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Enchanted Ivy

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,065 ratings  ·  383 reviews
What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searche
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,065 ratings  ·  383 reviews

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Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: bleh, ya-fantasy
This book ought to have gotten 2.5 stars, but I've given it a grace of an extra half-star!



Heroine: 1 (Make sure your selected heroine is nerdy, unpopular and supposedly smart. NEVER make your heroine both smart and popular, and as for a personality... forget it! This is just asking for trouble, because soon people will start expecting her to think, and fend for herself and acquire some emotional maturity... so don
Lilly has always had one dream. To get into Princeton University.
Now she has a chance. Take a test, but not just any test. A Legacy Test.
Task- Find the Ivy Key.
What's she get? An automatic acceptance to Princeton. That's right.
"Find the key and your future is assured. Your destiny, secured".
Sure...easy peasy.

I absolutely loved this book! Already a fan of Sarah Durst Ice. I couldn't wait to read her next book. It did not disappoint. Enchanted Ivy is a such a fun-filled fantasy treat that will st
Sep 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle

Why this book?

This has been on my TBR shelf for awhile

What I thought

Something about this book didn't click with me. Sure it was cool that there were talking gargoyles,shape shifters and other magical creatures, but that's all it had going for it. First off Lily was a major Mary Sue, come on tell me i'm wrong, I dare you. Then there's the romance or the sorta love triangle, where each boy disappears while the other one shows up. Oh and what was with the declaration of love? Even she was
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
Oh, Sarah! How do you do it? How do you consistently write books that are not only so GOOD, but also so DIFFERENT from anything else out there?

In ICE, she created something so new out of the East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon fairy tale that it took my breath away, and in ENCHANTED IVY, she takes Ivy League college traditions and gargoyles and . . . Okay, I can't tell you anything else. It would spoil it all! Sufficient to say, this book is a work of pure wonderment!
In the past, Sarah Beth Durst's writing hasn't really clicked with me, which is a shame because I DO like the kind of fantasy she writes. It feels a little different than so much of what's out there. No assassin princesses. This one worked fairly well for me. I like the setting and I liked the romance (though there wasn't much of it). So maybe I won't write her off yet. ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Underwhelmed and annoyed.

Read this book after Ice, which reviewed lower ratings but is by far the better written book.

Basically, this book was a tribute to Princeton, which I understand the author attended because of her Acknowledgements section, but I felt it was so much of a knock towards Yale and Harvard that frankly, it got annoying. I understand that it must be a gorgeous place and the main character has family traditions that make her want to attend, but all this raving about the place an
Jenn Estepp
i don't really get why everyone is all about this book. it wasn't so terrible that i wanted to throw it across the room. or, even, sit in my apartment and nitpick it on the internet. (although i totally could if i wanted. just saying. ) but it was also not all that spectacular. much of it irked me and the characters seemed more like vehicles for the plot than actual characters. but maybe i am just jaded or biased by my obviously inferior not-ivy education. or something. a pretty cover and some b ...more
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: You like YA? Sure, why not.
Lily Carter is just a normal girl.

*Sigh* When are they ever?

Lily Carter is just a normal girl. Who wants to go to Princeton just like her grandfather. So, on a surprise trip there, her grandfather and a large group of older folk invite her to complete a quest. If she fulfills it, she gains automatic entrance to Princeton.


So, Lily is off to find the Ivy Key, whatever that is, all the while noticing that Princeton, yeah Princeton, is turning out to be stranger than she thought.

That's right,
Oct 05, 2010 added it
This book reminded me what's so great about fantasy novels--they suck you into another world and you don't want to be pulled out. Gargoyles coming to life, were-tigers, knights, dragons...yeah, all that and more. I wish this alternate Princeton really existed! The author provides wonderful imagery and as the reader you want to walk through this magical campus, but you'll just have to settle through living it through Lily's eyes.

