Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on March 6th 2018
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary, LGBT
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When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.
Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?
This was a beautiful book. Simple as that. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about it when I picked it up because I didn’t fully enjoy the author’s book HOW TO MAKE A WISH, but she proved me wrong with this book. And I’m glad I gave her a second chance. Because IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD is a gorgeous, honest and genuine book that made my heart very, very happy.
The book grabbed me right from the first page, where it set the perfect tone and captured the atmosphere of the storm flawlessly. Along with the chaos and panic that followed it. And the heartbreak after that. I could never imagine going through a loss like that. Losing everything in the blink of an eye, it’s something unfathomable for me. But I think the author did a beautiful job of capturing what it must feel like to lose your home and it broke my heart into little pieces.
Next to beautiful and very atmospheric writing, the author also brought amazing characters to life. They were so real and alive to me. The family dynamics were so realistic with everything going on. It’s kind of normal for one child to be left out a bit when everything is happening at once. It made me feel so much for the main character, Ivy. And Ashley did a great job of capturing the situation from Ivy’s point of view. It broke my heart, honestly.
Ivy is a wonderful main character and I rooted for her from the start. I love how brave she is, I really admire her for that. And how strong she is through everything. Resilient. And so very talented! I just loved how passionate she was about her drawing and how much she was attached to pens and how happy you could make her with coloring pencils. She’s a great character and I loved her to bits.
But I loved the others characters too! I loved her family, her friend Taryn and the owner of the inn they’re staying at, Robin. She was such a good role model for Ivy and I loved the moments they had together. And June! Oh how I loved her. She’s so alive and spirited even when life has handed her a lot of pain in the past. She’s multi-talented and I just love how she didn’t let anything get her down and how much she wanted to live her life. And her growing friendship with Ivy was just plain beautiful.
And to add one last thing, I also liked the mystery of who is sending the notes to Ivy and in the end I was surprised by who it was, but in a good way. It made sense.
IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD is a beautifully told queer story about a girl having figure out her place in the world while dealing with loss and the first stirrings of love. I would absolutely call it a must read for everyone that loves contemporary.