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THE IVIES by Alexa Donne


by Alexa Donne

Pub Date: May 25th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-30370-2
Publisher: Crown

The Plastics meet the Heathers in this murder mystery about ruthless Ivy League ambition.

After scholarship student Olivia transferred to an elite boarding school in 10th grade, she knew intelligence and drive wouldn’t be enough to get her a full ride to an Ivy League school. So she jumped at the chance to become one of the Ivies, a supercompetitive clique of girls who use their cunning, social standing, family power, and skills to ensure they snag coveted spots at America’s top universities. They systematically target their classmates using the List, where they track competitors to sabotage. But when one of the Ivies turns up dead, Olivia finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her friends, classmates, and even her crush, biracial (Black and implied White) Canadian Ethan. Equal parts murder mystery and competitive college admissions satire, this dark story of an outsider struggling to survive in a cutthroat environment is a descendant of movies like Heathers and Mean Girls. The well-developed tension between Olivia’s shrewd detective work, her former trust in the corrupt Ivies, and her undeniable culpability creates a compelling page-turning pace. Although experienced readers of the genre may anticipate some plot twists, there are enough red herrings to make the final reveal and satirical ending satisfying. Olivia reads as White, like the majority of her classmates; the other Ivies include one Black girl and one Korean American girl.

A thrilling boarding school story with a satirical edge.

(Mystery. 14-18)