This story is so much more than just a quest for a key and hope for
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle schoolers or those who are easily impressed by generic fantasy stories.
Although my feelings towards Sarah Beth Durst's other novel, Ice, could be summed up with a general "meh", I decided to give her another chance to wow me with Enchanted Ivy. Enchanted Ivy, the story of a narnia-esque fantasy world that is connected to the human world through the front gates of Princeton University, unfortunately fell flat as well. It was decently written. It had likable enough, if perhaps slightly dull, characters, along with your standard sexed-up cast of fuzzy fantasy friends ...more
Steph Su
Mar 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
After reading and falling in love with Sarah Beth Durst’s Ice, I had some pretty big expectations for Enchanted Ivy. But fortunately, the book surpassed soared high above every single one of them. Like Ice, it’s a gorgeously crafted story that takes something mundane like college and turns it into a fast-paced adventure.

What I really loved is how the plot takes dramatic shifts; Lily begins the book by accepting a challenge to find a ‘key’, and in exchange, she’ll receive an automatic acceptance
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Have I mentioned lately how much I adore Sarah Beth Durst? Probably, but it's worth saying again. I love how each book I pick up is completely different from the one before it. Durst obviously has a talent that is above par.

While Enchanted Ivy isn't really my favorite so far, it was fun. I enjoyed Ivy's adventures at Princeton. If you couldn't tell by the synopsis, the story takes place at Princeton University-- both the real college and it's mytholigical counterpart. It was a new take on the u
Melissa Jacobson
Actual rating 4.25

I am trahs for Sarah Beth durst and her neverending creativity. I really had a great time reading this one. I loved the gargoyles and the idea of the Feeders. Even if the plot itself was predictable I just had so much fun reading this. In my opinion Sarah Beth Durst can do no wrong and I cannot wait to pick up another one of her endlessly entertaining and delightful reads!
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
'Enchanted Ivy' is a magical book. Sarah Beth Durst created fascinating world, even two of them - the magical Princeton inhabited by dragons, dryads, werebeasts and other fantastic creatures, and the human Princeton, where knights protect humanity from monsters with gargoyles guiding them. The book left some questions about this world and its history unanswered, but overall I truly enjoyed the trip to Princeton.

Our hero, Lily Carter, enters these worlds without even knowing it - and the plot is
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Enchanted Ivy seduced me with it's rich lore, and held me captive by it's vivid setting. Sarah Beth Durst's breathe taking descriptions of her setting had me wishing I could travel to Princeton to walk through the FitzRandolph Gate just to see the land that lies on other side.

Lily Carter has a dream to attend Princeton University like her parents and grandfather before he did. When she and her mother accompany her Grandfather to a reunion weekend at this prestigious university, Lily is offered a
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Lily was a good daughter and a good granddaughter. Unlike most YA characters that I encounter, Lily was family-oriented and that was one of the things I liked about her. She lived by the ‘family first’ code. Having a mother who had psychosis and suffered from brain hiccups was difficult. There was always an extra safety measure to take. But her love for her mother overpowered everything else.

Enchanted Ivy was set in Princeton University, a place of wonder and mystery. Lily was given a chance to
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lily Carter just wants to get into college, or if you want to be specific, Princeton University, the alma mater of her Grandpa. So when Grandpa invites her to come along during Princeton Reunions weekend, Lily jumps at the chance to visit her dream school. So when she’s asked to take the secret Legacy Test, which will guarantee admittance to Princeton if she passes, of course she accepts this challenge to find the Ivy Key. Little does Lily know that this undertaking will change life as she knows ...more
Pamela Kramer
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst has a story line that at first seems only mildly interesting, but once started, the book is difficult to put down. Durst take the "interesting" story line and with her deft prose and runaway imagination creates a tale filled with rich characters, wonderful story-telling, and puzzle pieces that fall together perfectly.

Lily, the protagonist, is a wonderful heroine--not too perfect, not too beautiful, not too athletic--but like Goldilocks, she's just right.

