Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Ivy In the Shadows by Chris Woodworth



After Ivy's stepfather disappears, Ivy's mama begins waitressing at Dining Divinely to make ends meet. She also takes in a boarder—twelve-year-old Caleb, who's the same age as Ivy and is the weirdest guy she's ever met. With Mama working full-time, Ivy has to babysit her little brother, JJ. She also has to fend off the nosy Pastor Harold; stop Caleb from filling JJ's head with lies; and keep her best friend, Ellen, from knowing anything about her embarrassing situation at home.
Ivy has always found out all she needs to know by lurking in the shadows (some might call it "eavesdropping"). But as things at home become more complicated, she learns to step into the light and not only listen but speak up.


This book's premise sounded intriguing so I just had to give it a try.

In Ivy in the Shadows, Ivy tries to deal with her mother who works as a waitress, her little brother, and Caleb whom her mother decided to take in as a boarder.

The story was as interesting as I thought it would be. Ivy's experiences with her mother, her brother and her friends were quite realistic. The way she felt about about taking care of her brother, in particular, is what I would imagine kids feel like.

The thing that I didn't really like about this book all that much was Ivy. Ivy had her good moments but there were times when she seemed a little bit like a brat. The way she treated Caleb was really horrible. It was like she had no compassion. However, it seems like that's how a lot of kids are these days. They tend to tease and be mean to people who are different.

On the bright side, though, the ending was quite nice and everything worked out for everyone. It wasn't all that realistic but it makes for a good ending for kids.

Thanks to NetGalley and MacMillan Children's Publishing Group for the e-ARC. Publication date of Ivy in the Shadows is on February 5, 2013.


  1. The characters' relationships were believable.
  2. The story has potential.
  3. Most of the characters are interesting.


  1. Ivy can be a bit bratty.

"We've got meatloaf, fried chicken, and today's special, popcorn shrimp. What would you like, Caleb?"

  1. You like books with believable characters.
  2. You like books that are gritty but is still happy.
  3. You like heroines that are diamonds-in-the-rough.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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