I can’t decide if I like this book because it tickles my nostalgia bone or because it is pretty good and has held up over time. I first read this book in 9th grade, and I loved it. I remember sitting in the youth center at church, devouring it. My copy had all three books in one volume, as pictured below.
Divorcing it from the other two books, however, this one is very much a prologue to the main story. I don’t really remember most of the story, other than Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, dies in a car crash, and later becomes an angel, and also that the cat, Ella, is a main plot point in the climax of the third book.
It starts at the accident, then goes backwards and fills in all the context. Ivy’s mother has married a rich dude with a snotty son, and they and her younger brother Phillip go to live in their mansion. Ivy is terrified of water, and Tristan gives her swim lessons and they fall in love. There’s something fishy about her stepbrother, Gregory, and his friends. That is the entire novel.
Actually, if this were the entire story, and not just a preamble to the following two books, this would be pretty terrible. But it does lay down some needed context, about Ivy’s family situation, her relationship with Tristan, her belief in angels, the suicide of Gregory’s mother, and of course, the cat. It just doesn’t work without the following two books, unlike many other trilogies.
This book alone only merits 2 stars, but I’ll wait to rate the entire trilogy.
This book fulfills the book from my childhood, and set in high school requirements for the challenge.