In a world that doesn’t understand her, how can she grow?
Ivy Knight lives her life in a blur of confusion as the world passes her by in a tumultuous melody. She isn’t the perfect daughter or student, but as long as she can be with her family, she doesn’t mind watching rather than living.
Mrs. Chattoway treasures both of her granddaughters now that they’re reunited. When Ivy’s parents enroll her in a Scottish school for unique children, she’s happy to chaperone.
In a new place with a new guardian, Ivy discovers a special talent that helps her see the blurred world in a new way. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and Ivy becomes determined to find it—and help others do the same.
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career or her indie-author-helping business, Wild Blue Wonder Press, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
My second book, my hardest book to write, the book I wasn't sure I wanted to finish, the little novel that could.
You remind me of your title character, for when I think of you, I think of how you forced me to come out of my head and face the reality of a career as an author - how you taught me to edit smart, not hard - how gently and subtly you made your way into my heart.
This was the book I didn't have a passion for ... until I did. This is the book I didn't want to finish ... until I did. This is the book I didn't think anyone would like ... until they did.
None. Check the "other" section for more, as this novel deals with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues that lead to some violence.
There is, of course, romance in the air (in the background) and mentions to the past revealed in book 1.
Brief mentions of pregnancy and possible miscarriage, mostly veiled through the eyes of a child.
Mentions of a now-deceased husband being abusive in the past, both physically and emotionally, with emphasis on the emotional abuse received.
Lots of talk about mental health through Victorian lenses, meaning a few times, characters are referred to as an "idiot," having "vacant eyes," not being "like the rest of us," etc., by the more villainous characters. One character is mistreated by a maid in the first chapter (called names & pushed around) and then never again.
Anxiety attacks, etc., are described. One character is on the autism spectrum and experiences (eventually manageable) anxiety, whereas another has what could be identified as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or a form of bipolar disorder. Given the era, neither of these are properly diagnosed/treated. A character deals with depression and becomes suicidal. A character frequently experiences nightmares/PTSD attacks that can potentially lead to violence though nothing ever happens.
Hunting happens off-screen. Oh nooooo ...
I'd recommend 15+ - this is a novel for older YA and adult readers (which is targeted more toward adults).
5+ stars & 6/10 hearts. I enjoyed this book way more than the first one. In the first place, I really liked the characters much more. I loved Alice & Ivy & Nora and all the other characters at the McCale House. I didn’t like Claire quite as much in this one…? I feel like she changed and became a little less loving towards Ivy. But I liked Philip a lot more and I was so happy to see his relationship with Ivy. Also, Nettie. She’s still amazing even if she barely shows up (I WANT MORE NETTIE!!).
As someone with a special needs sister who struggles in similar ways to Ivy, I really related to that part of the storyline. I understood about the embarrassment and uncertainty. As someone who struggles with depression and suicidal tendency, I related a lot to Violet and really appreciated how that part of the story was handled as well. I also really appreciated the messages about friendship and being worthy and having a job to do. It’s messages I needed just now.
I also really appreciated how Kellyn Roth totally immersed us in Nora’s and Ivy’s heads and hooked us. I was surprised how hooked I became, actually! Also how Roth did Jordy’s accent—that is SO hard to do but she did amazing! The only thing I didn’t care for as much was the abrupt way Mrs. McCale approached Nora’s abusive marriage and then how after that it wasn’t much touched upon? It felt like it was opened very abruptly and never resolved really. But I really liked seeing how Nora slowly build confidence—something else I relate to. The humour was really well done. And I really appreciated how Roth handled with the salvation theme and everything. It’s so well done.
In conclusion, Roth did an immense amount of work on this book and it’s seen. It’s very realistic and relatable, and I applaud her.
