Enchanted Ivy, by Sarah Beth Durst
It is Lily Carter’s dream to attend Princeton University, as her parents and grandfather did. When she arrives for a reunion weekend with her grandfather and mother, she is surprised when she is told about a secret test to find the Ivy Key. If she passes this mysterious test, she will automatically be accepted into the school. But Lily soon discovers that there is more to the prestigious university than meets the eye. It harbors magical creatures and a doorway to another world.
Lily is a sympathetic character, who cares for her mentally disturbed mother with endless patience. There are a couple young men on campus that catch her eye, and add a small element of romance. But Durst’s world-building dominates the story with incredible imagery, creativity, and fascinating characters.
I read her last novel, Ice, and loved it. So, I had high expectations this time around. This young adult fantasy was just as good, if not better. I was captivated from the beginning, and could not let go till the end. This dramatic story is full of suspense, mystery, and more than a few surprising twists. Completely spellbinding – I can’t recommend this one enough. Fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this charming tale.
Enchanted Ivy releases on October 12, 2010 from Margaret K. McElderry Books.