Lily di
Kathryn Cooper
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my to-read list for awhile, and I'm glad I finally read it. Lily thought she was a normal junior in high school looking to apply to her dream university, Princeton. She visited Princeton for alumni week with her mom and Princeton alumni grandpa. When her grandpa surprised her with the Legacy Test, a way for her to get an automatic acceptance letter, Lily's world was turned upside down.

I liked Lily. It seemed like she had a pretty normal life except for her stress associat
I fell in love with Sarah Beth Durst’s writing and storytelling abilities after reading her debut novel, Ice. When I heard that she was going to come out with another book, I jumped at the chance of receiving a copy for review! I wanted to know if Sarah would fall in the horrible second book mode or if she would prevail. I’m happy to say that I am wholeheartedly happy with this one!

Sarah’s writing ability and how she is able to weave such great stories together continues to astonish me. The plot
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amber  ~ The Reading Addict
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Who knew that Princeton could be so magical? At first, I was bored by the idea of the entire novel revolving around Lily's dream to attend Princeton. Thankfully, things picked up and Lily was soon swept up into a tale of incredible creatures and dark secrets.

Lily Carter is a witty and brave protagonist. She cares deeply for her family members and desperately tries to protect them. Although Lily comes up with many smart solutions, she also makes mistakes. I was never annoyed with her, and I hone
Two stars is low, possibly a little lower than the book deserves. The fantasy elements are cleverly drawn, and the setting is inventive. What I couldn't get into was Princeton itself. The whole of the story felt like an insider's ode to Princeton, rather than a descriptive view of a notable location. I couldn't get past the unfamiliar use of terms (I would expect to hear about Reunion Weekend, for example, rather than Reunions Weekend, no matter how accurate the latter might be), the inclusion o ...more
Lydia Presley
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I didn't cave to the pressure of The Ivy or any of the other gossipy-type books dealing with ivy league schools, but I couldn't resist the fantasy element of Enchanted Ivy. I'm glad as well, because this was an incredibly fun book with a lot of fun information filling its pages.

Sarah Beth Durst went to Princeton and the cover indicates that she spent some time there wondering what the gargoyles would say if they could talk...and so a story woven around the history and architecture of Princeton w
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Mariampillai
I really enjoyed this book. The concept was very interesting, and I thought the characters were great. The plot was great and it kept me interested. I thought Lily was a great character. One heroine that I can see myself being. She is smart, and I think she has a cool personality. I thought the romance did not overpower the book. It was very interesting to see. Cant wait for a sequel. Hopefully, it comes. Overall, a great read.
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Fun read!A little twighlity with the two boys but there was enough of of a twist that it was a good read. I loved that It was very different form anything I have read before. Would recommend for teens because of the boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. But it was very clean with some violence.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the stand-alone book I have been CRAVING!

When I read this book I was reading a bunch of different series and it HIT THE SPOT! So if you been searching for a great stand alone book- which are desperately needed in this sea of never ending series- you have found the book.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars This was super fun. It is a one and done story, it moves quickly and there are a lot of folks with an agenda. Much is revealed, some good, some bad and a heroine who is brave and tries her best.
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Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including Spark, Drink Slay Love, and The Queens of Renthia series. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her child ...more

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120 likes · 11 comments
“Look you don't know I'm your soul mate," Lily said. " You barely know me at all. I have terrible habits. I swallow toothpaste. My socks don't always match. I'm not good at small talk. I'm just about the most unpopular kid in class, a close third behind the guy who doesn't shower and the girl who's a compulsive liar. Besides, it's not like Jake and me... He was just being nice."
"You are my soul mate, even if you don't know it yet," Tye said”
“promise the dragon won't eat me."The dragon spoke. "I wouldn't dream of it, little Key. You are not flavored to my liking."
"Somehow I don't feel reassured," she said.”
More quotes…