with cords!). Still, the emotional journey towards adulthood is universally uncomfortable, and the story is well-drawn and well-told. This graphic novel features on-page sex (tactful, but unmistakable), drug use and under-age drinking as well as lots of cussing and depictions of some seriously dysfunctional families. Ivy is not a happy story, but the end promises just a bit of hope for the future.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern
Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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