A Favourite Quote: “‘There’re many here who are Christians, Ivy. Felix, for instance. An’ it doesna take it away. Does being a Christian take away yer pains an’ sufferin’? Does God promise us happiness here on earth?’ “Ivy shook her head. ‘N-no. But He does make everything so much easier to bear. And … then there is hope.’” A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “They walked away from the house through the empty wasteland that was January. Yet the sunshine sparkled its way across bits of grass with dew on them and flavored the air with a fresh earth smell. It wasn’t bad; it was good. Not overwhelming, but fresh and clean. Ivy felt the stirrings of music in her heart, and she skipped a little with every step, close to laughter but not wanting to seem strange.” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘Now, Haman wanted to kill Mordecai—’ “‘Rather vengeful person.’ “‘But he didn’t know that Mordecai was in favor with the king—’ “‘Doesn’t know much about the affairs of the kingdom, does this Haman?’ “‘The king summoned him, and Haman came. The king asked Haman what he’d give to the man the king wanted to honor, and Haman thought—’ “‘Conceited fellow.’ “‘—that he meant him, so he told the king he should parade the man through the streets wearing fancy clothes.’ “‘Very manly.’”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*
12-year old Ivy struggles to get along as easily as her twin sister Alice at Pearlbelle Park their new home. When her parents hear of a boarding school, McCale House, they decide to send her there, where a doctor can work out the best way to draw Ivy out of her own mind.
I LOVED the characters found in Book 1: The Dressmaker's Secret and you can read my review here. I quite welcomed the opportunity to return to Alice and Ivy's world. From the start I was more interested in Ivy and reading from this special little girl's POV...
And I WAS NOT disappointed!! (Which quite surprised me!)
#1 - I didn't realize how fun it would be to return and see how the adults around Alice and Ivy were doing. There were suddenly random romances developing around them and it was all quite fun and a great filler around Ivy and Posy's stories! And Posy was a lovely little girl I didn't expect and quite precocious, lol. I loved the part she played in her dad's story line.
#2 - I quite LOVED Ivy!! I love her thoughts and how she developed from this needy little girl who had to have her mother as her safe person to this girl with a friendship with "crazy" Violet and a way to manage her brain so she could learn! The school environment worked well and I loved how music was the key...
#3 - The religion was NOT NEARLY as intrusive... There was still the suddenness to becoming Christian but each answer to the different plot lines had to do with God and it came at the end with comments on kindness and stories that worked with what was happening in the plot quite well coming up to it but not so overt.
The same strengths that applied in the first book were still in force in the second! The author has quite a consistent narrative voice and is great at historical fiction with a mix of modern sentiment. These books could quite get a little girl hooked on historical fiction!!
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Premise & World Building ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cover & Title ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Development & Storycraft ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing & Narrative ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Relationships ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Feelings
BOTTOM LINE: Perfect Christian Lit Historical middle grade novel SEQUEL!
Thanks to Kellyn Roth for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.
______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
First off, bravo!!!! Encore!!! Amazing job, Kellyn! These books have to be among my favorite historical novels I've read. I enjoyed this one a bit more than I did The Dressmaker's Secret, but they both reminded me somewhat of A Little Princess. Maybe it's the setting, or the time period, or the sweet little girls (or all three), but I LOVED it. A Little Princess has always been a favorite for me, and the relation of the books to it but also how they were different made it a splendid read.
The plot lines were easy to follow, and I caught many of the small lessons that made both books whole. There were many plot twists that caught me off guard, which I always love in a book.
I didn't catch any errors in both books (yay!!) and loved how there was a Bible verse at the beginning of every chapter. I hope that that is something that will be continued for the whole series.
So, again I come to you with a lack of propriety and organization. Why? Because who needs all that stuffiness when you’re gushing about a book? Not me, that’s for sure!
It’s difficult to categorize Ivy Introspective—or any of The Chronicles of Alive and Ivy. It’s too weighty and maturely written for middle-grade, and yet reading about Alice and Ivy brings back a childlike perspective. I’d like to term it refreshing, but Ivy Introspective is anything but. There are undertones of darkness and confusion, an overarching theme of mental illness and troubled youth that is both saddening and lightening at the same time.
Why? Because Ivy brings a fresh perspective to the subject, and because Kellyn Roth yet again makes a simple story so much more!
Whilst The Dressmaker’s Secret focused on bringing this strange family (I say strange because their creation was anything but normal) together and uncovering, well, the dressmaker’s secret! We know it all know...but what we don’t know if what lies ahead—particularly for Ivy.
