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White Ivy A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his loveIvy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her Raised outside of Boston she is taught how to pilfer items from yard sales and second hand shops by her immigrant grandmother Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and most importantly to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer the golden boy of a wealthy political family But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China where her dream instantly evaporatesYears later Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family Back in Boston when she bumps into Sylvia Speyer Gideon’s sister a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fateSlowly Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners and weekend getaways to the Cape But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted a ghost from her past resurfaces threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to buildFilled with surprising twists and offering sharp insights into the immigrant experience White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming of age story as well as a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost

10 thoughts on “White Ivy

  1. Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill says:

    Wow There is nothing better than going into a debut and having it blow you away ❤️ This seems to be the year of fantastic debuts and you just need to add this one to the list This book is a slow burn that is so elouently done that I could not look away I could not put this down it had an almost magnetizing element to it Susie Yang has arrived my friendsIvy Lin is a girl that pulled me in a million directions On one hand I wanted to feel sympathetic towards her Her family immigrated to America where she lived in a low income complex her family struggling to make ends meet As if Ivy didn't have enough personal turmoil trying to fit in her family sent her off to a exclusive school Grove Prep Academy It is here that Ivy gets a taste of the good life and decides it will be hers no matter what the costFor some reason Ivy has that something about her that just draw people to her They would see the good in her yet she was filled with dark disturbing thoughts Her moral lines were not drawn in the sand they seemed to move about whenever she needed something Yet stilleveryone seems to love Ivy She is a master manipulator and knows her game well She makes people want to do things for herAs she struggles to make it to the top stepping on people from her past just how far will she go? The ending was one that I never saw coming I loved itHuge shoutout to Simon Schuster for sending this gifted physical copy my way in exchange for an honest review

  2. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    This is promising coming of age thought provoking immigrant story slowly grows on you but you got to be patient enough for getting into Ivy’s world her family dynamics reasons behind the shame and motivations triggered her wrongdoings her dreams to jump to her upper social class and her desire to have a wealthy life which makes her a liar and a thief I have to admit at first I had hard time to get into the story and live inside Ivy’s mind to connect with her life but after a few attempts later I get really happy to give chance to this read As I said before as long as you read the story and the characters make you root for them At the second half I start to dislike choices Ivy made and I didn’t approve some of her decisions but I still get the reasoning behind them even though I didn’t like the conseuences she created At first she hides behind the shadows to be invisible to accomplish her mission And she was so close to reach her dreams Gideon Speye coming from wealthy politician family is hooked by her charm When she got the golden boy she may change her own life getting rid of poor Chinese family but a ghost from her past is so adamant not to move on her life She can lose everything she perfectly built and worked so hard to earn She may get extreme decisions or she may give up and face her life consisted of lies and secrets What she is going to choose? I liked the story telling and even though at some parts I truly dislike Ivy I still wanted to know how her journey will shape The final twist is predictable but it was the best conclusion we get It was promising exhilarating and realistically developed story which stays in your mind and after you close the book you keep thinking and you like the taste it left in your mind It was still uniue original and a great start for a debut author I’m looking forward to read her future works as wellSpecial thanks to NetGalley and SimonSchuster for sharing this interesting ARC in exchange my honest review

  3. jenny✨ jenny✨ says:

    Just what was this cloak called privilege and how did it protect you? Was it visible to the wearer or just to onlookers on the outside? UPDATE 892020 I had some strong thoughts while reading White Ivy that I planned to include but ultimately cut from my final review Since I finished the book though I've been turning it over in my head and I think I'm going to include those initial thoughts FIRST I was very wary starting this book because of the IvyGideon Asian womanwhite man power dynamic I sensed coming I don't really see enough any rep in books that addresses the problematic idolization of whiteness—and specifically relationships with white men—that Chinese women sometimes hold I'm not saying this applies to everyone but I am saying that this exists Overall I think Ivy was just subversive enough for my red flags not to go up That said I still encourage you take her hero worship of Gideon Speyer with a hefty grain of salt SECOND White Ivy provides reason no 1389012 why I’m determined to someday contribute a story about second gen Chinese children who have positive loving affectionate and supportive though still complex and ambivalent relationships with their immigrant parents Because contrary to popular representation the Chinese diaspora does not only consist of crazy rich Asians or the struggling working class who will do anything to assimilate into the American Dream Yes corporal punishment and tiger parenting can be in their own dysfunctional ways a manifestation of complex love These are real important and valid stories but others—just as real important and valid—also exist There are innumerable families and experiences both within and outside of that binaryspectrum whose stories deserve to be told tooMind you this isn't a critiue of this book Just some things I feel strongly about and that this book has reminded me of◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️What a gorgeous gorgeous novel about women who fight deceive defer and struggle to achieve all that the world denies themI don’t think I’ve ever read a literary thriller before and definitely nothing like this book It didn't go in ANY of the directions I was expecting and I seriously couldn't stop reading until I was done Susie Yang's writing is compulsively readable in the style of Celeste Ng and Frances Cha—taut pacing precise language flawed characters and all—and I really really enjoyed it Above all it's permeated with an alienating and visceral sense of otherness Ivy's isolation shame and humiliation as a poor Chinese immigrant in America ◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️Here's the thing about White Ivy I could give a rat's ass about Gideon Speyer This is a story about family immigrant families in particular and the complex love we hold for each other She loves you so much she’d rather hurt you to make you better even if it means you’ll hate her Ivy is the backbone of this story But the flesh and blood is well her flesh and blood and specifically the complicated relationships she has with her mother and grandmother Ivy has always clashed with Nan her mother From the day she joined her parents in America as a child to corporal punishment and screaming matches and a humiliating incident at Gideon's fourteenth birthday—the animosity between them lingers even into Ivy's adulthood But she grows to understand that she isn't so different from Nan who is but another woman who wants and will forsake everything love and identity and vanity to achieve itAlsooo Ivy's grandmother Meifeng is pretty badass Some of my favourite parts in the whole book involve Meifeng and Ivy scheming or gossiping or telling family stories one always backing the other up Meifeng's a thief and Ivy's mentor an enterpriser a woman who carried kilos of rice on her back into her fifties to support her daughters It was funny and painful and poignant reading about these women in Ivy's family their stories spanning three generations and two continents ◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️And here's the thing about Ivy herself she's TOTALLY an unlikeable narrator Yet you won't be able to stop yourself from feeling for herShe's got a lot lot lot of internalized bullshit going on The book revolves around an idea of perfection—what Ivy calls peace—that centres whiteness and wealth As a woman of colour fighting for this sort of ideal it's a shitty and painful and degrading experience It means walking on eggshells and setting your opinions aside for those of rich white people It necessitates taking verbal beatings and blatant racism with cheer swallowing their contempt and telling them I liked it All of Ivy’s pleasure lay in this gap that elusive divide between familiarity and admiration intimacy and enigma Ivy's story explores the myriad ways that she both suppresses and empowers herself in this process She's enterprising and shrewd and by the end it's clear she isn't going to let her society conditioned fearworship of the Speyers stop her from wringing them for all they're worth Tables have turned and Ivy's never going to be their thumb ever again The primary reason why this book wasn't a five star read for me was that I wish this moment of revolt had come earlier in the storyThe last thing I'll mention is that this book both plays up and defies stereotypes about Chinese American women It's no coincidence that Yang's crafted Liana Finley's character—tanned ian tall unconventional looking by Chinese beauty standards wife to a decades older rich white man; no coincidence that Gideon's eually wealthy best friend Tom likens Ivy to Wendi Deng Murdoch The contempt they hold for Asian women who've gained a foothold in their white man's world is palpable and honestly not unlike what the reader presumably feels toward Ivy's enterprising ways—and I'd like to hope that this makes you uestion what you're feeling because it certainly made me reflect on my own reactions Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster Canada for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  4. Blaine Blaine says:

    ”You used to ask how your father and I got married That’s how It was because I willed it If I had been a stupider girl your father never would have looked at me But I saw my chance and made a story for myself—even if it was a false story You have to give a man something to fight for That’s the secret to a lasting marriage”Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for sending me an ARC of White Ivy in exchange for an honest reviewUnfortunately the story did not work for me at all It is uite slow Ivy is objectively I would argue a fairly horrible person and I could never really understand her motivations She’s envious of a certain strata of American life from a distance but her relationship with Gideon is so flawed that it’s never clear why she clings to it Her only passion is with Roux yet she’s willing to shed that relationship and subsume her true nature for what she thinks will make her happy even though it is so plainly obvious that she does not know what she really wants I get those choices symbolically—trying to break free from her past and chase her version of the American Dream—but as actual human relationships they are difficult to accept Susie Yang is clearly a talented writer There are clever turns of phrase throughout and Ivy is a richly detailed character Hopefully I’ll find to like in her next novel

  5. Michael David Michael David says:

    I’m not even sure how to write this review but I really loved this book way than I expected to It’s the story of Ivy a Chinese American who grew up learning to steal taught by her grandmother and always dreaming of having the finer things in life She becomes infatuated with Gideon an American classmate whose family is rich Soon after her parents ship her off to see relatives overseas When she returns five weeks later she learns her family has moved to a new home in a new stateand away from Gideon and another friend she hung out with Now as an adult after having a run in with Gideon’s sister Ivy finds herself in his life like never before Her greed and desire for this new way of living will push her to places she’s never known and will undoubtedly change the course of her life forever This book is not a heart pounding thriller It’s a coming of age drama that has a low simmer of suspense throughout and is beautifully written by Susie Yang After a bit of a slow start 15% or so I found myself fully engaged and committed to the tale I was reading It’s a slow burn but my no means boring I highly recommend for those who can stay invested in a book and want to peel back the layers of the characters 45 stars Thank you to Simon Schuster Susie Yang and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

