Sometimes at night, when I can’t sleep and the moon casts silver shadows on the wall, I wonder what it would be like to be a normal sixteen-year-old. One who lived before the war, back when girls had choices and sixteen was still young. Not like now, when sixteen means marriage and babies on the way and your whole life already decided for you.
And it’s even worse for me. The course of my life was set practically from birth. My last name, Westfall, meant I was destined to fight for my family’s resurgence, my father’s vision for the future passed on seamlessly to my sister and me. And part of that vision can only be fulfilled by me, the new wife of Bishop Lattimer, our president’s son. Marrying Bishop wasn’t the end of my journey. It was one more step on the road that leads to his death. And I will be the one to kill him.
That thought used to be easier, back when I lived in my father’s house and my days were filled only with the sound of his voice. He talked endlessly about all the changes he would make once our family was returned to power. How he would give girls back their freedom, Westfall once again ruled by free will instead of one man’s desires. I still believe in everything my father stands for; I know he will be a better leader than President Lattimer. I know that killing Bishop will make the lives of countless girls better. But now I know Bishop, too. The exact color of his dark hair in the sunlight. The way he watches me with calm and thoughtful eyes. The dreams he’s had to give up, too, in order to become my husband.
In the old world, the one I’ve only read about in books, I wonder if Bishop and I would have noticed one another. Caught each other staring across a high school cafeteria. Gone out on an awkward first date full of sideways glances and fumbling hands. Kissed on a shadowy front porch, hoping my father wouldn’t turn on the light. I know it’s a waste of time to indulge in such fantasies, pointless and dangerous, both. Because my future with Bishop is already set in stone and it doesn’t include stolen kisses or declarations of love. My future with Bishop is marked in blood.
What would you kill for?
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.
This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…
“Thought-provoking, poignant, and sexy! Readers will burn the midnight oil to finish The Book of Ivy and fall asleep with the name Bishop Lattimer on their lips.”
—Regina at Mel, Erin, and Regina Read-A-Lot
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Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing among countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two children. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she worked as a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on television. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.