She was always seen as a simple-minded child. To me, I never saw anything wrong with her—perhaps a smidgen of anxiety, but that’s nothing in comparison to what children like Violet Angel deal with. However, I think Roth did a fabulous job at getting into Ivy’s head. She’s certainly not simple or special—but the way her mind works is different. Roth portrayed this difference with accuracy and acute familiarity, making little Ivy Knight come to life!
Watching Ivy grow and blossom, seeing (or, well, reading) her interactions with the world around her—especially her grandmother and uncle—was so fun! And Jordy? Y’all, that lad stole my Scottish heart within seconds!
But my favorite part about Ivy Introspective wasn’t the characters—even though they were fantastic and well-developed. It wasn’t the plot—even though it was smooth and seamless. It wasn’t even the theme—renewal and hope, as shown through Ivy’s love for Violet.
It was how I began to feel her.
Every emotion and every thought that crossed Ivy’s mind became mine. I didn’t like McCale house at the beginning—I was dangerously suspicious of it and was convinced that it would only do my Ivy harm. I wasn’t on very good terms with Grandmother for a while, or with the inhabitants of McCale house. Everyone—and everything—was fishy. I was uncomfortable and quick to believe the worst (reminds me of a certain Lizzy Bennet, actually).
But as Ivy began to open up to McCale house, Jordy, Grandmother, Violet, and even dear Mr. Knight, I began to see the goodness in every character and situation.
And, y’all. My heart went and leapt for joy when I read that Jordy and Violet were returning. I cannot wait to continue reading!!! Although I do look forward to Alice’s stories, I do so hope to read more and more of Ivy, Jordy, and Violet!
Oh, and have I mentioned yet that I loved how deep and philosophical Roth can get? It does me good to see other authors digging deep, probing, and discovering the answers to their own questions while writing! Even though she never strays from the childlike perspective she uses, she always manages to weave in a deeper message—and I love that!
There’s no doubt in my mind that Kellyn Roth has created a lasting legacy with Alice and Ivy. Armed with superb writing skills and equipped with beautiful characters, this series will soon become a favorite of many, many readers! I am beyond blessed to have the chance to read it!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated above are my own.
“Trapped in a world where she doesn't belong, twelve-year-old Ivy struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park. After much thought, Ivy's parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for girls and boys like her. However, scared and worried away from her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can't seem to focus. Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remained lost in her own mind forever?”
Series: Book #2 in “The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy”. Review of Book #1 Here!
Spiritual Content- Every chapter starts off with a Scripture; Scriptures are mentioned, read, quoted, & talked about; Prayers; Trying to witness to a negative little girl (& her comments); Talks about God & faiths; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God & His will; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of Bibles, Bible reading, those & events in the Bible; Mentions of Christians, faiths, having God, & being saved; Mentions of churches, church going, & sermons; Mentions of Christmas, the first Christmas, & songs/hymns; A few mentions of blessing, thank & praising God; A mention of Heaven; A mention of a sinner; *Note: Mentions of ghosts; Mentions of someone acting like a demon/devil (and because hearing that so often, a young girl believes that she is); A couple mentions of demons; A mention of Hell.
Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bloody’, five forms of ‘stupid’, and eight forms of ‘idiot’; Some sarcasm; Mentions of doing something suicidal; Mentions of a young girl threatening to kill herself, being violent & hateful; Mentions of gallows & killing; Mentions of an accident & death (and seeing the person die, barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of illnesses, screams, passing out, & deaths; Mentions of wars & fighting; Mentions of thieves & stealing; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, drunks, & taverns; Mentions of hunts, hunting, & shooting/killing animals; Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of lies & lying; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of an execution; A couple mentions of bullets & almost being shot; A mention of chamber pots.
Sexual Content- a cheek kiss; Some noticing; Mentions of married couples kissing; Mentions of kissing & being kissed; Mentions of catching a couple kissing & caressing each other (barely-above-not-detailed); A few mentions of scandals; A few mentions of flirting & blushes; A couple mentions of acting like a loose woman; A mention of love-making words; A bit of love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: Mentions of women who have died in labor; A few mentions of the stork bringing babies; A couple mentions of miscarriages; A mention of a baby wanting her mother’s breast; A mention of a man seeing his fill of a woman’s figure.
