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White Ivy

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  243 reviews
A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love—from prizewinning Chinese American author Susie Yang.

Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her gra
...more
Published by Simon & Schuster (first published November 3rd 2020)
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  • White Ivy by Susie Yang
    White Ivy
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    Release date: Nov 03, 2020
    From prizewinning Chinese American author Susie Yang, this dazzling coming-of-age novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged class ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 3724 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Patricia Yes, there is. It's not overly excessive, but it is certainly there.
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    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 3.88  · 
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     ·  366 ratings  ·  243 reviews


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    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
    Wow!!! There is nothing better than going into a debut and having it blow you away. ❤️ This seems to be the year of fantastic debuts and you just need to add this one to the list. This book is a slow burn that is so eloquently done that I could not look away. I could not put this down, it had an almost magnetizing element to it. Susie Yang has arrived my friends!

    Ivy Lin is a girl that pulled me in a million directions. On one hand I wanted to feel sympathetic towards her. Her family immigrated t
    ...more
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is promising coming of age, thought provoking immigrant story slowly grows on you but you got to be patient enough for getting into Ivy’s world, her family dynamics, reasons behind the shame and motivations triggered her wrongdoings, her dreams to jump to her upper social class and her desire to have a wealthy life which makes her a liar and a thief.

    I have to admit at first: I had hard time to get into the story and live inside Ivy’s mind to connect with her life but after a few attempts l
    ...more
    jenny✨
    Just what was this cloak called privilege and how did it protect you? Was it visible to the wearer or just to onlookers on the outside?

    UPDATE 8/9/2020: I had some strong thoughts while reading White Ivy that I planned to include but ultimately cut from my final review. Since I finished the book, though, I've been turning it over in my head... and I think I'm going to include those initial thoughts.

    FIRST: I was very wary starting this book because of the Ivy/Gideon (Asian woman/white man
    ...more
    Blaine
    ”You used to ask how your father and I got married. That’s how. It was because I willed it. If I had been a stupider girl, your father never would have looked at me. But I saw my chance and made a story for myself—even if it was a false story. You have to give a man something to fight for. That’s the secret to a lasting marriage.”

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC of White Ivy in exchange for an honest review.

    Unfortunately, the story did not work for me at all. It is
    ...more
    Michael David
    May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I’m not even sure how to write this review, but I really loved this book way more than I expected to.

    It’s the story of Ivy, a Chinese American who grew up learning to steal (taught by her grandmother), and always dreaming of having the finer things in life. She becomes infatuated with Gideon, an American classmate whose family is rich. Soon after, her parents ship her off to see relatives overseas. When she returns five weeks later, she learns her family has moved to a new home in a new state..
    ...more
    Catherine Woodward
    Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 4-stars, netgalley
    *Many thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Susie Yang for an ARC of this book!*

    Dark, lyrical, and utterly compelling!

    Ivy Ling is a thief: and incredibly proud of it! She learned her craft under the tutelage of her grandmother, who expertly lifts items from garage sales and resells them to make a tidy profit. While Ivy is her own headstrong and intelligent young woman, the danger of her job is alluring in that she is finally able to own the finery that will help her feel acclimated to her
    ...more
    Jordy’s Book Club
    I started #WhiteIvy yesterday morning and found myself captivated from cover to cover, totally invested in the story of Ivy; from her complicated upbringing by her Chinese immigrant family, to her transformation into an insecure but manipulative young woman who will do whatever it takes to win the love of a handsome wealthy man she’s been pursuing since grade school. I loved the cultural specificity in this story, and thought the deep-dive into Ivy’s family and heritage really elevated her chara ...more
    Claire Reads Books
    Holy hell! This book knocked me out. A kind of modern Great Gatsby meets Parasite, White Ivy offers a look at the perversity of the American Dream and the unrelenting costs of upward mobility and social striving. I can’t remember the last time I read a debut where I felt like I was in such sure hands—the prose is deliciously sharp, the plot as tight as a drum, and the pacing (emotional and otherwise) is tuned to such perfection that the “oh shit” moments hit you right where it hurts. I ripped th ...more
    Kimberly (Deity of Books)
    I was not expecting to like this book this much.

    Ivy is a liar and a thief. She is a Chinese Immigrant who wants to be successful, live up to her parents' wishes, and move up on the social ladder. She grew up in a not-so-nice neighborhood in Massachusetts and is ashamed of her background. She aspires to be like her White classmates because she thinks of them as symbols of wealth and success. She develops an obsession with a boy named Gideon. He is the golden boy and comes from a wealthy family. T
    ...more
    Kelsea
    Chinese American #ownvoices literary thriller.
    Synopsis that starts with Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar.
    Posh high society, immigrant experience, AND an ambitious AF MC.

