The Evolution of Ivy: Poison is an addicting debut novel from Lauren Campbell. The main character, Ivy, is a tormented young girl enduring an endlessly painful life.
“I scurry to the back of the classroom, making eye contact with no one, and take my seat. New outfits, fresh haircuts, and confidence burst from this room, this concrete prison where the kids are wardens, and I’m on Death Row.”
As her future circumstances change, she decides to assume a new identity and remake her life for the better. Her main goal: acquire the love of Brooks, the only boy she ever cared for. Ivy has a take no prisoners approach to her new lifestyle. After all, a person can only be hurt so many times. She refuses to let her plans be thwarted, no matter the cost.
As a reader, I love my fictional characters with a side of crazy. Crazy people know life, they understand pain, and they don’t live in the traditional ways society imposes. This always makes for an interesting story. The only thing that kept me from reading Ivy sooner were my hangups about the mature content within the pages. I normally try to avoid the more graphic and gritty novels because it simply makes me uncomfortable and isn’t my taste. However, I knew I was going to love this story if I could overlook the parts I was apprehensive about.
Everything about this story, especially the characterization and plot were on point. Let’s not forget the amazing cover design by Murphy Rae of Indie Solutions. Lauren’s ability to tell Ivy’s story had me turning pages faster than I expected. I could have finished the book in a day, but chose to savor it one more, to make the story more memorable. My empathy was triggered for Ivy’s past. It was heartbreaking to read the cruelty she faced, and I couldn’t help rooting for her to get revenge and take back the life she deserved, despite her less than moral antics. The story alternated between Ivy’s past and present, something I love as a reader, as it allows me to connect to the characters in a deeper way. We also were able to hear a bit of Brooks’ voice, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the guy.
This is a sharply written, genre-busting page turner worth reading immediately, especially for fans of psychological thrillers. I was immensely impressed with Lauren’s storytelling and her ability to put me into Ivy’s mind so thoroughly. The Evolution of Ivy feels like the work of an author with eons of experience, not the debut novel it is. I can’t wait to see The Evolution of Lauren Campbell as she shares more of her stories with the world. I see the title New York Times Bestselling Author in her future. Give me more cray, cray, Lauren!!!
You need to snag a copy of this book now! It is sure to leave you wanting more of Ivy and Brooks.