-Ivy Knight, age 12 -Alice, Knight, age 12 P.O.V. switches between them & others Set in 1873-1874 209 pages
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- Three Stars Early High School Teens- Three Stars Older High School Teens- Three Stars My personal Rating- Three Stars I liked meeting Alice in the first book of this series, but I have to say, I think I liked meeting Ivy a bit better in this second book. I didn’t care much for the adults in this story. They all bickered quite a bit and my head started to hurt because of their auguring. While our main character is twelve, I say it’s more towards older girls because of some topics, content, and comments. (Though, as with every book, it really depends on the girl. ;) ) I really did like Ivy and thought she was a sweetheart. :)
FTC Disclosure: I was an editor on this book. No review was required. These are my honest thoughts.
Such a charmer! I simply adored Ivy’s story. There were lovely surprises and shocking moments and wonderful twists. The pacing was great, and I really enjoyed the characters, especially Ivy and Violet and Jordy and Nora. The journey of discovery within these pages was lovely and kept my interest throughout. This was exactly the story Ivy deserved, and I’m so happy that the series is continuing. I want more!
i wasn't expecting the autism rep in here to be as good as it was, seeing as it was written by an allistic person. but it was..... whoa. *so* good. as an autistic person, i really related to ivy and saw myself in her <3 i also saw some of myself in violet...... that hurt. i really connected with- a lot of things violet did, and i just..... wow.
can we just talk about the fact that there was also a discussion about how becoming a christian doesn't cure mental illness?? like- yes! thank you for including that! i've never seen that discussed in christian fiction, and it was so refreshing.
AND WHEN VIOLET TALKED ABOUT HOW NOBODY COULD EVER LOVE HER I FELT THAT SO HARD AND IT HURT-
and jordyyyyyy~ i fell in love with him so fastttttt he's amazing and can i have him?? shsjvjsvf i love him so much.
this was such a beautiful book, and while some of the christian themes were mildly preachy, it was still a lovely read and i can't wait to move on to the next ivy book (i'm skipping the alice books because let's be real i'm just here for ivy and jordy and violet).
I am planning on following Kellyn Roth through her career. She is a model of finding your passion and pursuing it. Wow, she is a teenager on a mission. This is Book 2 of the Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. One of my favorite passages is "...when they sense that the grownup in charge of them is tingling all over with anticipation, worry, doubt, and all those splendid emotions that keep the soul walking through glass." I look forward to the next book in the series.
Oh, this is SUCH a dear book! Definitely one of my favorites that I’ve read this year. I have a feeling it will make my top 3 at the end of the year! These characters are just so authentic and downright HUGGABLE. The story is sweet and wonderful with a hint of heartrending here and there. The topic is fresh and focused, and I love that it was an exploration of mental illness and learning disabilities that was chose as a representation of the realities of living with those conditions versus another opportunity for a horror suspense novel set in a murderous lunatic asylum. (Though that can be interesting.) There was just enough of a sniff of L. M. Montgomery in it to give me the nostalgic feeling of reading an old favorite, though it was completely new!
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I beta-read this book, and read the released copy as well.
I shall make a short review now, and reread soon. I love this book so. much. Ivy is just lovely, and a certain scene with Ivy coaxing Violet not to do a certain bad thing is just so sad, but at the same time their friendship is slowly growing to such a beautiful thing. 💖
4 Stars I loved this! Ivy is such a sweet and interesting main character. I loved her and Violet’s friendship and the way Ivy grew while she was at the McCale House. Her perspective was well done. The only thing I didn’t love is how a certain ship turned out in the end. It seemed a little rushed and unauthentic. But overall this was a great read and I’m looking forward to the next one!
