Book Reviews

Book Review: The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Title: The Ivies

Author: Alexa Donne

Genre: Young Adult Thriller

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Purchase at Amazon/ B&N

About The Book

Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.

Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.

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My Thoughts


The Ivies is a young adult thriller that reminds me of Nancy Drew with a Karen McManus’s One of Us is Lying ending but better.

Alexa Donne does a wonderful job connecting you to her characters whether you love or hate them. The Ivies are a clique of girls who are hellbent on getting what they want by any means necessary. There is always one in the group that does not belong because their conscience makes them rethink what they are doing. In the Ivies this happens to be Olivia.

The story is in Olivia’s point of view, which I liked. It was worth reading everything unravel through her. These girls had secrets from each other, but also did some horrible things to others to get into colleges that was overwhelming, but not over the top.

Alex was the leader whose personality was harsh, bullish and she was the main one who did not like not getting her way. Emma was the Ivy with the most secrets that causes issues for her. Sierra is the Ivy with hacking skills, which were useful. I know this is petty, but once again this is a book that highlights a black person in a bad light or having a criminal skill. Margot is the Ivy who plays it safe and is addicted to Starbucks. She likes to block things out and is loyal to a point. Olivia on the other hand, is the Ivy who reads between the lines. She is also kept in the dark on a lot of things. I enjoyed her investigative skills and wanting to uncover the truth.

The academy they attend is an on-campus school that has a college feel to it. I did wonder why the students had a run of the school and hardly any adult supervision. I only remember one teacher mentioned and not in a good way. I will say this story had a couple of mysteries going on and just when I thought I had it figured out a twist happened, which I loved.

If you like Karen McManus and Holly Jackson’s books than you will want to read the Ivies.