  6. Catherine Woodward Catherine Woodward says:

    Many thanks to NetGalley Simon Schuster and Susie Yang for an ARC of this bookDark lyrical and utterly compelling Ivy Ling is a thief and incredibly proud of it She learned her craft under the tutelage of her grandmother who expertly lifts items from garage sales and resells them to make a tidy profit While Ivy is her own headstrong and intelligent young woman the danger of her job is alluring in that she is finally able to own the finery that will help her feel acclimated to her wealthy environment Ivy's ascent into popularity with the wealthy kids at her school comes to an abrupt halt though when Ivy's mother learns of her misdeeds and feels that some time in China will help to straighten out her daughter The narrative then shifts across time filling in the gaps until she returns to the United States determined to forge her own path and once again attain the life she has always secretly felt was meant to be hers Wealthy golden boy Gideon once again catches her eye and Ivy feels all of the same desires rush back to her The only snag in this plan and disruption to her seamless integration into the posh family is the entrance of another figure from Ivy’s past the edgy yet fascinating Roux As Ivy gets swept back under his spell which destiny is hers for the taking? Can she make a decision before fate makes it for her?To call this book just another thriller in no way would do it justice I was truly floored to find out that this is Yang's first novel Her use of language was absolutely beautiful captivating and almost hypnotic White Ivy manages to blend elements of historical fiction drama and romance while still maintaining the uiet underlying tension of a slow burn thriller from start to finish Yang's imagery similes and metaphors are top notch You can absolutely feel her passion for language and dedication to the craft The novel also definitely has a bildungsroman feel throughout and watching Ivy develop from a young girl to a woman is a haunting yet beautiful transformation The ending of the novel is also really open to interpretation and is certainly a shocker in some respects leaving the reader to decide what sort of destiny is TRULY in store for Ivy and whether or not her choices were wiseor devastatingYang has certainly established herself uickly as an author to watch and White Ivy is destined to be one of November's hottest releases I wholeheartedly recommend this book and will be anxiously awaiting her next releaseSpecial thanks to my GR friends Michael and Christina for putting this amazing book on my radar

  7. Claire Reads Books Claire Reads Books says:

    Holy hell This book knocked me out A kind of modern Great Gatsby meets Parasite White Ivy offers a look at the perversity of the American Dream and the unrelenting costs of upward mobility and social striving I can’t remember the last time I read a debut where I felt like I was in such sure hands—the prose is deliciously sharp the plot as tight as a drum and the pacing emotional and otherwise is tuned to such perfection that the “oh shit” moments hit you right where it hurts I ripped through this one because it’s just that good but I know I’ll be thinking about it for a long long time God What a book—can’t wait to go back and read it again

  8. Kimberly (Deity of Books) Kimberly (Deity of Books) says:

    I was not expecting to like this book this muchIvy is a liar and a thief She is a Chinese Immigrant who wants to be successful live up to her parents' wishes and move up on the social ladder She grew up in a not so nice neighborhood in Massachusetts and is ashamed of her background She aspires to be like her White classmates because she thinks of them as symbols of wealth and success She develops an obsession with a boy named Gideon He is the golden boy and comes from a wealthy family They become friends and Ivy wants a chance to date him but her chance is ruined by her family Until she grows up It starts off kind of slow but then it takes a turn and I just couldn't stop reading I didn't really like some of the characters and didn't like Ivy sometimes because of the choices she made Regardless Ivy is a very interesting character I could relate to Ivy when it came to her family because I am Asian American too and I loved that the author included some Chinglish I wish that there was less narration and dialogue Other than that it's an incredible book and you should definitely read it ARC received via NetGalley All opinions are my own

  9. Jordy’s Book Club Jordy’s Book Club says:

    I started #WhiteIvy yesterday morning and found myself captivated from cover to cover totally invested in the story of Ivy; from her complicated upbringing by her Chinese immigrant family to her transformation into an insecure but manipulative young woman who will do whatever it takes to win the love of a handsome wealthy man she’s been pursuing since grade school I loved the cultural specificity in this story and thought the deep dive into Ivy’s family and heritage really elevated her character and gave her depth and complexity In particular the juxtaposition between the generations of women in this novel grandmothers mothers daughters sisterswas what really set this book apart from other similar titles in the genre In addition the love triangle between Ivy and her two love interests is complicated and dangerous and sexy and wicked fun⠀⠀Fans of #PrettyThings #NecessaryPeople #TheTalentedMrRipley #TheJoyLuckClub and #TheMajesties will really enjoy this one White Ivy is officially out September 8th

  10. Christina Christina says:

    I loved this book which is about a girl who immigrates to America from China and falls deeply in lovewith consumerism And also two very different menThis book is so beautifully and lyrically written It has echoes of The Great Gatsby and The Secret History I was completely consumed by this book so that I was unaware of anything else happening around me That’s how obsessed I was with IvyNo spoilers but there is a moment in this book that is so genuinely shocking I gasped aloud I am not really sure how else to describe this book except that it’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to read from this authorThanks to NetGalley Simon and Schuster and Susie Yang for an advance copy of this arresting and beautiful book in exchange for my honest review

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