Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: cancer (mentions), homelessness, isolation, depression, anxiety
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Genre: contemporary, middle grade, LGBTQ+
When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.
Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?
R E V I E W
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World was a book I knew I was going to love before I even started it. I have read two others of Ashley Herring Blake’s works and loved them. Ashley has a talent of incorporating as much as feeling into her books as possible so you have no choice but to feel connected to her characters. Her books feel so short to me since I’ve read them all in one sitting, but they’re so damn good. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World was no different. I was so blown away by the beautiful writing, the emotions, the representation of mental health in a young person and just the connection of every character.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World opens with a tornado raining down on her town. I’ve lived through a couple of cyclones (the Australian equivalent) and they were scary as heck. This tornado was so much worse than anything I’ve ever experienced and I was crying. What happens to the Aberdeen’s though is that their entire house is destroyed. They’re homeless. They end up in a hotel, where the owner is a lovely woman who’s girlfriend is coming to live with her soon. As the book continues Ivy deals with her own sexuality and the feeling of isolation in her own family. I truly believe there is something for everyone in Ashley Herring Blake’s books, and this one is no exception.
L I K E S
✗ STRONG FAMILY TIES
This review is high key just going to be praising Ashley Herring Blake. Ashley knows how to write a good family. No one is perfect and they’re always messy. There are problems interwoven into every family and a lot of books don’t accurately explain this. This particular book highlights the importance of family, but also how you don’t always feel included and that can be a bit shitty. I know I’ve had moments where I don’t feel as if I’m included in my own family and it really bloody sucks.
Despite all the messy stuff that happens in the book the family ties are so strong. Really. As Ivy struggles with her identity it felt so important that she had her family. They make mistakes and with her being the middle child she is sometimes forgotten or labeled as too young but in the end it’s family that matters in the book.
✗ GOOD FRIENDSHIPS
This is similar to my last point. The friendships are a bit messy, yes. But, they are so important to the story. They have their problems and the characters make mistakes and accidentally end up hurting each other but it’s because they care. You have to remember as well, since this is a middle grade the characters make mistakes and are also young. You really can’t critique their actions because this is how people act at this particular age.
✗ ADORABLE STORY
This is one of the most adorable stories I have read to date. I smiled, a laughed, I cried and I was so damn happy by the time I finished it. It was amazing. I don’t know why this book affected me so much but it felt perfect honestly. I think the best part of this story was that when it ends you know it’s not over for Ivy Aberdeen. She has a long road of life to go and it will be a journey, but a journey I would desperately like to read about.
I really can’t put into words how much this story made me feel and I hate it, because I want the world to know just how important Ashley Herring Blake’s books are to the world. They need to be read.
✗ MADE ME CRY
Believe it or not, I was crying about 3% into this book. I was so heartbroken by the writing. The feelings that Ivy had towards her family’s home being destroyed in Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter To the World. I am a big crybaby but of late I haven’t been crying a lot – it’s a shock. So, when I started bawling during this book I was both confused and amazed.
D I S L I K E S
✗ I REALLY CANT THINK OF A FLAW
This is a little embarrassing, I literally can’t think of a flaw for this book. I have sat here for about thirty minutes thinking about a point in this book that I didn’t enjoy. I have nothing. It was basically a perfect middle grade story that you can fly through. I know it seems as if I’m sucking up the ass of the author by not adding a flaw (yeah, low key am oops) but I truly can’t think of something. I read this book in under two hours and the rollercoaster of emotion it took me on was so damn beautiful.
Overall, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is one of my favourite books of this year. I am so happy I had the chance to read it because I enjoyed it more than I could have ever though. I can’t recommend this highly enough, even if middle grade or contemporary isn’t a genre you typically reach for. You should reach for this. It’s the perfect story of a teen dealing with her identity while displaced and I just…I have no words. Ashley Herring Blake is truly one of the most talented authors I have had the pleasure of reading
Happy reading everyone!
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