First of all, can I just say that Kellyn did a great job of writing Ivy and Violet? Violet is just wonderful (well, not in that way) she's fully developed, has issues, but isn't always just an angry person. Jordy was interesting, but we don't find out much about him. Maybe we will in the future? (Kellyn?) Ivy.... oh Ivy is amazing. I love that she doesn't always know what's going on even when the reader does. I love that she I love Ivy. (also the music aspect is amazing, as a piano player myself I say well-done Kellyn!) Also, the subplot with Mr. Parker was stunning... I was sort of wondering what would happen to him (as he wanted to marry Miss Chattoway- now Mrs. King) I forgot he had a daughter (Posy) but I'm glad he did. There was mention of kissing and falling in love and there was mention of demons and ghosts, but it in no way was the main topic. It was brief and not described. (There was also mention of suicide, but it was not done or anything) I think I like this book more than The Dressmaker's Secret, but I love that one too. (major spoiler, plot point) I love this book!
Wow, this book was good. Probably my favorite of the whole series.
Review: Ivy Introspective is about Ivy, who has high-functioning autism. I wasn’t really sure how this would play out at first, but my doubts died away pretty quick, because Kellyn wrote about Ivy’s condition with a really soft hand that wasn’t condescending at all + with a familiarity of that subject, which I was very appreciative of.
Also, in the story Ivy gets sent to a boarding school named McCale House (not a spoiler- it’s in the blurb) for girls like her, and I must say I wasn’t a huge fan of that at first. But it was really cool seeing what happened! I love how Ivy blossomed as a person and how she tended to Violet and became an amazing friend and wow I want to be friends with her. o.o And her struggles with homesickness and loneliness were definitely relatable. Good job, Kellyn. ❤
Characters: - Mr. and Mrs. Knight: I mentioned in my review of The Dressmaker’s Secret that I didn’t really like them. Yeah, my views of them haven’t really changed. - Mrs. Angel: I’m not sure if I like Mrs. Angel? She seems nice, but Violet’s views of her seem to fluctuate a lot. - Dr. and Mrs. McCale: They’re such sweethearts. I love them. ❤ - Jordy: I WANT TO SEE MORE OF HIM IN FUTURE BOOKS. - Posy and Captain Parker: I’m kind of confused as to why they’re in the story? I feel like the book would’ve gone well without them in it? Or maybe I just missed something. - Violet: I want to see more of Violet in future books too! She’s one of the patients/children at McCale House, and I love her relationship with Ivy. ❤ I also love how terribly practical she is sometimes. xD - Ivy: Ivy never ceases to amuse me. 😀 I love her personality, and I hope to see A LOT more of her in future books.
Wow, the way Kellyn developes characters and scenes so you know them at a glance. Her characters’ personalities are so distinctive and that’s one of my favorite things ever to read in a book. It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to read this book, and her characters’ developments and personalities hold a big factor in that.
Overall, lovely and well-rounded characters.
Content: All of these things I’ve mentioned are barely described. - romance such as very-barely-described kisses - screams and nightmares from a patient in McCale House - mentions of ghosts. However, this idea is discarded as “nonsense” in the book.
Conclusion: One of the most precious and perfect books I’ve read this year. I’m so grateful I got a chance to read this; thank you, Kellyn. 5 stars without a doubt.
Recommended to all of my lovely friends reading this. Yes, go read it. (in other words as long as you’re above 12 I think you would absolutely adore this book) (and all the other books in these chronicles)
*FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions, and a positive review was not required.*
Review: This book forever has a special place in my heart. ♥️ I love that this book touches the topic of special needs. And all the characters at the McHales House are so sweet! I have no reasons to dislike this book at all. My only note of concern to other readers is that one of the characters briefly becomes suicidal, but the Lord stepped in.
I love this book so much I’ve already started the audiobook again, and I’m thinking about getting a physical copy in the future!!!!
Once again this book was narrated by the same narrator, who was perfect! I can’t imagine anyone besides her narrating it!
Get your copy here!
*Disclaimer! I received a free audiobook copy of The Ivy Introspective from the author in exchange for an honest review
Pls first go read my review of book one because I said all the important stuff about plot and writing there. Here I am just saying a couple of things about the characters.