    Yes, yes, YES I am self-centered enough to think this book MUST have been written for me! Now excuse me while I spend today screaming and squealing because I'VE BEEN APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    UPDATE: OKAY I'VE READ IT. And OMGGGGGGG I am so so so thrilled that this actually lived up to my extremely (and unreasonably) high hopes! This
    ...more
    Christina
    May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I loved this book, which is about a girl who immigrates to America from China and falls deeply in love...with consumerism. And also two very different men.

    This book is so beautifully and lyrically written. It has echoes of The Great Gatsby and The Secret History. I was completely consumed by this book, so that I was unaware of anything else happening around me. That’s how obsessed I was with Ivy.

    No spoilers but there is a moment in this book that is so genuinely shocking, I gasped aloud. I am no
    ...more
    Jessica Woodbury
    This novel takes the familiar story of the Striving Social Climber and adds to the familiar theme of class, the immigrant narrative and internalized racism. It is not just that Ivy sees the wealth of her classmates and sees privilege and power, she also sees their comfort and ease in the world, which comes not just from their money but their whiteness.

    I admit that as I read I kept waiting for Yang to build on these new themes, to intensify and explore them. It was an unfair expectation. Ivy's re
    ...more
    Kathryn in FL
    Impressive Debut Novel! 4.5 Stars

    I was quite excited when I won this story. It was thoroughly engrossing from start to finish. I read it quite quickly (even though I had company visiting). The writing was superb! I've read other authors who having written several published stories that still haven't developed this level of talent. While she gives plenty of clues to big reveal, unfortunately for me, they were a bit to obvious, in my opinion, since I saw the two big twists quite early before they
    ...more
    Denise
    Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is the best thriller-but-not-really-a-thriller I've read in a very long time! Based on the blurb, I went into it thinking it was a thriller, but in looking back, I would classify it as more dark, coming-of-age contemporary fiction. Regardless of what you call it though, in my opinion, it's a must-read!

    Teenage Ivy Lin isn’t sure of much when it comes to what she wants, nor has she ever been, except for one thing – she wants golden boy, Gideon Speyer. Raised outside of Boston with strict immi
    ...more
    Dennis
    An utterly unputdownable coming of age story, White Ivy is a story about love and deceit; it's a story about being an immigrant in the United States; it's a story about a woman accepting herself, while also continually trying to grow. Ivy and her family have immigrated to the United States from China and are all trying to balance their new lives in a world completely new to them. Ivy is taught at an early age to steal by her grandmother and it becomes sort of a way of life for her. When she ...more
    MaryannC. Book Freak
    Thanks to author Susie Yang and Edelweiss for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

    In a nutshell this was kind of mind blowing for me, wow! Ivy, is the young daughter of strict Chinese immigrants living near Boston. Unassuming and barely noticeable Ivy is recruited by her grandmother to steal things from places like yard sales and second hand stores, a job she does well. Longing desperately to fit in with her peers Ivy struggles to emulate their ways and seemingly carefree lives
    ...more
    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
    Ivy Lin immigrated to the United States from China as a young girl. In the U.S., Ivy didn’t feel like she fit in. From a poor family but attending a wealthy school because her father worked there, Ivy struggled academically and socially. She learned to take what she wanted - from stores, from others, and from life. She also learned how to be what others wanted her to be - a demure, intelligent, attractive, Chinese girl.

    All grown up, Ivy lives in Boston with her roommate and is working as a scho
    ...more
    Shannara
    Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley-2020
    I chose this book because I’m always fascinated when I get to read other accounts of first generation Asians in the US. I feel that many things were awkward and definitely socially difficult growing up because my mom couldn’t teach me certain things and reading of others makes me feel a little less alone. But I digress, because this ain’t that story.

    Ivy started off as this pitifully lonely child that I could totally relate to, but then she basically became a cold and unfeeling thing and never l
    ...more
    Precious ✨
    This book is a prime example as to why I am trying to be less giving of five stars, because I want everyone to know that when I do I mean it.

    I am basically senseless right now. As I read this I felt so many different ways. The one thing that was consistent in those feeling was the state of suspense I was in the entire time because anything was possible as I turned the pages.

    The fact that this was a DEBUT novel astounds me, really it does. The writing was smart, eloquent, witty and yet at times
    ...more
    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
    I stan the year of 2020, the age of dark academia
    Anissa
    Very good. A very quick read as it's quite the page-turner.

