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The Ivies

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,046 ratings  ·  440 reviews
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own o ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 25th 2021 by Crown
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Alexa I am hopeful that I've done a good enough job in the book of explaining some of the stranger things about the system--things that are strange even to …moreI am hopeful that I've done a good enough job in the book of explaining some of the stranger things about the system--things that are strange even to Americans! One reason I wrote the book is many people, especially older people, have no clue how cutthroat college admissions is nowadays. I do use my MC Olivia as well as a Canadian character named Ethan to explain/lampshade a lot of things. But beyond that, you can actually watch some of my videos on college admissions on my YouTube channel! I have a really old (and almost embarrassing ha) one from 2017 with advice for every grade, and more recent ones about college admissions & essay writing that have lots of little anecdotes that should help. And to that note: I'd LOVE to get questions from readers, especially international readers about anything in the book they're wondering about, and I will do a Q&A on my channel once it's out! I plan to do Q&A threads on Instagram and YouTube after the book is out, and you can also always email me.(less)
Alexa It's either a hard PG-13 or soft R, due to strong language.…moreIt's either a hard PG-13 or soft R, due to strong language.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,046 ratings  ·  440 reviews

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daph pink ♡

i was clear, single-minded and focused while i was reading this book , I paid attention to every detail and each word that's why i disliked it a bit.

Clearly this is a ya mystery so drama comes with it and i like drama when it's done correct.

I felt there were moments when it's overdone like some tricks they did to pull there opponents down. But then again there weren't genius of prodigy students it's the least what they could think of so I was fine with it.

I feel sorry for Avery because she is
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Trigger Warnings: death, alcohol, bullying and blackmail, toxic relationships, some mentions of disordered eating.

(*note: the disordered eating was not explicit or truly acknowledged, but I know people recovering from/struggling with EDs can be triggered by a lot of seemingly minor or random things (ie. digital numbers might remind them of the numbers on a scale) so I put that there just in case.)

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC!

Why the hell am I so obsessed with elite-private-
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
Avery, Emma, Olivia, Margot and Sierra, are known as The Ivies, and they're lowkey feared by their peers at the prestigious Claflin Academy.

This tight group of five all have the same goal in mind: acceptance into an ivy league school.

Knowing the ins-and-outs of college admissions, the girls have agreed to apply ED to different Ivies.

Their reasoning is, if they all apply to separate schools they won't be directly competing against one another and therefore, will up their chances of acceptance.

Peyton Reads
Mar 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was a ton of fun! I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it as I did with Alexa Donne's other two novels. I've been reading a lot of thrillers lately so I got my hands on this book at the perfect time! There was a bunch of twists and turns throughout this book that kept me guessing all the way through. It is a murder mystery at a boarding school with a group of mean girls involved. These girls will do anything to get into an Ivy League school and their vibes reminded me a lot of the girl ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Hi my name is Nenia and I am dark academia TRASH

*points to username identifying herself as an actual garbage can*
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Ivies by Alexa Donne is a young adult thriller set in an elite boarding school. The students in this school are more than ambitious and when it comes to getting into the best colleges they pull out all the tricks to do better than their peers but the questions is what is too far?

The Ivy League are the most sought after colleges out there and are often referred by students as The Ivies however there is also The Ivies at Claflin Academy, five girls dead set on getting into the best schools. Th
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this recently, and let's just say... the world isn't ready. Smart and darkly addicting, I can't recommend it enough. The characters will get under your skin, and the writing is perfectly paced and deliciously evil. Just go buy it! ...more
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook-owned
I am between 3.5 to 4 stars, so per my review policy, I will bump up to 4 stars. I will also disclose that I consider the author to be an online friend, so take that as you will. That being said... this was super fun! It took me a little bit to get into the flow, but once I did, I really enjoyed the "chatty" quality of the writing and I ended up getting swept up in the drama & intrigue of an elite boarding school filled with entitled students who will do WHATEVER it takes to get into their dream ...more
Mary Kate
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book. I devoured it. SO GOOD.

Boarding school setting? Yes please. Ruthless ambition? Yes please. Mean girls who are actually way more than that? YES PLEASE.

There were twists and turns galore that kept me guessing. I did NOT figure out whodunnit, even when I thought I had. And that final twist is just < mind blown emoji >

Pick this up!
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Full Disclosure: I received an ARC via the publisher. Also, Alexa and I are friends.

I don't read thrillers! But the moment I heard of THE IVIES, I knew I was going to want to read this. With the boarding school and competitive college admissions edge, it had all the buzzy words that intrigued me.

My favorite part about this book is that it really sent me back to the boarding school books I used to read growing up that really fed my love for reading. Most specifically it reminded me of the PRIVA
Emmy Neal
This book is going to be crack to juniors and seniors--the number of times I came across a moment and said, "I mean they didn't kill anyone but yeah, I basically watched that happened" makes this book almost too real. Murder aside, this is the most realistic take on college admissions I've ever read in a fiction novel--we all know quotas are a thing. Colleges won't accept more than X students from a specific school. THE IVIES takes that premise and makes a page-turning murder mystery out of it. ...more
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-interested
Murder mystery meets college admissions at an elite private boarding school? Yes please! In full disclosure I do consider Alexa to be an online friend so take that as you will, but I've enjoyed her books since before actually meeting her and in my opinion, this is her best one yet.