In book two, there is Ivy's pov, and again, I was slightly skeptical, wondering how that would come out. Ivy is, after all, a bit more simple minded than others. WELL I NEED NOT HAVE WORRIED. IT WAS TERRIFIC. No less interesting than Alice's.
Another thing about book two. We have the perspective and story of Mr. Parker, who is a family friend/relative, and usually I HATE IT when sequels add a new perspective that WASN'T IN BOOK ONE. But in this case I ADORED IT. Mr. Parker's story was really really entertaining, and it even gave a nice little twist to the "stern and strict headmistress" trope lol
i'm not crying, you're crying. (that's a lie i'm totally crying)
"Could you back up and explain a little bit?" "About what?" "The talking river!" "It's a fairytale. I don't have to explain."
This was so WHOLESOME. my HEART. I'm EMOTIONAL.
Okay hold on let's get a hold of ourselves here.
So this was pretty much perfect. A couple of years ago, I read At Her Fingertips and Beyond Her Calling and fell in love with both of them. (And yes, I read The Dressmaker's Secret too) But somehow this one got missed in the shuffle, and in a lot of ways, that just made reading it now so much sweeter.
Ivy is one of my favorite female protagonists, okay? She's just such a pure little bean, I want to protect her from everything. She's also an introvert through and through, and I related to her so much. As much as I love Alice, she can be a lot, but Ivy is just out here doing her best and I'm proud of her for it. (Also, I thought I'd gotten over being in love with Jordy MacAllen, but noooope. what a precious baby boy. my face lit up when he walked onto the scene and I have no shame.) ((although let's clarify, I'm in love with grown-up Jordy, not 16-year-old Jordy. that would be weird.))
I also loved Nora's storyline so much? It made me so emotional? The way she was so desperate to be loved by her family, how much she and Ivy were alike and didn't know it, the way God used those around her to heal her, it was all beautiful and such a pleasant surprise.
Oh, and Violet! I didn't care much for Violet in Beyond Her Calling, but now I can't wait to re-read that one, just to see if my opinions of her have changed. I understand her so much better now. I'm so sad.
The faith content was beautiful. It wove perfectly through the story, the message of God's grace and love becoming apparent as the characters discovered it.
I just kind of loved everything about this? The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy is seriously one of my favorite historical fiction series ever, and I've missed it, tbh. It's nice to be back with these characters. <3
Five stars from me for sure.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.**
Ivy Knight is a gentle, sometimes hesitant, young girl who appears to be a little slow, but she would never be considered mentally ill in today's society. This book, however, is set in 1873 England, during an era when mental illness was viewed in a totally different light, and clearly misunderstood. Ivy's parents decide that she would benefit by attending a special school, and author Kellyn Roth offers a touching depiction of Ivy's many emotions. Fear, reluctance, gradual acceptance, and finally, tremendous personal growth during her two years away. Ivy is able to build special friendships, develop a deeper bond with her grandmother Nora, and accept that she is just as God intended her to be.
This is the second book in a series, but I never felt as if I was missing something from not reading the first. Nora Chattoway, Dr. and Mrs. McCale, Jordy, and Violet are memorable characters, and the friendship between Ivy and Violet is a joy to witness. Ivy Introspective does mention some heavy topics, such as depression and thoughts of suicide, but it also carries a powerful faith message, as Ivy shares God's love and Plan of Salvation with Violet.
Ivy Introspective is a heartwarming and thought-provoking account of a young girl's journey to understanding and acceptance. I totally enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to learning more of Ivy's story in Beyond Her Calling, the fourth book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.
I received a digital copy of this book from the author via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.
This book was so sweet and gave me all sorts of good feels by the end (especially about Jordy...let's all just fangirl over him, shall we?). I loved Ivy--so sweet and just trying to figure out things. And then Violet was so harsh and yet broken and she just needs a hug. And then Jordy was so awesome, and I want to actually meet him 'cause he'd be so fun to spend time with!
The one thing that bothered me was (especially at first) the storyline with Posy and Mr. Parker. It was cute and sweet, and yet it never really related to Ivy, who is supposed to be the main character of the book. Once I got closer to the end of the book and sort of accepted that their storylines didn't really ever meet, I did enjoy reading about Posy, who was so fun and determined. Although I couldn't help but like the parts with Ivy better.