    This began as a bit of a character study of an unabashed social climber and ingratiator and in the second half segued into a bit of a thriller. One of the major revelations was telegraphed too early on for my liking but I don't know if I saw it because I read a lot and am of a suspicious nature or it was that baldly obvious. The thriller-esque happening was a decent surprise but felt a bit removed in tone from the rest of the story, sti
    ...more
    Erin
    Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: kindle, netgalley
    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Shuster Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Ivy Lin has certainly been on my mind. A thief, a liar, and most definitely a woman who isn't used to anyone saying no. From her early years in China with her grandmother to her reunion with her parents and brother in America, Ivy doesn't feel that she really fits. Her grades at school are abysmal, her mother rules with an iron fist, and her peers don't really seem to want her for anything except
    ...more
    MyTimeOutShelf
    May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Following Ivy’s story I just wanted to understand her thought process. She’s not exactly a likable character but watching her story unfold I was captivated and curious to whether it was all going to come together in a “wow! I found my way” moment or it was all going to fall apart with a “she done” moment.

    The author did a great job helping to understand why Ivy feels and behaves the way she does. Seeing little glimpses of softness and love here and there I really was rooting for her in different
    ...more
    human
    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    White Ivy was certainly an interesting read, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    It tells the story of Ivy, a Chinese immigrant who has always felt separated from her more privileged, white peers. She falls for Gideon, the main "golden boy" at school, but her chance of being with him is ruined by her family, until many years later. She then starts to worm her way into his family and his heart, when a pers
    ...more
    OutlawPoet
    May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    White Ivy, by Susie Yang, is at its heart a character study rather than a plot driven novel.

    It’s the story of Ivy, a Chinese-American girl, who wants everything that white privilege brings…and she’ll do anything to get it.

    Very few characters in this book are likable – many are horrific. I did find that I loved Ivy’s brother, though I didn’t really get to know him all that well. After all this, and the world in general, is Ivy’s story. Everyone else is a minor player.

    Ivy’s desire to be white is o
    ...more
    Joanna
    Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you Simon & Schuster, as well as Netgalley for this ARC.

    If this book was to be split into two, I would give the first one a solid 4 stars. The second? Maybe around 3 stars.
    So let’s go with 3.5 for the overall score
    I found myself really enjoying the story of Ivy, an Asian-American girl trying to figure out who she is and what really makes her happy. The Lin family dynamics was an interesting portrait of an immigrant family trying to figure out the American dream, whatever that means.
    Having
    ...more
    Whitney Gaston
    Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Oh my gosh--my jaw dropped at the end of this book and stayed agape until the last page. What a wild story!
    Ivy is a Chinese-American whose grandmother taught her to steal at a very young age. Right away you know Ivy is going to be an interesting character.
    I will say the beginning is a bit slow, but stay the course because the book gets better. In the first part, we learn about Ivy's family and a bit about a family secret. Nan, Ivy's mother had a first love who tragically died before marrying Ivy
    ...more
    Carole V Bell
    Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ivy Lin is no monster. But sometimes, when sufficiently motivated, she does monstrous things. Ivy Lin doesn’t just covet what others have. Ivy Lin is consumed by her cravings for what she doesn’t have: wealth, status, a nice house, and all-American (in her mind this means White American) good looks quite unlike her own Chinese American features.

    In Susie Yang’s debut novel White Ivy (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781982100599), Ivy grows from a fretful child to a moody, self-loathing grifter of an adol
    ...more
    Starlah
    May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2020, ebook, arc, thrillers
    *eARC I received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

    Expected Publication: September 8th, 2020 by Simon & Schuster

    This is a captivating and complex story of Ivy and her complicated upbringing by her Chinese immigrant family, to her transformation into an insecure and manipulative young woman who will do whatever it takes to win the love of a handsome, wealthy man she has been pursuing since grade school.

    The story has a very quiet tension to it. It takes it time to delve into Ivy's
    ...more
    Tonya
    Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    Ivy prided herself on being a thief and a first-rate liar. She knew those were the qualities that would help her achieve what she wanted most. She thought she wanted to fit in with the rich American kids that dominated her daily life. She wanted privilege. “ Just what was the cloak called privilege and how did it protect you?” Her most coveted desire was Gideon Speyer. She longed to view the world through his “altered lens.” Throughout her young life, Ivy was relentless in her pursuit of happine ...more
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    Susie Yang was born in China and came to the United States as a child. After receiving her doctorate of pharmacy from Rutgers, she launched a tech startup in San Francisco that has taught 20,000 people how to code. She has studied creative writing at Tin House and Sackett Street. She has lived across the United States, Europe, and Asia, and now resides in the Cambridge, England in the UK.
    White Iv
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    “You used to ask how your father and I got married. That’s how. It was because I willed it. If I had been a stupider girl, your father never would have looked at me. But I saw my chance and made a story for myself—even if it was a false story. You have to give a man something to fight for. That’s the secret to a lasting marriage.” 0 likes
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