The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?
But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past
I really loved this novel. The writing was beautiful and the characters were interesting. There is a bisexual feminist and a little boy who wants to be called Ella and be treated like a girl. I love it when books show diversity! The MC ,Ivy, is a strong girl whose mother ditched her when she was two who feels she must live up the the extreme legacies of the other women in her family. There is a romance, but it takes back seat to the family drama. The book starts off with what you think is going to be a love triangle but surprises you, thankfully.
There are trigger warnings for suicide in this novel, though, so you are warned.
This book made me feel so many things, sad, happy, disgust and anger. Which I love so much! I was very invested in Ivy and her family.
The reason this novel is getting four stars instead of five is this:
As much as I loved this book the plot is almost non existent. There is no real climax, or problem to be solved. The book is more of a coming of age tale and about how Ivy deals with her absent mom showing back up and bringing Ivy's two sisters with her. Sister's she didn't know she had. I was more than half way through and thought, "wait, is something going to happen now? I'm almost done....where's the story going?" Just to finish it a few hours later and be a little let down.
Also the blurb talks about a curse or a legacy and there isn't one. The women of Ivy's family suffer depression and the tendency to be great artists, that's it. I was hoping for something a little more dramatic. Anyone can say they think their family is cursed. Three generations of the women in my family have grown up without biological fathers, but I don't use the word curse because that seems a little more magical than what has actually happened.
So.... yes read this book, please come to your on conclusions. I am really interested to see how others viewed this. On one hand I loved it and on the other I was disappointed.