Anyway, I really loved the end...especially what happened with Violet. And I left this book super excited to read Beyond Her Calling (book 4) because we'll get to see Ivy!! and Jordy!! again. I can't wait!
Beautiful follow-up for The Dressmaker's Secret. Ivy's perspective was interesting to read. The book is paced nicely. It takes things slowly and is very in the moment, but it doesn't actually take a long time to read.
...I've had this book on my Kindle for over a year and only now got around to reading it. It took me five hours. I will learn nothing.
XD But really, I enjoyed it a lot. I felt refreshed after reading it, despite the heavy topics it grapples with. Ivy's innocence, thoughtfulness, and hopefulness help this book tackle these themes without it getting dark and heavy.
I *love* this book! It's kind of something I've never seen before because neurologically atypical MC in HISTORICAL CHRISTIAN FICTION doesn't happen so often? But this was INCREDIBLY well done and just ADORABLE and I can't even.
So, I freely admit that I waited much too long after reading The Dressmaker's Secret before I picked this one up, but I was a little disconcerted at the way it picked up where the other left off without much explanation at all. I found myself not remembering several important things--like how old Alice and Ivy were supposed to be or who exactly Mr. Parker was--that weren't explained until well into the book. I know it's my fault for taking so long, but a bit of a refresher would have been helpful. ;)
I also expected a bit of a different story than what I got, especially since Ivy's schooling only takes up a tiny fraction of the story. That aspect intrigued me, and I'd have liked to explore it further, but it seemed to be glossed over for other plot points that I wasn't quite as invested in, especially since I didn't remember or feel that connected to the characters. I did like Ivy's budding relationship with Violet, although that storyline was heavier than I anticipated.
I'll admit, too, that the ending confused me quite a bit.
I did enjoy Ivy's retellings of Bible stories and really, really loved the little glimpses we had of Jordy. He was a great character, and I'd love to have seen more of him. :)
Content--mentions of mental illness; a girl is seen in violent fits of insanity; mentions of suicidal thoughts ; mentions of dangerous childbirths, miscarriages, and deaths; mentions of drinking; mentions of rude songs; one use of "bloody" (corrected); a mention of a mother's breast (regarding nursing); a recounting of the complicated marriage/family situation from The Dressmaker's Secret, but without full explanation
Dang, I'm just getting emotional, which is weird. :P Alright, so Ivy Introspective is the sequel to The Dressmaker's Secret, focusing on 12 year old Ivy as opposed to The Dressmaker's Secret which had Alice as the main character. This one was naturally, stronger in some points and weaker in others .... I liked it quite a bit more than the original The Dressmaker's Secret, but probably about equal with the updated one? Anyway ... STUFFS THAT NEED MENTIONING
- The characters are smol beans who need protecting. Let me hug Ivy forever and also I love Violet and she needs more hugs than even Ivy and Posy was beautiful too and the characters give me many feels. - Although I honestly didn't like the adult characters all that much?? They infuriated me slightly. Honestly they felt immature and like they were harming the smol beans more than helping them. - Like I spent about 70% of the book just yelling at all the adults for being insensitive and not understanding and ahhhh. - I especially don't care about Christiana. She felt immature and selfish and does she not see that Ivy needs protecting?? - Though seriously, everyone misunderstands all the smol beaaannnnnss. *cries* Even the author. KELL I AM STEALING YOUR CHARACTERS AND PROTECTING THEM FOREVER. - The plot didn't really seem ... I don't know. It just didn't seem. *snods* See, the thing is this book is about .... Ivy. Or it very well should be. I mean it's called Ivy Introspective so ... :P But in the actual book ... maybe just a bit more than half of it is about Ivy? Like quite a bit is devoted to Posy and Miss Selle and Mr. Parker, plus Christina (*glares*) and just ... other characters. They are all connected to Ivy and it definitely isn't as bad as other books that I've read but just saying ... If you're looking for one central plot ... it's not as much? This definitely is a style, though which does come up in other, especially older middle-gradeish children sort of type books. It just bugged me a wee bit. - Aright, on the characters again (cause I'm mildly obsessed), I thought Mr. Parker was a jerk, but I really liked his sass. Honestly, it was beautiful. I liked Posy much better though. Yes, this is all. I'm honestly sorry that these reviews are mostly me fangirling and ... I'm not even sure what this is. - I also am seriously in love with Kirk and Alice. #KaliceForever, folks. - Vi is my precious. - Posy is excellent too. And I'll deal with the plot not focusing on Ivy just for her. She is excellent. - My heart ... Miss Selle is ... aaggghhh. - I love the McCales. They are excellent and just cool together. - And Jordy. Jordy is beautiful. - Basically I just really liked a lot of these charries, man. I'd yell about them all day if I could. - This is basically fangirling. I am sorry. - The Christianity in this one was so sweet! Like guys, Ivy is precious. And everything she does is precious. And oh my word I needa hug Vi. - Except ... Parker. Because we all know Parker is a jerk, even if his sass is excellent. I felt his Christianity was ... actually, yeah, this was sweet too, but felt a bit more rushed. It was sweet though, and I was cheering but yep.