The Ivies is a twisty mystery filled with soapy drama and bad behavior, coming from someone who clearly understands the world of hyper-competitive elite college admissions today. Here we follow an outsider among the w
Apr 16, 2021 marked it as to-read
hi hello my name is verity and when someone says dark academia murder mysteries i say YES okay thank you byeeeeee
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Nov 19, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Recommended to Tucker by: Crown Publishing

(as announced here)

| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
Oct 26, 2020 marked it as to-read
We have a cover!

My dumb ass always imagined it to be total black with white school logo at the middle so I'm confused now, but I'll get used to it lol.
h o l l i s
This is exactly the kind of thing that would make a great mini series. Mostly because it felt not unlike a Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars mashup (I say this without ever having watched or read PLL, so I could be off base, but from random ads I've seen it has the thriller vibes needed). Except throw in the Gilmore Girls education focus that Rory and Paris had in their final year at Chilton.

There were ruthless students before us -- they just weren't as well organized.

All that to say, this was
Angela Staudt
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Ivies, it was full of twists and turns and some really unlikable characters that by the end I ended up actually liking. The main characters were like a mix of Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars, they would and will do anything to get accepted into an Ivy college. Even horrible things and ruining other people's chances at getting in, they are ruthless and will get into their top choice.

One of the main Ivies ends up dead, it seems as though someone murdered her just hours afte
Katie Clark
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars. A girl who goes to an elite, hyper-competitive, East-coast boarding school investigates the murder of her classmate.

If you like ABC Family and the CW, then this may be a good fit for you.

I'll start with what worked for me. The story was fast-paced and gripping, which I liked. The subject matter was unique and compelling; I, personally, haven't seen any teen thrillers written about competitive college applications (and I've read quite a few thrillers), so it was refreshing to see a new
ahaana ☽
so THAT was a wild ride
Laurie Flynn
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The razor-sharp, whip-smart boarding school thriller of my dark and twisted soul! I loved it not just for the propulsive plot, but the examination of female friendships and societal pressures on teen girls. A must-read!
David Gibson
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Short Version: A highly addictive YA Thriller with a cast of characters you’ll love to hate. It will keep you guessing the whole way through and it sticks the ending as well as any thriller I’ve read in the past year.

The long version: Having followed Alexa Donne’s videos on YouTube for a while now, and based on the quality of the writing advice offered there I was very eager to listen to this audiobook and was ecstatic when it did not disappoint.

The book centers on Olivia who attends Clafli
Yna the Mood Reader
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
"The Ivies though. It was a matter of time before one of them ended up dead."

📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? Young Adult Mystery/Thriller.
📚 Read for? TBR and Beyond Tours.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Murder. Blackmail. Bullying. Toxic relationships. Toxic friendships. Eating disorders.
⚠ Book Tags :  Dark Academia. Boarding School. Whodunnit. Admissions.

Check out my thoughts in this Booktube Video: LINK HERE


This book was one of my most anticipate
This book was completely addicting and wildly entertaining. A dark academia murder mystery set at a boarding school? Count me in.

Even though there was a large cast of side characters, it didn’t feel overwhelming. The characters were complex, unreliable, and ruthlessly ambitious, if a bit exaggerated at times. Though perhaps a bit too pop culture-heavy, the dialogue and Olivia’s internal monologue was sharp and witty while still feeling realistic and relatable.

The whole setup was completely wild
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing

This is an amazing thriller mystery. The ending is unpredictable, but even more important than that are the elements to the ending that make it great. This book wasn't afraid to "go there" as far as intertwining this book with the real world so much so that it feels like a completely nonfictional story.

This book addresses class issues, racism, queerness, and so many other topics in a nuanced way that fits in with the story perfectly. Its
Barbara Behring
Jun 10, 2021 rated it liked it
The Ivies was an enjoyable read which held my attention. Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
girls who will Literally kill to get into college sounded fun to me right away & well,, that was indeed a ride. first and foremost i did Not guess the plot twist (but i am also terrible at guessing the plot twists so).

i haven't read a ton of ya mysteries but i have read a few and i mean this was obviously very formulaic in regards to books about rich private school kids and the main character who makes it clear that she is on scholarship. very clear. like every chapter. multiple times. sorry i a
Elisa Hadly
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want this book so bad. I follow Alexa Donne on YouTube and cannot wait for this to come out and see the awesome cover!
May 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
A book about a group of prep school elites who would literally kill to get into the college of their dreams? Nothing attracts me more than murderous students obsessed with academia.
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I think I just found a new favorite book. This book was killer. It reminded me why I love the YA thriller/mystery genre so much, I'm about to go binge more thrillers.

A group of five prep school girls will do anything to get into their school of their dreams. Each one of them is gunning for a specific Ivy League school; Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, Columbia, and Yale. After one of them turns up dead, Olivia is determined to get to the bottom of it, unearthing secrets that should've stayed b
Rebecca Brenner Graham
I genuinely enjoyed reading THE IVIES, which was a fun xmas day read.
brief synopsis: 5 girls at a prestigious fictional prep school Claflin conspire to receive acceptances from Ivy League schools. murder becomes centrally involved.
THE IVIES is essentially a cozy YA murder mystery.
it’s not necessarily a thriller though in the sense that I didn’t feel thrilled. engaging relationships but not character development.
I noticed that the book takes place in 2020, which is mentioned twice inc
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