Em ... that's about it honestly? This was a lovely sequel and I liked all the characters (except the ones I didn't like). Honestly, I'm fairly certain I'll likely never have quite coherent thoughts on this? I'm too emotionally invested at this point. **I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review** Review originally posted on Penumbra Reviews.
Wow! Really impressed! While this sometimes is a sorrowful tale, it's also quite a cozy read. I think this sequel is even better than the first book in the series. Perhaps it's just because I could connect better with the characters through Ivy's perspective. (And still, what a beautiful cover these books have!)
Ivy's family knows she was born simple, that she "struggles to cope with the world". Her senses are very, well, sensitive -- to things like loud noise, bright lights, or being overwhelmed by too many people in the room. When an opportunity arises, a special place for the developmentally challenged, Ivy is given a fresh start in life.
At her new school in Scotland, McCale House, Ivy finds Violet, a horrid, bitter girl with a sour outlook and who has screaming fits at night. Maybe this girl could use Ivy's help. And maybe Ivy will find her purpose. (I really enjoyed watching Ivy grow up!)
At the same time, God is working out His plan in another's life, Grandmother Nora. She has a newfound sense of healing and courage, moving on from her life with an abusive husband. I found her story to be greatly inspirational too!
Overall, this book tackles a lot of mental and emotional issues. I was really impressed by the research that the author put into the story. She is very talented in her writing style.
Recommended for: Adults
Suitable for: 13 and up
Suicide is briefly mentioned, as well as Ivy's parents' complicated history and relationship. Yet it's always written tactfully and kept clean.
In this series, Kellyn Roth has created realistic characters navigating believable scenarios. In this second book, we learn more about Ivy, what she is dealing with, and what is going on in her head. It was such a pleasure to watch her grow as I read this book.
Miss Roth delicately deals with things like abuse and mental issues through her characters during a point in time where not much was known about them, much less discussed or dealt with. I appreciate her approach to these subjects and how she shows through her characters that God can be a guiding light through them.
I think what I loved the most is Ivy’s breakdown of the gospel. I really appreciate it when authors take time and extra effort to weave those truths into their work.
I hope you will try this series for yourself! I, for one, can’t wait to read the next one!
*I received a complimentary copy from the author in hopes of an honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Wow, it was hard to decide whether to give this four or five stars, honestly. But I think it deserves the honor. Ms. Roth is an excellent author and this is really a step up from The Dressmaker's Secret, in my opinion. Ivy is a much more relatable character, the story is more gripping and emotional, and I was not expecting such a character like Violet. Roth does an excellent job with Violet's character. She's probably my favorite character in the book. <3 The book isn't preachy either. I think you really get to see the Christian themes lived out through the characters and their struggles rather than having them beaten over your head by the author; I think all of it is done really well. I forgot to mention Nora, too. She was a surprisingly good character too. I didn't think I was going to like her as much as I did. Really, all of the characters were well-written, and with a book like this that's really important, so bravo!!